ALEX Lesson Plan

     

“Scottsboro Boys”: A Trial Which Defined an Age

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Alabama Department of Archives and Hist
System: Informal Education Partner
School: Informal Education Partner
The event this resource created for:Alabama History Education Initiative
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33725

Title:

“Scottsboro Boys”: A Trial Which Defined an Age

Overview/Annotation:

This lesson could be part of a unit study on the Great Depression. The students will view an introductory PowerPoint on the events leading up to the arrest and trials of the nine black teenagers accused of raping two white women on a train traveling through north Alabama. The students will conduct independent research on the trials and then meet in groups to compile the information gathered. Each group will produce a newspaper focusing on the underlying elements of the trials. This lesson was created as a part of the Alabama History Education Initiative, funded by a generous grant from the Malone Family Foundation in 2009. 

Author: Antonio Harrison (Cohort 1: 2009-2010) Wetumpka High School; Elmore County School System; Wetumpka, AL

Adapted by: Bonnie Shanks, Alabama History Education Initiative Consultant; Rebecca Gregory, Alabama History Education Initiative Consultant 

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 11
United States History II: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
6 ) Describe social and economic conditions from the 1920s through the Great Depression regarding factors leading to a deepening crisis, including the collapse of the farming economy and the stock market crash of 1929. [A.1.a., A.1.b., A.1.d., A.1.f., A.1.i., A.1.j., A.1.k.]

•  Assessing effects of overproduction, stock market speculation, and restrictive monetary policies on the pending economic crisis
•  Describing the impact of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act on the global economy and the resulting worldwide depression
•  Identifying notable authors of the 1920s, including John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, and Zora Neale Hurston (Alabama)
•  Analyzing the Great Depression for its impact on the American family
Examples: Bonus Army, Hoovervilles, Dust Bowl, Dorothea Lange

Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government
Course Title: United States History II: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Analyze the social, political, and economic conditions that contributed to the Great Depression.
  • Identify and describe the effects of the Great Depression on American life and art.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • assess
  • identify
  • analyze
  • Great Depression
  • stock market crash
  • overproduction
  • speculation
  • Smoot-Haley Tariff Act
  • John Steinbeck
  • William Faulkner
  • Zora Neale Hurston
  • Bonus Army
  • Hoovervilles
  • Dust Bowl
  • Dorothea Lange
  • Jim Crow
  • Japanese Internment
  • Southern Tenant Farmers' Union
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The social, political, and economic conditions from the 1920s through the Great Depression.
  • Social and political factors and policies that were influenced by and that contributed to the deepening crisis during the Great Depression.
  • Economic factors and policies that contributed to the beginning of the Great Depression and the deepening crisis as the Great Depression continued in the United States and globally, including the effects of overproduction, stock market speculation, restrictive monetary policies, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.
  • The ways authors' works during the Great Depression were influenced by and influenced the social, political, and economic realities of the time.
  • The impact of the Great Depression on class, region, race, and gender relations during the time period of the 1920s to the 1940s.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Analyze the social, political, and economic conditions of a specific historical period.
  • Determine and evaluate the factors that contributed to a specific historical period.
  • Evaluate works of art and literature from a specific time period in order to determine their impact.
  • Determine central ideas of primary and secondary sources.
  • Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • There were various political, social and economic conditions that contributed to the Great Depression.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.11.6- Define economic depression; recognize the general causes of the Great Depression including overproduction of crops, stock market crash; recognize the effects of the Great Depression including collapse of the farm economy, unemployment, bank failure, homelessness and soup kitchens.


Local/National Standards:

National Standards for History, 1996 Standards in History for Grades 5-12 (p. 117) Era 8, Standard 1 – The causes of the Great Depression and how it affected American society B – The student understands how American life changed during the 1930s. Analyze the impact of the Great Depression on the American family and on ethnic and racial minorities. [Consider multiple perspectives]

Primary Learning Objective(s):

The student will analyze the conduct and outcomes of the trials of the “Scottsboro Boys” by taking into consideration the political, social, economic, and religious developments of the 1920s and 1930s.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

91 to 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

• If student computers are unavailable, use library resources related to the “Scottsboro Boys” trials.

• Newsprint, pens, pencil

• Print and reproduce the document packet:

o “For Higher Wages! For Unemployment Insurance! For Recognition of Labor Unions!” Flier for May Day rally sponsored by the Communist Party in Birmingham, Alabama, May 1, 1934

o “Workers - - White and Negro Unite to Win” Flier for May Day rally sponsored by the International Labor Defense to be held in Birmingham, Alabama, May 1, 1934

o “Death Penalty for Crime” Birmingham Reporter, April 25, 1931

o “Judge J. A. Hawkins Undaunted By Threatening Telegrams from International Labor Defense” The Huntsville Daily Times, April 13,1931

o “Death Penalty Properly Demanded in Fiendish Crime of Nine Burly Negroes” The Huntsville Daily Times, March 27, 1931

o “Negroes Riot in Gadsden to Protest Doom” The Huntsville Daily Times, April 10, 1931

o “Revolting in Last Degree in Story of Girls” The Huntsville Daily Times, March 26, 1931

o “How the Nine Arrests in Scottsboro Were Effected” The Huntsville Daily Times, March 26, 1931

o Letter from Judge W.W. Callahan in Decatur, Alabama to Governor Benjamin Miller in Montgomery, Alabama, November 14, 1933

• Rubric for completed project

• PowerPoint: The Threads of the 1920s Weave a 1930s Tragedy: “Scottsboro Boys” Trials

• Questions for Study and Reflection 

Technology Resources Needed:

• Computer with digital projector

• PowerPoint (v. ’97-2003) – If you have a newer version, a viewer (free) can be downloaded from the internet.

• Printer

• Student access to computers with internet access

Background/Preparation:

Background information for teacher:

• Several documents are available on the Alabama Department of Archives and History Web site that teachers and students may be interested in reading in preparation for this lesson or for their assignment.

“Death Penalty for Crime” Birmingham Reporter, April 25, 1931

“Judge J. A. Hawkins Undaunted By Threatening Telegrams from International Labor Defense” The Huntsville Daily Times, April 13,1931

“Death Penalty Properly Demanded in Fiendish Crime of Nine Burly Negroes” The Huntsville Daily Times, March 27, 1931

“Negroes Riot in Gadsden to Protest Doom” The Huntsville Daily Times, April 10, 1931

 “Revolting in Last Degree in Story of Girls” The Huntsville Daily Times, March 26, 1931

 “How the Nine Arrests in Scottsboro Were Effected” The Huntsville Daily Times, March 26, 1931

Letter from Judge W.W. Callahan in Decatur, Alabama to Governor Benjamin Miller in Montgomery, Alabama, November 14, 1933

• The Encyclopedia of Alabama has an article on the Scottsboro Trials.

• Extensive information about the Scottsboro Trials can be found at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law.

• PBS produced a film, Scottsboro: An American Tragedy, which has activities, an interactive timeline, and additional primary sources.

 

 

 

Students should have studied the decade of the Twenties and be familiar with:

• Racism o Ku Klux Klan

o Jim Crow laws

• Anti-Semitism

o Leo Frank lynching

o Henry Ford (Dearborn Independent)

• Communism

o Red Scare

o Palmer Raids

• Sectionalism

o States’ rights

• Classism

o Uneven distribution of wealth.

• Students should be able to explain the effects of the Great Depression.

• Students should be familiar with online research strategies.

  Procedures/Activities: 

Engagement/Motivation Activity: Ask, “How would you feel if you were falsely charged with a crime for which you could be executed? What resources would you have with which to defend yourself?” Allow students to discuss.

Show the PowerPoint. Allow time for discussion during the presentation. Have students write the “Questions for Study and Reflection” in their notebooks.

Tell students that the products of this assignment will be group-constructed newspapers which report on the “Scottsboro Boys” trial(s). Each newspaper will include each of the following five underlying elements of the trials: • Racism • Anti-Semitism • Communism • Sectionalism • Classism

Assign each student one of the five underlying elements of the trials. The students will research his/her element independently using the internet, attached document packet, and/or library resources.

Assign students to groups so that each element is represented by a student in the group.

Each group will create a newspaper reporting the events of the arrest and trials. Groups may report objectively or from a particular viewpoint. The newspaper must include: • name for the newspaper

• a motto

• at least four articles with titles and bylines

• at least one editorial

• at least two letters to the editor

• at least one political cartoon.

Display these instructions for the duration of the newspaper assignment.

At the conclusion of the time allotted for the project, the groups will share their newspapers.

Conclude the lesson by conducting a class discussion based on the “Questions for Study and Reflection.”



Attachments:
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  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

• Evaluate student-created newspaper using attached rubric.

• Suggested essay topic: o Explain four ways in which the Scottsboro Boys trial reflected the time period.

Acceleration:

• Have students read To Kill a Mockingbird and compare the fictional trial of Tom Robinson to that of the nine teenagers charged with the rape of Ruby Bates and Victoria Price.

• Have students analyze the media coverage, mostly newspaper, of the trial.

Intervention:

The student could be given a copy of PowerPoint.


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.