ALEX Lesson Plan


Life Then and Now

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Bridgette Cook
System: Butler County
School: Butler County Board Of Education
  General Lesson Information  
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.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
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]
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion. [SL.6.1a]
b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed. [SL.6.1b]
c. Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion. [SL.6.1c]
d. Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing. [SL.6.1d]
SS2010 (6) United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
2. Describe reform movements and changing social conditions during the Progressive Era in the United States.
  • Relating countries of origin and experiences of new immigrants to life in the United States
  • Example: Ellis Island and Angel Island experiences
  • Identifying workplace reforms, including the eight-hour workday, child labor laws, and workers' compensation laws
  • Identifying political reforms of Progressive movement leaders, including Theodore Roosevelt and the establishment of the national park system
  • Identifying social reforms of the Progressive movement, including efforts by Jane Adams, Clara Barton, and Julia Tutwiler (Alabama)
  • Recognizing goals of the early civil rights movement and the purpose of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Explaining Progressive movement provisions of the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twenty-first Amendments to the Constitution of the United States
  • SS2010 (6) United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
    9. Critique major social and cultural changes in the United States since World War II.
  • Identifying key persons and events of the modern Civil Rights Movement
  • Examples: persons—Martin Luther King Jr.; Rosa Parks; Fred Shuttlesworth; John Lewis (Alabama)
    events—Brown versus Board of Education, Montgomery Bus Boycott, student protests, Freedom Rides, Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March, political assassinations (Alabama)
  • Describing the changing role of women in United States' society and how it affected the family unit
  • Examples: women in the workplace, latchkey children
  • Recognizing the impact of music genres and artists on United States' culture since World War II
  • Examples: genres—protest songs; Motown, rock and roll, rap, folk, and country music
    artists—Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Hank Williams (Alabama)
  • Identifying the impact of media, including newspapers, AM and FM radio, television, twenty-four hour sports and news programming, talk radio, and Internet social networking, on United States' culture 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).

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    31 to 60 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    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.





    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.