Welcome to the 1950s lesson

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1.55 MB   |   12 pages

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This was one of the best lessons I ever taught to acquaint the kids with the struggling dichotomy of the "Golden Era." I used it as a preface to reading Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun.

I cut printer paper into circles, "coins", each student received one. Their task was to write words that came to mind after they watched each video.

After they watch the first set of videos, they flip their "coin" to do the same - write down words that come to mind after each video - for the second half of the powerpoint videos.

The first set of videos depict the 50s as glorious, pristine and perfectly organized and happy.

The second half of the videos show the racist, oppressive and brutally inhumane truths of the era.

By the end, the whole class has two very different sides of one coin, that they themselves understood via watching and just writing down what intuitively came to them. From here, the essential questions and themes make so much more sense to them in a way in which they feel they have a personal stake.

I focused on being an agent of change in society throughout this lesson, and every year, all my 10th graders had a stake in that too. This is an excellent way to introduce any reading from this era (in my so clearly humble opinion ;-)

On the last two slides of the powerpoint, I've copied and pasted the full "official" lesson plan (common core and administrative friendly) However I am doing this from a Mac that doesn't work well with power point, so hopefully it is all there. If you have any issues, let me know and I will send it separately.

I end this unit with a research paper on civil rights, which I will upload as a separate lesson.
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Welcome to the 1950s lesson
Welcome to the 1950s lesson
Welcome to the 1950s lesson
Welcome to the 1950s lesson