Young Heroes: Children of the Civil Rights Movement

Lesson 8


Unit 3

5th Grade

Lesson 8 of 35


Explain how the author uses evidence and reasons to support the point that school desegregation required young Negroes with courage to face the challenges and dangers of mob resistance. 

Readings and Materials

  • Book: Witnesses to Freedom: Young People Who Fought for Civil Rights by Belinda Rochelle  — Chapter 3

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Target Task

Writing Prompt

Read the quote from Martin Luther King Jr. below. 

“It was the high school, college and elementary school young people who were in the front line of the school desegregation struggle. Lest it be forgotten, the opening of hundreds of schools to Negroes for the first time in history required that there be young Negroes with the moral and physical courage to face the challenges and, all too frequently, the mortal danger presented by the mob resistance.” 

How does the author use reasons and evidence to support the points made by Martin Luther King Jr.?

Sample Response

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Key Questions

  • Summarize what happened when Elizabeth Eckford and the Little Rock Nine tried to integrate Central High. 
  • Orval Faubus, the Ku Klux Klan, and the White’s Citizens’ Council actively opposed segregation. How did they show opposition? How did their opposition impact the Little Rock Nine? How did their opposition impact the entire community? 
  • Look at the photograph on page 19. What do you notice? Wonder? Why does the author include this photograph? 
  • Despite the challenges, Elizabeth Eckford was proud of the role she played at Central High. Agree or disagree. 
  • Look at the photograph on page 24. What does it show about Jefferson Thomas? Why? 
  • What are the limitations of this text and the type of information we learn? 




to say insulting things to someone in order to make them angry

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Common Core Standards

  • RI.5.8 — Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).

Supporting Standards

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