Inspiring through Experience


Newseum students

LILI Unit: Newseum

Essential Question:How was the First Amendment used to bring change to the U.S. during the Civil Rights Movement? Pre-trip lesson:  During this lesson, students explore two main ideas: the creation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the importance of these documents during the Civil Rights Movement.  First, learn about our founding documents with a focus on defining and describing the five First Amendment freedoms. With that foundation, students will then examine historic photographs and analyze newspapers to explore how civil rights activist used these freedoms as a toolkit to bring about change.
Level of Difficulty:High Trip:   This trip begins on the top of the Newseum, where students explore the locations of the three branches of government and their connection to the Newseum. Students then tour select Newseum exhibits, where they analyze quotes relevant to the Civil Rights Movement, watch primary source footage of historic events, and dive deeper into civil rights leaders’ use of the First Amendment freedoms to tackle social injustice.
Academic Standards:

  • English Language Arts (CC.6.R.I.2, CC.6.L.4.a)
  • Social Studies (6.2.4)
Post-trip lesson:   This lesson starts with students watching a brief video about the experiences of the freedom riders. Students will then choose an important Civil Rights event and create their own newspaper opinion piece. Students also test their knowledge of the Constitution, the First Amendment, and the Civil Rights Movement as they compete in a collaborative review game and take written assessments.