You are here

Resources for the 50th Anniversary of the March from Selma

50th Anniversary of the March from Selma

Online research icon
"The three Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 were part of the Selma Voting Rights Campaign and led to the passage that year of the Voting Rights Act, a landmark federal achievement of the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement. Activists publicized the three protest marches to walk the 54-mile highway from Selma to the Alabama state capital of Montgomery as showing the desire of black American citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote, in defiance of segregationist repression."

Wikipedia, Selma to Montgomery Marches

Lesson plans/resources based on the movie "Selma':
  • Students in select cities nationwide were able to see "Selma" for free, and were encouraged to share their response to the film using #selmaforstudents on Twitter. You can still see some of the responses on Twitter.
  • PBS has a lesson plan based on PBS Newshour entitled "From Selma to Montgomery: An introduction to the 1965 marches". This is based strongly on the movie "Selma", and includes clips from the movie, resources and background sheets for students, and an analysis regarding a combination of literary audience and content.
  • The official movie site for Selma redirects to a Facebook page - originally, there was a lot of talk that there would be lesson plans released with the movie, but I have not seen them.
  • Facing History and Ourselves has a lesson entitled "Raising Ethical Children: Discussing the Film Selma wtih Young People"

The National Park Service has a lesson plan on the Selma marches in their "Teaching with Historic Places" program. It includes background information and resources, as well as using inquiry and historical context throughout the lesson. It also uses social studies disciplinary literacy skills such as reading maps and using images as historic documentation.

The Alabama Department of Archives and History offers "Marching for Justice - Selma to Montgomery" as part of their Using Primary Sources in the Classroom. This site gives teachers background information and five primary sources for students to analyze, mostly news articles.

Facing History and Ourselves has suggestions for teachers in their article "Reconsidering Selma: Teaching the Stories Behind a Pivotal Moment in History."

The New York Times Learning Network has students study and analyze original NY Times reporting to learn about the Civil Rights Movement and the march from Selma.

EdSiteMent from the National Endowment for the Humanities has a lesson entitled "Picturing Freedom: Selma-to-Montgomery March, 1965". NEH uses photographs to help explain the information, and uses guiding questions and other resources, as well as related lessons.

"Securing the Right to Vote: The Selma-to-Montgomery Story" through the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History guides students to a better understanding of the Civil Rights Movement through the essential question, "What conditions created the need for a protest march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965, and what did that march achieve?". As always, Gilder Lehrman relies heavily on the analysis of primary source documents. (You must have a free account to access the lesson plan).

For questions about this information, contact Kristen McDaniel (608) 266-2207