ACTIVITY 2: Make Primary Sources Come Alive

Grades 6-8 Activity

The American Civil Rights Movement Timeline

MA Standard:

2018 Massachusetts Curriculum Framework 5.T5.9


Students will use the resources in the Pack to construct a timeline of the American civil rights movement.


Close Reading


Each student will use the resources in the LaunchPack to construct a timeline of nine key events that occurred during the civil rights movement. Teachers should conduct a number of activities that encourage students to develop inquiry about the civil rights movement by completing a See-Think-Wonder with the lunch counter sit-in image included in the pack. Encourage students to read various articles in the pack and identify the event and their own reactions to major events in the civil rights movement using the Events/Ideas/Reaction Graphic Organizer. Students will summarize their learning by constructing a Visual Timeline.

Graphic Organizer:

Visual Timeline

Graphic Organizer:


Graphic Organizer:


Suggested Questions:

  • Why did the U.S. need a civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s if the U.S. was founded on freedom and equality?
  • What are the most effective methods of creating social change?
  • What are civil rights, and how are they defined?
  • How can the ordinary citizen influence the lives of Americans today?
  • What are the names of some people who played a role in the civil rights movement?

Possible Extension:

Encourage students to research another human rights topic. Using a Venn Diagram, students are to compare and contrast the two human rights movements and the progress the movements have made over time.

SEL Connection:

Social Awareness – Discuss how social awareness relates to the civil rights movement.

Try LaunchPacks activities built for Massachusetts educators.

Let us help you!

Find out how Expedition: Learn! can accelerate your students’ learning.

Let Britannica help build the right training plan for your staff.

Let us help you!

Find out how Expedition: Learn! can accelerate your students’ learning.

Expedition: Learn! Scope & Sequence

Click to expand

View the available lessons for elementary and middle school science and social studies

Expedition: Learn! Teacher Toolkits

Expedition: Learn! Reading Levels

Choose between 4 reading levels to meet the needs of every learner

Expedition: Learn! Spark Video

Each Expedition: Learn! Lesson begins with a video to spark students’ interest in the topic


Britannica Expedition: Learn!

Ignite the spark of curiosity and accelerate learning

You are reading a Middle School level article.

For Elementary or High School reading levels, please contact us.