Choices in Little Rock focuses on efforts to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957—efforts resulting in a crisis that historian Taylor Branch once described as “the most severe test of the Constitution since the Civil War.” Students explore civic choices—the decisions people, including young people, make as citizens in a democracy. Those decisions, both then and now, reveal that democracy is not a product but a work in progress, a work that is shaped by the choices that we make about ourselves and others.
This unit is designed to promote students’ historical understanding, critical thinking, social-emotional learning, and civic agency.
About the Unit Assessment
The unit’s summative assessment has two parts, incorporating core elements of the C3 curriculum framework:
- a writing prompt, which emphasizes investigating and analyzing evidence from rich primary sources, and
- an informed action, through which students apply lessons from their study of desegregation and the civil rights movement towards improving their school community.
Tools to Teach This Curriculum