Civil Rights and Non-Violence


For Educators

Welcome to the Independent Lens lesson plans for FEBRUARY ONE: The Story of the Greensboro Four. These two lessons examine how the Greensboro sit-ins were part of a tradition of protests that included nonviolent approaches and music as a means of publicizing injustice. Students will also examine a few of the many ways in which African Americans were treated unfairly under Jim Crow, and analyze methods of nonviolent protest.

These lessons are directed toward grades 7 through 12, for use in the following subject areas: language arts, social studies, history and civics.

1. The Greensboro Sit-Ins: A Continuing Tradition of Nonviolent Protest
Grade levels: 8 to 12
The Greensboro Four were adamant that their lunch counter protest be nonviolent. Use this lesson to teach students about the philosophy of nonviolence, not only in the Greensboro sit-ins, but also in the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.
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2. Breaking the Code: Actions and Songs of Protest
Grade levels: 7 to 12
After examining some of the conditions against which the students demonstrated in the Greensboro sit-ins, invite students to discuss the purposes of protest music in publicizing injustices and write their own song lyrics describing the sit-ins.
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