Social Justice Unit Map and Resources

8th Grade
Social Justice Link to Jim Crow Laws and Literacy Test of the
time (bottom right) Teacher
Resources for Civil Rights and Social Justice
Information related to the 1963 Birmingham church bombing:
Dudley Randall’s “Ballad of Birmingham”
In Memory of Four Little Girls
The "Four Little Girls" Movie Website
Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement
History Learning Site
Alabama Department of History
The16th Street Baptist Church Bombing
Information related to the civil rights movement:
Washington Post Newspaper Article
The Martin Luther King Home Page
National Civil Rights Museum
Western Michigan University's Timeline of the American Civil Rights Movement
The "Powerful Days in Black and White" Photo Exhibit
8th Grade
What is social justice?
What is just?
Dr. Martin Luther King
Letter from a
Birmingham Jail
Watson’s Go
Current news
articles on
Essential Questions: Are acts of civil disobedience justified even if they break the law?
Acts of civil disobedience include sit ins, boycotts, marches, demonstrations, protests,
Prep/Hook: Read articles about current civil disobedience from across the
globe. Jigsaw and share information on how a law was broken and the desired
change (SL 1a, b,d)
Examples: Muslim girl who stood up to Taliban, Occupy Wall Street, Tiananmen
Square. Discuss the legal vs moral dilemma
Read 2 articles from the Civil Rights time period that are on similar topics but
opposing viewpoints. (RI1, RI3, RI 4, RI 6, RI 9). Suggestions for reading the
articles include annotation/ sticky note strategies. Carefully craft your questions
to lead a seminar discussion of the opposing viewpoints and match the
Read Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail (SL 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d)
Writing Post Article reading: Return to the essential question: Are acts of civil
disobedience justified even if they break the law? Ask students to write citing
evidence from the articles and letter they read.
8th Grade
The Watson’s Go to Birmingham
Essential Questions:
How does history intersect with literature?
How does the Civil Rights Era surface in literature and what does this add to our knowledge
about this historical period?
Students will participate in book talk of the novel. They will write questions on
assigned chapters, record unfamiliar vocabulary, and make connections to share with
their group.
Plot RL2
Character RL2
Setting RL2
Theme RL2
Read a primary source about the church bombing
RI9 Compare 2 accounts
Reading the novel
RL6 Point of view text annotation with 3 column notes
What the text says
What Kenny thinks/feels
What I understand/ think
Writing Opportunities
W2 How do the brothers, Kenny and Byron, change from the start of the novel to the
RL1, RL3 Reveal aspects of a character: Create a bubble map for Kenny and/ or Byron
at the beginning of the story. Create a second bubble map to describe them at the end
of the story.
Video Extension
“Eyes on the Prize” PBS video-lots of great clips—free to us from NCWise Owl
And/or the Frontline (also PBS) video on Class Divided (about the teacher who divided her
kids by eye color…