Civil Rights March on Washington Gallery Walk & Primary Source Analysis

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If you are looking for engaging civil rights movement activities, you won’t find anything else like this! Your students will become historians as they analyze the official March on Washington organizing manual that was published prior to the demonstration. This primary source manual will give your students insight into the planning, purpose, and intention behind the historic March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream Speech.” After completing the analysis activity, students will engage in a gallery walk, where they will view 30+ photographs from the March on Washington that show how the day unfolded from beginning to end. Everything your students need to analyze, interpret, reflect, and journal about this civil rights event is included within this resource.

What is a Gallery Walk?

A gallery walk is a classroom-based active learning strategy where students silently move throughout the room to view images and captions related to a particular topic or concept (in this case, the March on Washington). Students record their reflections on a graphic organizer. Images are placed on the walls around the classroom. I like to dim the lights and hang twinkle lights (or Christmas lights) along the wall or floor to create an illuminating effect similar to a museum or art gallery. Adding quiet music is also a nice effect. This resource includes 30+ gallery images.

What is the Primary Source Analysis?

There is no better way to understand the past than to analyze primary sources. Your students will become historians! They will hold, flip through, read, and analyze the official March on Washington For Jobs and Freedom organizing manual from 1963. This manual was given out prior to the event. The pamphlet laid out the details of the event, the purpose and intention behind the demonstration, and more. Your students will work with partners to analyze the document using the provided analysis sheets. The analysis questions will help your students understand that each historian uses their own set of skills and experiences to analyze the source. He or she may not come up with the exact same interpretation of the document, however if one is not careful, a wrong interpretation could be reached. The analysis sheets serve as a guide, and lead into the comprehension questions also included in the packet.

What is Included in the Student Packet?

A Glossary of terms is included in the Student Packet. Students are encouraged to reference the glossary for terms that are unfamiliar as they analyze the document.

Analysis Sheets are included with questions to help guide students through interpretation of the document.

Two Comprehension Sheets are included. One is multiple choice & true/false. The second document includes short answer questions. These can be completed after the analysis activity.

A Gallery Walk Reflection sheet is included. This is open-ended for students to record their thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they walk through the gallery.

A Journal Entry sheet is also included. After completing the gallery walk, students write a journal entry as though he or she were a participant at the event.

The Final Reflection sheet is meant to encourage students to think about ways they can get involved in special interests today.

This resource also includes a Teacher Tips sheet with printing directions and ideas for implementation, as well as ANSWER KEYS with possible answers.

Thank you! Have a blessed day.

Michelle McDonald, B.A.E.

Social Studies Education, K-12

Elementary Education K-8

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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.
Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social studies.


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