Travels with Charley - Jim Crow and Lynch Laws Introduction

Download "Jim Crow and Lynch Law" as a Word file

Discipline

History, Civics

Grade Level

6 – 12

Type of Activity

Lecture, Pre-reading, Introductory, Ethics

Objectives

  • Students will understand Jim Crow and its origins
  • Students will understand lynching

Overview

The PowerPoint presentation, “Controversial Issues, Jim Crow and Lynch Law” is meant to be adapted and used as an introduction to the roots and impact of Jim Crow laws and Lynch Law. The purpose of this presentation is to give students an understanding of what led up to lingering racist attitudes since the Civil War, especially given the treatment of Ruby Bridges and the attitudes encountered by Steinbeck.

Materials Needed/Preparation:

  • Computer and LCD projector or interactive white board
  • A hard copy of the notes pages for the PowerPoint

Estimated Time

  • 1 – 2 class periods

Procedures

Post Activity/Takeaways/Follow-up

  • Post Activities
    • Have students journal/write about prejudices they have personally been the victim of. This can be done as a homework or as an in-class assignment. Allow time for sharing and discussions.
    • Have students journal/write about equality. What is it? How important is it? Should everyone be treated equal? This can be done as a assignment or as an in-class assignment. Allow time for sharing and discussions.
    • Have students journal/write about justice. What is it? How important is it? Is it ever acceptable to “take justice into your own hands?” This can be done as a assignment or as an in-class assignment. Allow time for sharing and discussions.
    • Have a Four Corners debate on justice, vigilante justice, and lynching (see “Four Corners” for a detailed description of this activity).
    • Have students do mini-research projects on late nineteenth and early twentieth century leaders in the struggle for equal rights.
  • Takeaways
    • Although the selected scenes in Travels with Charley take place in Louisiana, the effects of Jim Crow and the fear of Lynch Law was evident across the country. Students should understand that racism and Jim Crow did not exist only in the South.
    • Students should become more aware of how equality and justice affect their lives.
  • Follow-up
    • Use the suggested discussion topics for section four of the book.
    • Choose from “Short Writing Prompts” and assign students prompts to journal/write on.
    • See the activity “Character Reactions – Picking Up Riders
    • See the activity “Understanding Lynching”

Assessment

  • Quiz on Jim Crow and Lynch Law.
  • Grade/assess the suggested writing prompts listed under “Post Activities.”
  • Grade/assess the activities suggested under “Follow-up.”

Standards Met

Common Core State Standards Met

  • Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies 6-12
    • Key Ideas and Details: 2
    • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: 7, 8, 9
  • Reading Standards for Informational Text 6-12
    • Key Ideas and Details: 2
    • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: 8, 9
    • Research to Build and Present Knowledge: 8, 9
  • Speaking and Listening Standards 6-12
    • Comprehension and Collaboration: 2, 3