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Make a Civil Rights Timeline: A Black History Month Activity

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Make a Civil Rights Timeline: A Black History Month Activity
Make a Civil Rights Timeline: A Black History Month Activity
Image: Amanda Morin

There are a lot of things to learn about in February. It’s American Heart Month. It’s the month for Valentine’s Day activities and a time to do some 100th day of school activities with your child. February is also Black History Month. You can help your child learn more about the more modern aspects of Black History by making a Civil Rights timeline with her.

Goal of Activity: Your child will learn more about the history of the Civil Rights Movement by creating a timeline of important events in its history.

Skills Targeted:historical perspective, research skills, making a timeline

Materials Needed:

  • posterboard or construction paper
  • Internet access
  • markers
  • ruler

Making a Civil Rights Timeline

Begin by showing your child the timeline above as a demonstration of what a timeline looks like. As you can see, the timeline asks questions about certain events, but does not explain them. It’s your child’s job to research the answers to the questions and provide more information about them.

Once she has taken notes on the events, have her turn her paper or posterboard lengthwise or tape a few pieces of paper together to make one long sheet. Have her use a rule to draw a line down the middle of the page, and then fill in the dates and information about the history of Civil Rights.

Here are some important dates in the history of Civil Rights and some questions your child can answer to create her timeline (click on the links to find more information about each event):

1954: What was the Brown vs. the Board of Education court case? Why is it important?

1955: How did Rosa Parks take a stand and what happened?

1957: What happened in Little Rock, Arkansas this year?

1960: What happened in a Woolworth's in Greensboro, N.C.?

1960: What happened to CORE members in August of this year?

1961: Who was Medgar Evers? What happened to him?

1961: What was the March on Washington and who led it?

1963: What tragic event occurred in a church in Birmingham, Alabama?

1964: What was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and who signed it into law?

1964: What happened to Malcolm X and who was he?

1965: What was the importance of the Voting Rights Act?

1965: Who was Martin Luther King, Jr. and what happened to him this year?

1968: What was the Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education case about?

1971: Whose veto did Congress override to pass the Civil Rights Restoration Act?

1992: Who was Rodney King and how did he have an effect on the world?

2003: What 41-year-old crime was Edgar Ray Killen convicted of this year?

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