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This lesson provided by:
Author:Bridgette Cook
System: Butler County
School: Butler County Board Of Education
Lesson Plan ID: 33036

Life Then and Now


Students have read the novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and will compare and contrast the relationship of the blacks and whites in 1930s to the relationship of blacks and whites in 2013.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

Content Standard(s):
ELA2015(6) 1. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RL.6.1]
ELA2015(6) 19. Compare and contrast one author's presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person). [RI.6.9]
ELA2015(6) 31. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly. [SL.6.1]
SS2010(6) United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present2. Describe reform movements and changing social conditions during the Progressive Era in the United States.
SS2010(6) United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present9. Critique major social and cultural changes in the United States since World War II.
Local/National Standards:  
Primary Learning Objective(s):

Compare/discriminate between ideas; assess value of theories; make choices based on argument; verify value of evidence; recognize subjectivity.

Student appraises, assesses, or critiques on a basis of specific standards and criteria.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Describe the personal viewpoint of blacks toward whites in the 1930s.

Describe the personal viewpoint of whites toward blacks in the 1930s.

Identify and articulate similarities and differences of black and white race relations in the 1930s and 2013 using a graphic organizer (Venn Diagram).

Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 31 to 60 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, novel

chart paper

index cards


notes from novel study, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Technology Resources Needed:

Digital projector

Internet-accessible computer


Students should have read the novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Based on the novel, the class has discussed the viewpoint of each race during the 1930s. What do they fear? What are they most proud of?  

Students have interviewed grandparents and other elderly people in the community about life in the 1930s and 2013.

Students should have a working definition of racism.

Students should use notes from novel study.

Students should be familiar with race relations in 2013.

Students are familiar with comparing and contrasting using a Venn Diagram.



1. Students will work in small groups to define the words racism, prejudice, and viewpoint in their own words. Check for understanding. (Think, Pair, Share)

2. Ask students to discuss a time when they experienced racism? (Turn and Talk)

3. Discuss responses from community members and grandparents about race relations in 1930.

4. Ask "Can racism be experienced by all people? Why or why not?" (Turn and Talk)


1. Give two index cards to each student. Students will list incidents of racism that were experienced in the novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry on one card and on the other card, list details from the interviews with grandparents and elderly community members. Check with students for understanding.

2. Teacher will project race relation article on board or give students a hard copy to read.


1. Students will list the similarities of race relations in 1930 and 2013 based on notes and articles. 

2. Students will list the differences of race relations in 1930 and 2013.




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Assessment Strategies:


Students will compare and contrast race relations in 1930 and 2013 using a Venn Diagram.


Students can compare and contrast the educational, economic, and social status of blacks and whites in 1930 to 2013, specifically focusing on the progression or regression of Alabama.


Students will work with a partner to complete task of comparing and contrasting.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
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The Malone Family Foundation
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