This year marks the 68th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education, in which the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the separate but equal doctrine in American public schools. It is important to remember that many actions predicated this ruling, starting with the first school desegregation suit in 1848. Teaching Brown vs. Board of Education is easy with all of the available free resources!
Resources surrounding the background of Brown vs. Board of Education are plentiful and accessible for grade levels from elementary to high school and everything in between. You can teach it using different media like video, primary sources, and text. Monroe Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas, is now a national historic site. The National Park Service provides information and lesson plans. The Brown Foundation provides a virtual tour of the site. The Library of Congress exhibition Brown v. Board at Fifty: “With an Even Hand” is available online and provides an informative timeline of the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling journey.
Whatever your teaching style or level, there are many lesson plans available. PBS Learning hosts a Brown vs. Board of Education lesson plan using video and supporting materials for grades 3-12. iCivics provides a middle/high school mini-lesson. Elementary students can learn about the people involved in Brown vs. Education through a lesson plan from the National Park service. There are also quality lessons available for middle and high school from reliable sources like C-Span, Georgia College, the Annenberg Institute, and the Washington state courts using various media and primary sources. However you teach it, it is a fascinating topic for students!
Engage your students this May with Brown vs. Board of Education! As always, check out TeachersFirst for resources and blog posts to assist you with bringing history alive in your classroom. Have a favorite Brown vs. Board of Education lesson idea you use in the classroom? Please share it in the comments below.