Leadership in the 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement

Upper Elementary
Middle School
High School

Upper Elementary Overview

Download Unit Plan

This unit for upper elementary students is anchored by a field trip to The 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement exhibit. Through this series of learning experiences, students will engage with the people and events of the Civil Rights Movement in Danville, Virginia, through the conceptual lens of leadership for social change.

These learning experiences are presented in a sequenced progression, however teachers may pick and choose from these learning experiences as they see fit. A suggested order has been provided that moves from analyzing primary source documents to writing about the 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement from the perspective of those involved. Included in this unit is a field trip to The 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement exhibit at the Danvillian Gallery.

Connections to the Protocol for Assessing the Teaching of History (PATH; van Hover, Hicks, & Cotton, 2012) are included in “Teacher Notes” of each learning experience’s instructional plan.

Objectives

Students will understand that the interplay among ideas, values, and leadership shape the human condition, past, present, and future.

Students will know

  • Key vocabulary:
    • Segregation: the separation of people, usually based on race or religion
    • Discrimination: an unfair difference in the treatment of people.
    • Nonviolent Direct Action: the strategic use of nonviolent tactics and methods to bring an opponent or oppressive party into dialogue to resolve an unjust situation.
    • SNCC: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee formed in 1960 by students—both black and white—who had been involved in lunch-counter sit-ins to oppose segregation.
    • CORE: The Congress on Racial Equality founded in 1942 was a key source of training and support for nonviolent activists up until the mid-1960s, when a change in leadership advocated a different approach.
    • SCLC: Organized in 1957 under the leadership the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, based in Atlanta, Georgia, coordinated nonviolent direct action campaigns and voter registration drives across the South in the 1960s.
    • NAACP: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the largest civil rights organization in the nation, was established in New York State with the purpose of achieving civil rights for all citizens as promised by the U.S. Constitution.
  • The effects of segregation and “Jim Crow” on life in Virginia.
  • The social and political events in Virginia linked to desegregation and Massive Resistance and their relationship to national history.
  • The strategies of critical readers, including analyzing point of view, determining theme, and drawing conclusions from text.
  • How to write effectively for a particular purpose.

Students will be skilled at

  • Interpreting primary source documents.
  • Drawing conclusions and making generalizations.
  • Making connections between past and present.
  • Interpreting ideas and events from different historical perspectives.
  • Evaluating and discussing ideas orally and in writing.
  • Identifying and asking questions that clarify various points of view.
  • Focusing, organizing, and elaborating to construct an effective message for the reader.
  • Crafting and controlling language to demonstrate awareness of the intended audience.
  • Selecting specific information to guide readers purposely through a piece of writing.

This unit plan addresses Virginia History and English Standards of Learning for 4th and 5th grade and North Carolina English Language Arts Essential Standards for 5th grade.

Download Unit Standards and Objectives

Primary Source Document Analysis

Students use primary source document analysis skills to draw conclusions and make generalizations about a photograph from the 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement.

Download Learning Experience 1

Materials:

Field Trip: The Leaders Who Let Their Lights Shine

Students participate in two related activities while visiting The 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement exhibit. Students identify leaders within the movement and the ways in which they themselves can be leaders for social action.

  • Activity A: Exhibit Quest
    • Students engage in a Quest—an educational treasure hunt—to learn about the individuals and organizations that led the Danville Civil Rights Movement.
  •  Activity B: This Little Light of Mine
    • Students connect Dr. King’s decree, “Wherever injustice is alive, it is a responsibility for people of good will to take a stand against it,” to the message of This Little Light of Mine and brainstorm actions they can take to let their lights shine and work toward justice everywhere.

Download Learning Experience 2

Materials:

Leaders with a “Willingness to Stand Up for a Cause”

In this final activity, students will write a literary portrait from the perspective of a participant in the Danville Civil Rights Movement to demonstrate their understanding that the interplay among ideas, values, and leadership shape the human condition.

Download Learning Experience 4

Materials:

  • Image 1: SNCC field secretary Cordell Reason teaches a workshop on nonviolent tactics. Danville, Va., 1963. Courtesy, Danny Lyon/Magnum Photos.
  • Image 2: On June 10, 1963, Danville police arrested Thurman Echols, Jr., a local high school student, and other civil rights demonstrators for violating an injunction that severely limited protest activity. Courtesy, Library of Virginia.
  • Image 3: Danville police and firemen used clubs and fire hoses to dispel protesters. Photo by Leon Townsend. Courtesy, Danville Register & Bee.
  • Image 4: In 1963, Langston High School students join other protesters to sing freedom songs and to demonstrate on the steps of the Danville Municipal Building. Courtesy, Library of Virginia.
  • Primary Source Document Analysis ~ Image tool
  • Literary Portrait Rubric

Middle School Overview

Download Unit Plan

This unit for middle school students taking United States History: 1865 to the Present (VA) or North Carolina and the United States: Creation and Development of the State and Nation (Colonization to Contemporary Times) (NC) is anchored by a field trip to The 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement exhibit at the Danvillian Gallery. Through this series of learning experiences, students will engage with the people and events of the Civil Rights Movement in Danville, Virginia, through the conceptual lens of leadership for social change.

These learning experiences are presented in a sequenced progression, however teachers may pick and choose from these learning experiences as they see fit. A suggested order has been provided that moves from analyzing primary source documents to writing about the 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement from the perspective of those involved. Included in this unit is a field trip to The 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement exhibit at the Danvillian Gallery.

Connections to the Protocol for Assessing the Teaching of History (PATH; van Hover, Hicks, & Cotton, 2012) are included in “Teacher Notes” of each learning experience’s instructional plan.

Objectives

Students will understand that the interplay among ideas, values, and leadership shape the human condition, past, present, and future.

Students will know                                                     

  • Key vocabulary:
    • Segregation: the separation of people, usually based on race or religion.
    • Discrimination: an unfair difference in the treatment of people.
    • Nonviolent Direct Action: the strategic use of nonviolent tactics and methods to bring an opponent or oppressive party into dialogue to resolve an unjust situation.
    • SNCC: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee formed in 1960 by students—both black and white—who had been involved in lunch-counter sit-ins to oppose segregation.
    • CORE: the Congress on Racial Equality founded in 1942 was a key source of training and support for nonviolent activists up until the mid-1960s, when a change in leadership advocated a different approach.
    • SCLC: Organized in 1957 under the leadership the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, based in Atlanta, Georgia, coordinated nonviolent direct action campaigns and voter registration drives across the South in the 1960s.
    • NAACP: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the largest civil rights organization in the nation, was established in New York State with the purpose of achieving civil rights for all citizens as promised by the U.S. Constitution.
  • The effects of segregation and “Jim Crow” on life in Virginia.
  • The social and political events in Virginia linked to desegregation and Massive Resistance and their relationship to national history.
  • The strategies of critical readers, including analyzing point of view, determining theme, and drawing conclusions from text.
  • How to write effectively for a particular purpose.

Students will be skilled at                                       

  • Interpreting primary source documents.
  • Drawing conclusions and making generalizations.
  • Making connections between past and present.
  • Interpreting ideas and events from different historical perspectives.
  • Evaluating and discussing ideas orally and in writing.
  • Identifying and asking questions that clarify various points of view.
  • Focusing, organizing, and elaborating to construct an effective message for the reader.
  • Crafting and controlling language to demonstrate awareness of the intended audience.
  • Selecting specific information to guide readers purposely through a piece of writing.

This unit plan addresses Virginia Standards of Learning for United States History: 1865 to Present and English and North Carolina Essential Standards for North Carolina and the United States: Creation and Development of the State and Nation (Colonization to Contemporary Times) and English Language Arts.

Download Unit Standards and Objectives

Primary Source Document Analysis

Students use primary source document analysis skills to draw conclusions and make generalizations about a photograph from the 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement.

Download Learning Experience 1

Materials:

Field Trip: The Leaders of the Danville Civil Rights Movement

Students participate in two related activities while visiting The 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement exhibit. Students identify leaders within the movement and explore the theme of leadership through the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Activity A: Exhibit Quest
    • Students engage in a Quest—an educational treasure hunt—to learn about the individuals and organizations that led the Danville Civil Rights Movement.
  • Activity B: The Words of a Leader
    • Students explore the theme of leadership in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech at High Street Baptist Church by creating an original Found Poem.

Download Learning Experience 2

Materials:

Leaders with a Willingness to Stand Up for a Cause

In this final activity, students will write a literary portrait from the perspective of a participant in the Danville Civil Rights Movement to demonstrate their understanding that the interplay among ideas, values, and leadership shape the human condition.

Download Learning Experience 4

Materials:

  • Image 1: SNCC field secretary Cordell Reason teaches a workshop on nonviolent tactics. Danville, Va., 1963. Courtesy, Danny Lyon/Magnum Photos.
  • Image 2: On June 10, 1963, Danville police arrested Thurman Echols, Jr., a local high school student, and other civil rights demonstrators for violating an injunction by Danville Corporation Court judge Archibald M. Aiken, Jr. that severely limited protest activity. Courtesy, Library of Virginia.
  • Image 3: Danville police and firemen used clubs and fire hoses to dispel protesters. Photo by Leon Townsend. Courtesy, Danville Register & Bee.
  • Image 4: In 1963, Langston High School students join other protestors to sing freedom songs and to demonstrate on the steps of the Danville Municipal Building. Courtesy, Library of Virginia.
  • Primary Source Document Analysis ~ Image tool
  • Literary Portrait Rubric

High School Overview

Download Unit Plan

This unit for high school students taking Virginia and United States History (VA) or American History II (NC) is anchored by a field trip to The 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement exhibit at the Danvillian Gallery. Through this series of learning experiences, students will engage with the people and events of the Civil Rights Movement in Danville, Virginia, through the conceptual lens of leadership for social change.

These learning experiences are presented in a sequenced progression, however teachers may pick and choose from these learning experiences as they see fit. A suggested order has been provided that moves from analyzing primary source documents to creating an artistic response to events of the Civil Rights Movement in Danville, VA. Included in this unit is a field trip to The 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement exhibit at the Danvillian Gallery.

Connections to the Protocol for Assessing the Teaching of History (PATH; van Hover, Hicks, & Cotton, 2012) are included in “Teacher Notes” of each learning experience’s instructional plan.

Objectives

Students will understand that

  • The interplay among ideas, values, and leadership shape the human condition, past, present, and future.
  • Tensions between freedom, equality, and power have shaped the political and social development of the United States.

Students will know

  • Key vocabulary:
    • Nonviolent Direct Action: The strategic use of nonviolent tactics and methods to bring an opponent or oppressive party into dialogue to resolve an unjust situation.
    • NAACP: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the largest civil rights organization in the nation, was established in New York State with the purpose of achieving civil rights for all citizens as promised by the U.S. Constitution.
  • The impact of the Brown v. Board of Education decision and how people in Virginia responded to the decision.
  • Conflict and compromise have shaped politics and culture in the United States.
  • The social and political events in Virginia linked to desegregation their relationship to national history.
  • The strategies of critical readers, including using information from texts to clarify understanding of concepts, drawing conclusions and making inferences, and identifying an author’s purpose.
  • How to write effectively for a specific audience and purpose.

Students will be skilled at

  • Analyzing, interpreting, and synthesizing evidence from artifacts and primary and secondary sources to determine characteristics of historical events.
  • Constructing arguments using evidence from multiple sources.
  • Considering multiple perspectives.
  • Analyzing cause-and-effect relationships and explaining how they impact people, places, and events in history.
  • Analyzing multiple connections across time and place and evaluating the influence of the past on contemporary issues.
  • Reading and analyzing a variety of nonfiction texts.
  • Generating, gathering, planning, and organizing ideas for writing to address a specific audience and purpose.

This unit plan addresses Virginia Standards of Learning for Virginia and United States History and 11th grade English and North Carolina Essential Standards for American History II and 11th and 12th grade English Language Arts.

Download Unit Standards and Objectives

Field Trip: The Leaders of the Danville Civil Rights Movement

Students participate in two related activities while visiting The 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement exhibit. Students identify acts of leadership in response to unjust treatment and explore the theme of leadership through the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Activity A: Exhibit Investigation
    • Students engage in an investigation of the exhibit to learn about the events and leaders of the Danville Civil Rights Movement.
  • Activity B: The Words of a Leader
    • Students explore the theme of leadership in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech at High Street Baptist Church by creating an original Found Poem.

Download Learning Experience 2

Materials:

Leaders with a “Willingness to Stand Up for a Cause”

In this final activity, students will create an artistic response to primary source documents relating to the Danville Civil Rights movement to demonstrate their understanding that the interplay among ideas, values, and leadership to shape the human condition.

Download Learning Experience 4

Materials:

Multimedia Resources:

Artistic Response Examples: