The Sixties: Activity Pack

The Sixties: Art and Activism



The 1960s were an era of great cultural change in the United States. The Civil Rights movement was in full swing, the Vietnam War ignited protests across the country, and rock and roll was king of the charts. These lesson plans are based on History Detectives episodes that examine cultural artifacts from the Sixties, including a first-hand account of the Vietnam War, Bob Dylan’s electric guitar, and an amp from Motown Record’s house bass player.



Lesson Plans

Notes from the Ho Chi Minh Trail: Evaluating the Vietnam War

Students encounter an eyewitness diary of a member of the Communist Youth Party and soldier from North Vietnam, then analyze arguments for and against the Vietnam War to determine what made this war so controversial.

Dylan Plugs In and Sells Out: How One Moment Defined a Generation

Students learn about Bob Dylan’s transformation from folk hero to blues rocker, then compare and contrast the reactions to Bob Dylan’s playing electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival in order to understand how that one event came to symbolize larger social changes.  

Hitsville USA: Uncovering Motown’s Role in the Civil Rights Movement

Students learn about bassist James Jamerson and the role of Motown Records in the Civil Rights Movement. They then analyze Motown’s role in the desegregation of popular entertainment.


Related Reproducibles



These lessons are aligned to the Common Core Standards for History/Social Studies and the National Standards for History.