USF's WebQuest 

Teacher's Page

Unit Summary Teacher's Resources Day 1 Lesson
Day 2 Lesson Day 3 Lesson Day 4 Lesson
Day 5 Lesson Conclusion Student's Web Quest

Web Quest Title: Brown Vs. The Board of Education of Topeka Kansas / The 1954 Supreme Court Ruling that changed the history of education.

Dear Colleague: This Unit Plan has been designed to educate today's student on the historical 1954 Supreme Court Ruling which declared that segregated schools were unconstitutional.  This unit begins with a brief history of Plessy v. Ferguson and the Jim Crow Laws which began the legacy of Separate but equal, followed with a discussion and understanding of the role of American schools. The unit will include the five court cases which were brought before the Supreme Court against segregation in schools, followed by the Supreme Court Ruling and it's famous statement "with all deliberate speed"  the unit will then discuss the massive response of citizens as well as school districts, "Little Rock Nine," the National Guard, and President Eisenhower.

Author: Ms. Adams               

Date: April 7, 2006             

Unit Summary: 


  1. Students will be able to explain the effects of Jim Crow laws on American education.

  2. Students will be able to define the role that the Brown case played in American history.

  3. Students will be able to explain the role of government as it pertains to the Brown case.

  4. Students will be able to identify the aftermath of the Brown decision and it's effects on American education.

    NCSS Theme:                                                                Florida Sunshine State Standards


   Days: 5


The content of this unit deals with what happened before, during and after the Supreme Courts decision to desegregate public schools.  This content contains information about public reaction to the decision to desegregate public schools. The content gives an overview of those people involved in this historic event, including,; Local Citizens, Local Government, National Government, Civil Rights Activists, and the famous Little Rock Nine. The unit will thoroughly go over different aspects and perspectives of the Brown Case by using primary and secondary sources.


Lectures, class discussions, cooperative learning activity, think-pair-share activity, video, and semantic feature analysis

WebQuest  Summary:


1. Students will understand the various aspects and perspectives of the "Brown Decision" by searching  for and gathering information from websites provided in the web quest. 

2. Students will examine historical figures and events that they deem most important to be used in their diagram presentations by searching websites. 

3. Students will analyze facts and data that will be used in their outlines by going to various websites.



The content contains information on different aspects of the Educational system in American history as it pertains to African American and White American people. The information gained includes historical time lines, figures, and events. This web quest will be done on the 3rd and 4th day of the unit plan, students will present their project in front of their peers on the 5th day of the unit plan.


Cooperative learning activity, searching the web, and class presentation.              

Teachers Resources

Unit Information:

Background Resources

Web-based Subject Matter Content
 Documents related to Brown v. Board of education/

Federal Records pertaining to the Brown case / 

A Civil Rights Chronology /
order of operation in the Brown case/
The History Channel
History World
The Library of Congress
Digital History

Lynching and Race Riots in the United States,1880-1950

Web Pedagogy Content
  Radical Pedagogy /
critical pedagogy /

Valley of the Shadow

The History Place
The History Place

 Other Resources
  The History Place <>
Slavery in America 

Unit Lesson Sequence

Day 1    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts

(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)
Bell Work: Access Prior Knowledge:


  1. Segregation
  2. Desegregation
  3. Civil Rights
Overhead projector/ Chalkboard
Attention Getter/ Class Discussion: Go over bell work questions:
  • What is segregation?
  • What is desegregation?
  • Why are these terms important to understand when discussing American history?
  • What is Civil Rights?
  • Why was the Civil Rights movement so important?
  • What was the impact of the movement?
  • Was the Civil Rights movement effective?
Class Participation
Lecture: The Civil Rights Movement brought about much change during the 1950's through the 1960's. These changes were long overdue in our nations history, and did not come easily. Many Citizens fought day and night in attempts to include African Americans in the mainstream society enjoyed by white Americans. In order to obtain their goals, laws had to change.
  • What laws had to be changed?
  • Where did these laws come from?
  • By the 1890's segregation, or the separation of the races was a prominent feature of life in the South.
  • Southern Sates formed a segregated society by passing "Jim Crow Laws."
  • Jim Crow Laws required African Americans and Whites to be separated in almost every public place where they might come into contact with each other.
  • In 1896 the Supreme Court upheld Jim Crow laws and segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson, a case that involved a Louisiana law requiring separate sections on trains for African Americans. The court ruled in favor of segregation.
  • These facilities were separate, but in no way equal.
  •  States spent much more money on schools and other facilities for whites than on those for African Americans.
  • This "Separate But Equal" doctrine provided a legal foundation for segregation that imposed enormous challenges on African Americans who were trying to recover from Slavery, this doctrine lasted for nearly 60 years.
  • During the late 19th century, following the emancipation of millions of African American Slaves, came increased violence against African Americans. This violence was committed by lynching, which claimed the lives of thousands of African Americans, and became a popular act committed by whites, that became a show, and picnic gathering where many whites would come out to watch the lynching being committed.
  • During the turn of the century, when post cards had become so popular, it was normal to see pictures of African Americans being lynched, while whites came out to watch and enjoy the gruesome act.


Textbook "The American Journey" Pages:515-516

Group Activity: Students will join groups of 5 groups and instructed to do a text search, they will gather information on one of the following subjects:
  1. When was the NAACP founded? What does it stand for? Why was it founded? How did it help in the civil rights movement?
  2. What was Truman's issue in 1948 concerning segregation in the military? What was Truman's challenge? What was the outcome?
  3. What was Brown v. the Board of Education about? Why was the supreme court involved? What year did this take place?
  4. What happened on September.4 , 1957 following the Brown decision? What was the dilemma? How was this dilemma resolved?
  5. What was the SCLC? How was it founded? Who was its leader? What is its role in the civil rights movement?
Textbook Chapter 29
Student Teaching: Students will get up and share the information they found with the class, class members will take notes in their interactive notebooks. Class participation


Day 2    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts

(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)
Bell Work: From Day 1/ Class discussion, using your interactive notebook, write what you learned about the following years:
  1. 1909
  2. 1948
  3. 1954
  4. 1957
  5. 1957
Open notebook / Answers taken from notes taken on day 1
Class Discussion: overview of yesterdays activity, questions taken  
Movie: Students will view a movie and take notes for a pop quiz "Eyes On The Prize" Brown v. the Board of Education v.4
Class Discussion: Question:
  • What was most striking about this film?
  • What captured your attention most?
  • Why?
  • How did you feel about what you saw?
  • Did anything shock you? Why?
  • How do you think the students felt?
  • What would you have done?
  • Why was everyone so upset about these students joining a white school?
  • What would schools be like if those students had not made that first attempt to desegregate Little Rock High?
  • Did their efforts change American School as it had been run?

Day 3    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts

(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)
Lecture: PowerPoint Presentation / Students will follow along and take notes. PowerPoint Presentation click link below:


WebQuest Students will begin their webquest. Students will be broken into groups of two and assigned a topic to research for their power point presentation. webquest.htm

Day 4    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts

(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)
WebQuest Students will be doing research on a topic and preparing a power point presentation webquest.htm

Day 5    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts

(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)
Student Presentations Students will present their Web Quest PowerPoint in front of class

Students will turn in a copy of their PowerPoint and final paper.


Students WebQuest :

Go to Students Section (Give this address to your students)


The Students will have a new insight into the history of American education. They will have learned new terms and come to a complete understanding about this portion of the civil rights movement.


n"The American Journey" McGraw-Hill National Geographic Society Chapter 17 and 29
n 1954-1992 The Struggle for Black Equality Harvard Sitkoff


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