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        7-12

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        P.S. Illinois: The Struggle for Human and Civil Rights Lesson Plan

        Injustice anywhere in the world is injustice everywhere, as hatred, prejudice and misery do not recognize state and national boundaries. Learn how human and civil rights affect us all in P.S. Illinois: The Struggle for Human and Civil Rights. Paul Simon advocates for global awareness in his essay and fighs tirelessly for equal rights and basic dignities for all people, from racially-divided Cairo, Illinois to war-torn Somalia in clips from "P.S. Illinois: The Paul Simon Story."

        Lesson Summary

        Objective:

        The lesson helps students recognize and understand how different countries and societies are connected. Students will make connections concerning how conflicts in one area of the globe affect the rest of the world, and how citizen action is essential to democracy and pursuit of the common good. Students will read informational texts and express ideas.

        Grade Levels:

        • 7-12

        Suggested Time:

        • 2-3 class periods

        Multimedia Resources:

        P.S. Illinois: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Cairo video

        P.S. Illinois: The Fight for Human Rights in Africa video

        P.S. Illinois: Middle East Problems Affect Us All PDF document

        Before the Lesson:

        Review the resources ahead of time to prepare for the lesson.

        • Watch P.S. Illinois: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Cairo video

        • Watch P.S. Illinois: The Fight for Human Rights in Africa video

        • Read P.S. Illinois: Middle East Problems Affect Us All PDF document

        • Print and make copies of the PDF document

        • Print and make copies of the discussion questions. An alternative is to display the document on screen using classroom technology.

        • Consider how to prepare students to discuss the subject matter. Develop additional discussion questions as necessary to connect the subject matter to topics the class has already studied.

        The Lesson:

        Part I – 

        • View P.S. Illinois: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Cairo and P.S. Illinois: The Fight for Human Rights in Africa videos and read P.S. Illinois: Middle East Problems Affect Us All PDF document. This can be done in the classroom or assigned as homework the night before. 

        • Break the class into small groups to answer discussion questions. 

        • Review the answers with the class.

        Part II – 

        Ask students to create a short presentation (3-5 minutes in length)* in response to the videos, the essay and classroom discussion. In their responses, students should consider the following:

        • Consider the current state of affairs in the Middle East. Use the Internet to research what is currently happening. Are human rights being violated? How does what is happening in the Middle East affect Americans? Think in terms of a global economy.
        • Recall recent events that bring attention to civil rights issues in this country.
        • Compare and contrast Simons’s method of holding town hall meetings with the use of social media. Which method is more effective?
        • Think about how social media as a vehicle for news reporting. Real citizens are reporting events as they happen. What do you think about this method of reporting? Does this help the general public be more informed?

        * Presentations may be created utilizing PowerPoint, Animoto, Prezi or another preferred method. In larger classes, students may be divided into groups of two or three to ensure all presentations can be completed in one class period.

        Culminating Activity:

        Students will deliver their presentations to the class to demonstrate an understanding of the subject matter.

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