Lesson Plan

What does freedom mean and how has teh meaning changed over time?

An Interactive Lesson on Freedom
Kristy (GAE) L.
Media specialist/librarian
P.S. 200 Benson
Brooklyn, United States
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Students will be able to identify how Americans have struggled for freedom and equal rights.  Students will create a comic strip depicting a related narrative.


CCLS: 5.W.8 - Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources, summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work and provide a list of sources.

English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 The Hook & Instruction

Teaching Point: What does freedom mean and how has teh meaning changed over time?

Through an interactive flipchart, introduce students to the vocabulary of the lesson including: freedom, slavery, protest, civil rights, equal rights, emancipation, suffrage.  Have students preview related photos and meanings.

Whole Group Resource: BrainPop Interactive - Civil Rights

Hook the attention of the children by showing an interactive Brainpop video, Civil Rights.  Assist students with completing the various activities on the Brainpop  website.

2 Guided Discussion

Activity: Conversing

Questions for discussion:

Guide students through a class discussion about freedom and the history of freedom in America.  Ask questions such as: "How have Americans struggled for freedom and equal rights?"  (Depth Of Knowledge 3)

Chart responses of the flipchart on the Interactive White Board.

Next, provide an opportunity for students to "Turn & Talk."  Ask "Why should all people have equal rights?" (Depth Of Knowledge 3)  Provide ample time for students to listen to each other's responses and discuss their opinion.  Then guide students through a class share, recording responses on the interactive flipchart. 

3 Interactive Learning Acitvities

Comic Life
Free to try, Paid

The activity is student choice.  Students should have about 20 minutes to work on the individual project.  Students should already be familiar with the programs Kidpix and Comix websites.  If they are not, take a few minutes to demonstrate the most common tools within each program for the students.  Post the choices and directions on the interactive white board for the students to refer back to. 

Kidpix: Draw a picture illustrating a scene where someone is fighting for equal rights.  Write a sentence or label your picture.

Comix: Create a comic strip illustrating  scene where someone is fighting for equal rights. 

4 Share Session

Activity: Conversing

Share - 5 minutes

Your share provides an opportunity for the students to discuss the information they learned about freedom and equal rights.  Share their narratives, comic strips or scenes as time allows.