Teacher Review for PBS LearningMedia: Civil Rights

Well curated collection of essays, media, and primary sources

Amy K.
Classroom teacher
Cornell Senior High School
Coraopolis, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Social Studies
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time More than 15 minutes
Great for Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
How I Use It
PBS Learning Media Civil Rights Collection provides a variety of lessons to use in the classroom including lesson plans and around a dozen curated topics. There are videos, audio clips, and more to use as individual lessons, or as a complete unit. I can use the materials as a whole class assignment, or I can assign individual topics, or have students work self-paced.
My Take
There are a wealth of resources for teaching Civil Rights. The Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s has the distinction of being one of the first historical American movements that was caught on video and audio tape. The primary sources from this time period are abundant, and this site does a great job of bringing them together by topic. The site makes clear that its journey begins with the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case, but in that I think it's lacking the historical context of the movements that came before. PBS in general has many sites devoted to Civil Rights, and sites that include the centuries-long struggle of African Americans, Jim Crow, etc. This is not that site. On the other hand, this site touches topics that others dance around, in particular the systematic nature of racial oppression in our country, and the roots of white supremacism. Overall this is a fantastic resource in understanding the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s that can be used in a variety of ways.