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Oh Freedom Lesson Plan

Page history last edited by Siri Anderson 13 years, 1 month ago


Name: Karen Schulte

Date: October 10, 2008

Grade Level: 5th



Title of Lesson: Oh, Freedom!                                 

Time Frame: 3 lessons of approx. 45 minutes each

Bells and Whistles: Embedded video and picture images, collaborative lesson, primary sources, links to other resources


MN Standard:

  • Gr. 4-8, Strand I. U.S. History
  • Substrand J. Post WWII Era, 1945 - 1980
  • Standard - The student will analyze the economic, social and political transformation of the United States and the world between the end of WWII and the present
  • Benchmark 4. Students will explain the changing patterns of society, expanded educational and economic opportunities for military veterans, women, and minorities



Essential question: Why does racism exist?




  • Students will identify the struggles experienced by African-Americans during the 1950 – 1960’s in relation to the Civil Rights Movement
  • Students will create an “encyclopedia” for the school library on the ordinary people involved in the Civil Rights Movement.


Materials Needed/Preparation

Book Oh, Freedom! by Casey King and Linda Barrett Osborne

Oh Freedom Interview Chart

Oh Freedom Assignment and Rubric

Oh Freedom Encyclopedia Template and Oh Freedom Encyclopedia Example 

Oh Freedom Primary Sources (safe sites for students to access photos and documents)

Access to computers and printers

Manila envelope for each group, paper, markers, glue



Anticipatory Set/Motivation/Snappy Launch 

Overview of Civil Rights  YouTube plugin error



Day One Procedure

1.      Students will pair up and read p. 2 – 11 in Oh, Freedom! to each other (10 min). They should make note of the vocabulary words from Oh Freedom Vocabulary Activities by reviewing them with their partner.

2.      Whole class discussion on what was read to clarify understanding, answer questions, etc. (5 min)

3.      Assign each student to read one interview in book. See Oh Freedom Interview Chart.

4.      After students are finished reading, have them turn to their neighbor and share what they have learned. Have them fill out an encyclopedia page on their partner's reading. Use Oh Freedom Encyclopedia Template. They can reference the example (Oh Freedom Encyclopedia Example) (15 - 20 min for reading and partner discussion).)

5.      After students have shared, give each student a minute to explain to the class what they read and learned. Write the main idea on the board (i.e. segregated buses or schools, protests, sit-ins, KKK, media, etc.) and the name of the student who reported it.

6.      Students with similar stories/main ideas will be grouped together the following day. (Teacher can use his/her discretion in grouping for topics. Topics will reflect the "main ideas" that have been generated through the whole class discussion.)

7.    Discuss roles students will be assigned within the group. Each group will have 1) a leader who will keep group on task and watch the time 2) a recorder who will write down the ideas from the initial brainstorming session 3) task manager who will assign internet sites to each group member to avoid repetition in tomorrow's lab time and 4) layout manager who will make sure the final layout of the pages is completed. Ask students to think about the roles - they will be volunteering for a role within the group the following day. Wrap up discussion for the day.



Day Two Procedure

1.      Hand out Oh Freedom Assignment and Rubric. Go over requirements of assignment. Have students get into their  groups (decided upon by topic and teacher). Let students decide on how roles will be filled within the group and brainstorm ideas for pages. (10 minutes).  

2.      Hand out the Oh Freedom Primary Sources sheet. Review protocols for using lab. Show examples of images Oh Freedom Images Inform students that this is the one day they will have to print pictures and images during class time. (30 minutes)

3.      Go to computer lab and have students print pictures they want to use on their pages. Troubleshoot any technology troubles, answer questions, etc.

4.      Return to class. Have students store pictures and papers in envelope (5 min).



Day Three Procedure

1.      Hand out envelopes to groups. Remind students they have until the end of the period to complete their pages. Five minutes will be given at the end of class to “grade” themselves with the rubric. 

2.      When students have completed their pages, have them put them in page protectors, place them in the 3-ring binder under the appropriate section, and hand in the rubric.

3.      If some students finish sooner than others, allow them the opportunity to work on a “cover” sheet that can be inserted in front of the binder with a title, artwork, etc.



Classroom Management:

Handouts can be given out by teacher or passed around class. Group roles will be decided by group members. Students will follow established protocol while working on computers. Student groups will each have a manila envelope to keep their work in. They should place their names on it as well as their topic. Paper will be available for encyclopedia pages. Students can use their own glue, markers, etc. for their pages if needed.



Student Assessment:

Students will complete their group encyclopedia pages that will be graded with the rubric. They will also complete a rubric grading their group’s participation. 



Oh, Freedom!

Oh Freedom Assignment and Rubric

Oh Freedom Encyclopedia Template

Oh Freedom Encyclopedia Example

Oh Freedom Primary Sources

Oh Freedom Images

Oh Freedom Interview Chart

Oh Freedom! Additional Resources

NCSS Ten Themes




Social Studies Standards



Oh Freedom Vocabulary Activities

Oh Freedom Media Literacy Lesson

Oh Freedom Making Predictions Lesson

Oh Freedom Citizen Action Plan


Other Civil Rights themed lessons found in this wiki:

Witnesses To Freedom Lesson Plan


Comments (2)

Franci Frisch said

at 10:35 pm on Oct 16, 2008

I finally had a chance to look at your lesson. Sorry I didn't get to it sooner for you - crazy day :-( I think your lesson looks like one that will certainly keep the students going. My only concern is time - especially for day one. I would also consider assigning roles in your groups to make sure the students stay on task - there is a lot to be done in a relatively short amount of time. I know every lesson I have taught so far, I have grossly underestimated the amount of time it takes to accomplish a task.

One other thing would be the grade level. The 4th graders at my school learn about Rosa Parks and racism, which I think is great because that is about the time that some of those "strong" personalities begin to show and I think the sooner we can educate our students about the devastating effects of racism, the better. Just a thought.

Overall, I think it is a good lesson. Good job!

Karen Schulte said

at 4:41 pm on Oct 18, 2008

Thanks for your suggestions. I incorporated some of them and "tweaked" the lesson. I decided to leave the lesson at the 5th grade level because in our school that's where it fits best. Thanks for taking the time and helping me out!

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