Fight the Power: Teaching Research Skills Through The Study of American Protest Movements

byLudy P. Aguada

This curriculum unit is designed to teach students in 11th-grade Advanced Placement English Language & Composition who have little to no experience how to conduct academic research and produce a paper supported by reliable sources. Beginning with the Abolitionist movement, the unit traces the history up to and leading to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, using them as the framework to analyze the elements that produced those two landmark pieces of civil rights legislation. Then in small groups, students will identify and research more recent or current social justice movements. They will analyze the movements’ successes, or, for current movements, the likelihood of their successes. The final products will be formal presentations of their findings and well-documented, well-supported, and properly-formatted research papers. 

(Developed for AP English Language, grades 11-12; recommended for College Prep English, grades 11-12)

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