The National Civil Rights Museum is committed to providing educators with resources and materials for teaching the struggle for freedom and justice to students. These resources are tools for educators with tips for engaging with the museum on their visit as well as for bringing museum content into the classroom. Each educator resource will focus on an enduring idea and essential questions to broaden the scope of civil rights history. The resources will provide tools to engage students by prompting them to reflect on big questions about the human experience and how the history relates to contemporary events and everyday life. Careful attention is given to ensure the contents meet state standards of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi and Common Core. Additionally, the resources are meant to encourage character development by exploring and critiquing historical examples of strong character and relating it to the students’ lives.
Exhibit-related Learning Links for use by teachers grades 4-12 (modifications for grade level appropriateness encouraged):
Through the links below, educators can connect with trusted sites that may help them succeed. These links will open in another window and are not managed by the museum.
- Best Practices for Common Core Standards
- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
- The National Education Association (NEA)
- Memphis City School Board
- Shelby County School Board
- Memphis City Schools Teacher Effectiveness Initiative
- Gates Foundation Empowering Effective Teachers
COURAGE: This resource explores the definition of courage, and acts of courage as they appear throughout the exhibits. Comparisons of historical courageous efforts to examples from today are provided. View Courage Resource. View Courage PowerPoint presentation.
STANDING UP BY SITTING DOWN: As a resource for both students and educators, the eLearning Sit-In activity is modeled after the museum’s Standing Up By Sitting Down exhibit. Students will virtually walk through the protest experience through a series of questions. The lunch counter sit-ins are an example of the non-violent direct action strategy used by college students that spread across the U.S. in 1960. Click here for the Standing Up eLearning activity.
Teacher’s Guide for Standing Up by Sitting Down eLearning.
BEFORE THE BOYCOTT: This educational resource allows students to view the 1955-57 Montgomery Bus Boycott from the perspective of a newspaper investigative reporter. Students are guided through a series of bus stops where they are given scenarios of the unfair treatment and conditions under which blacks during a bus ride in Montgomery, AL. Click here for the Before the Boycott eLearning activity.
Teacher’s Guide for Before the Boycott eLearning