This resource is a small group scaffolding activity designed to expose students to different philosophies of lesser known activists during the Civil Rights Movement: Ella Baker, Malcolm X, Jo Ann Robinson, Black Panthers, James Farmer, Septima Clark, and Frannie Lou Hamer. Included in this resource are 9 different mini biographies for each person /group (Malcolm X and Black Panthers each have 2 different biographies) and a graphic organizer handout for students to capture the information they learn. There is also a Brief Constructed Response (BCR) question that has students synthesize all of the information they have learned about different strategies and philosophies of the movement and insert their personal opinion about the most effective one.
I use this resource in my high school classroom by dividing the class into 9 groups. Each group is given copies of the biography of one activist. The groups read and analyze the handout and complete the chart for their assigned activist. Next, the groups use chart paper/ whiteboards to create a brief presentation that summarizes the activist they have studied. The groups then participate in a gallery walk around the classroom to visit the station of all of the activists to learn about them and complete the chart for each activist. There is also space on the chart for the students to ask a question or make a comment about each presentation as they move around the room during the gallery walk. Finally, after a brief discussion of what they have discovered, students compose a BCR response in the space provided on another handout. I make double-sided handouts for the students that have the chart on one side and the BCR question on the other.