Lesson Plans and Readings: Brown v Board 50th Anniversary

Posted by on April 9, 2004

Rethinking Schools is marking the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Brown v. Board of Education with a special expanded issue.

Activists and scholars provide unique perspectives on the Court’s decision, which outlawed “separate but equal” schools for children of different races.

And classroom teachers offer teaching ideas, readings and lessons on segregation, desegregation and the Civil Rights Movement.

You can see the Spring 2004 issue for yourself at http://www.rethinkingschools.org.

We’re also proud to announce that our on-demand PDF-downloading system is now operating. You can buy the complete current issue as a PDF for only $4.95. Or if you subscribe online to the magazine we’ll give you a PDF of the current issue as a welcoming gift. (Your subscription will start with delivery of a hard copy of the same issue.)

Either way we’ll send you an email so you can download the PDF immediately. (The file is about 2.7 MB)

You can order a sub or the current issue PDF at:


Articles in the Spring 2004 issue include:
— “Deconstructing the Brown Myth.” Diana E. Hess warns against the iconization of the Brown decision, and says presenting Brown and its effects as unequivocally positive may be “historical comfort food.” While soothing an immediate need, she says, ultimately it will lull us away from teaching young people how to deal with important and thorny issues.

— “Brown Kids Can’t Be in Our Club.” First-grade teacher Rita Tenorio shares her lessons for introducing young children to issues of race and skin color.

— “Distorting the Civil Rights Legacy.” Barbara Miner examines the misuse of the Civil Rights Movement’s legacy by proponents of private school vouchers.

— “Exploring Race Relations.” Latino seventh-graders in Chicago learn about the Civil Rights Movement as a way to bridge misunderstandings between the black and Latino communities.

— “Warriors Don’t Cry: Brown Comes to Little Rock.” Veteran language arts teacher Linda Christensen takes her students inside the struggle to desegregate Little Rock’s Central High School in the 1950s. This package includes web links to download complete classroom materials for a role play exercise.

— “Brown, Latinos and Equality.” Tony Baez, Provost at Milwaukee Area Technical College, talks about the history of struggle for equal education for Latinos and court cases that helped shape the outcome of Brown v. Board of Education.

— “Closing the Gap.” Ohio State Senator C.J. Prentiss shares her ideas on eliminating achievement gaps between white students and students of color.

— “A School Year Like No Other: Eyes on the Prize.” Bill Bigelow on how he teaches students to walk in the shoes of the courageous young people who were on the front lines of desegregation struggles.

More in "New Resources"

Stay Current in Philly's Higher Education and Nonprofit Sector

We compile a weekly email with local events, resources, national conferences, calls for proposals, grant, volunteer and job opportunities in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.