MLK Statue

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, here are some projects on the Civil Rights Movement in U.S. history. I found these on our website, but there are many, many more to be found if you do a little digging. (Just be sure they’re Gold Standard!)

Resilience Cafe (8th grade)

This one is from BIE’s PBLU.org website. It was first created at High Tech High and teaches content standards for ELA as well as U.S. History. Students read about resilient heroes of the past, find people in their community to interview who show similar qualities, and write and perform spoken word poetry about their own resilience.

Grand Rapids Civil Rights Tour (High School)

This came to us from our National Faculty member Mike Kaechele, who described it in this blog post. I’ve seen other projects like it; it’s a “classic” U.S. History project where students investigate local history and create something to share their stories. In this case it’s a podcast, but it could also be a museum exhibit, community walking tour with signage (or augmented reality information shown on smartphones), a Google maps tour, or a book.

Analyzing Perspectives Through Primary Sources (5th grade)

EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning) produced this video about a project in which 5th graders analyzed primary sources about American slavery, then wrote fictional memoirs from the perspective of someone who was affected by slavery.

Martin Luther King, Jr. at the National Mall in Washington DC. His hand is raised waving at the crowd.

Why Should We Celebrate Black History Month? (High School)

BIE National Faculty member Dara Savage blogged about this recently. The idea for this project came from the fact that the 2016 Academy Awards had no black nominees for an Oscar in major categories. Her students were angry, which led to a project in which they created and produced their own awards show as a school-wide Black History Month celebration.

John Larmer, Editor in Chief
John is editor in chief at PBLWorks, where he has helped create professional development workshops and PBL curriculum materials. He writes for and edits the PBL Blog, and is the co-author of several books on PBL.