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Birmingham was Bombed


In this learning activity, students will describe the events of the Sixteenth Street Church bombing in Birmingham as part of the Modern Civil Rights Movement by writing a TV script about the event.  Students will write a mock newscast based on the events that happened at the church bombing.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    The student will be able to describe the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham as part of events from the modern Civil Rights Movement.

    Activity Details

    This learning activity can be completed after a lesson taught in the Modern Civil Rights Movement.  Students can either read the book The Watsons go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis or watch the movie to help understand the events that took place during the Sixteenth Street Church bombing. 

    After reading the novel, watching the movie, or exploring information about life in the 1960s, students will imagine what a news report from that day would have looked like.  They will view the Wonderopolis resource to understand the important components of a script before getting into small groups to write their own newscasts.  The teacher will combine the scripts and students will create a short film either independently or with teacher assistance.  The final project will be recorded and edited to appear aged.  The students can present their newscast during Black History Month if they wish. 

    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    The teacher will use the written scripts and final product to determine if learner objectives were met. Contributions to the group, appropriate language and events, and ability to discuss the project can all determine evaluation.

    Variation Tips

    Writing can be completely individual or group, as determined by the teacher. It is helpful to create a list of possible characters before writing. Student groups, depending on age, might be responsible for filming and editing completely on their own. Topics for filming could be based on any historical event and paired with any historical fiction text.

    Approximate Duration

    Related Learning Activities

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    • Students will have read The Watson's go to Birmingham, watched the movie, or researched similar Civil Rights Act history and have knowledge of the 16th Street Church Bombing
    • Decide on where to film. Filming can be done without reference to backgrounds or can go so far as to have sets and costumes.
    • Access to and knowledge of how to use a flip camera, Microsoft Movie Maker, or similar tools is necessary if completing the film.

    Materials and Resources

    Digital Tools / Resources