Today’s document from the National Archives is a copy of the Implementation Decree resulting from Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in the landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education 1954. The ruling, handed down on May 17, 1954, nullified the doctrine of separate but equal and would lead to the integration of public schools across the country. No study of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States is complete without a lesson on Brown v. Board of Education.
The National Archives has produced an in-depth lesson plan using primary documents including the Implementation Decree mentioned above. The National Archives also has a timeline of events and cases leading up to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The Library of Congress also offers a timeline of events and cases leading up to the Brown v. Board decision. The LOC’s timeline has more depth than that offered on the National Archives site.
Land Mark Cases and the Library of Congress both offer lesson plans on Brown v. Board of Education. The lesson plans on both sites use political cartoons as the basis of the lessons. The Land Mark Cases lesson plan can be found here and the LOC’s lesson plan can be found here.
The Anti-Defamation League has published six lesson plans related to Brown v. Board of Education. These lessons cover events leading up to the case, the case itself, and the implications of the decision.
Applications for Education
As I mentioned above, no study of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States is complete without a lesson on Brown v. Board of Education. The lessons above are geared toward high school students, but could easily be adapted for use in a middle school setting.