American History, The Cold War, Turning Points in American History, Twentieth Century Civil Liberties/Rights, World History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
9, 10, 11, 12
  • Civil Rights
  • PBL
  • PBL Project
  • Vietnam
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Education Standards

    Civil Rights and Vietnam PBL


    This assignment will allow students to dig deeper into a theme/lens of American History 2.  This can be adapted to work with any time period or extended to last the entire semester to see change over time.  Students will incorporate research and writing, technology, and even art.  Students will research the time period through one of the following lenses: Conflict/War, Technology, Government and Policy, American Dream, American Identity.  For use with other units or time periods you could include Business and Economy.

    Students will create a webpage on a Google Site created by the teacher.  Students must include on their page a summary of their topic, a timeline, a student created video, and a student created visual.

    Civil Rights/Vietnam PBL

    Civil Rights and Vietnam PBL

    Grade level: 9-12

    Classes: American History 2

    Time frame: approx.: 4 days


    Learning Goals:

    NC AH2 Essential Standards

    • 4.1 Analyze the political issues and conflicts that impacted the US and compromises that resulted.
    • 4.3  Analyze social and religious conflicts, movements, and reforms that impacted the US in terms of participants, strategies, opposition, and results.
    • 4.4  Analyze cultural conflicts that impacted the US and compromises that resulted.
    • 5.1  Summarize how philosophical, ideological, and/or religious views on freedom and equality contributed to the development of American political and economic systems.
    • 5.2  Explain how judicial, legislative, and executive action have affected the distribution of power between the levels of government.
    • 6.1  Explain how national economic and political interests helped set the direction of US foreign policy.
    • 6.2  Explain the reasons for the US involvement in global wars and the influence each had on international affairs.
    • 7.1  Explain the impact of wars on American politics.
    • 7.3  Explain the impact of war on American society and culture.


    Skills addressed in this project:

    • Collaboration
    • Problem solving
    • Research
    • Communication



    Students will create a website using Google Site.  Each group will have a page on the site to include information about their topic.  The webpages will include student created visual, videos, timeline, and research summary of their topic.


    Project Overview:

    When we study history we do so by looking at it through various lenses or themes.  Just like wearing colored lenses in sunglasses changes how objects look, studying history by looking at it through various lenses can affect what you see.  For this assignment, we will be using the lenses of Conflict/War, Technology, Government and Policy, American Dream, and American Identity.  Groups of 2-4 students will research and summarize the 1950s and 1960s as they relate to the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam Conflict based on their lens.  



    Planning Document - This will allow students to divide up the tasks that need to be completed.  Each student will then clearly know their responsibilities.  This can be used as formative or summative assessment.


    Peer Review - Groups will need to peer review at least 2 other pages and give constructive feedback for this assignment. - formative assessment


    Final Rubric - This rubric may look different than others you may have used.  Meeting expectations will get you a 4 of 5.  However, going above the minimum requirements will get you a 5 of 5.  This rewards the students that always do more.  



    Student directions


    Civil Rights & Vietnam PBL


    There were a ton of events that happened during the 1950s and 1960s. You will be teaching the class about one of the themes of American History as it relates to this time frame and the topics of Civil Rights and Vietnam. You are not just presenting it to them. You are teaching it. Make your website interesting so people will catch the viewer’s attention but make sure you cover the most important information.


    You and your partner(s) will be assigned a theme:


    1. Summary
    1. Research multiple sources and write out all the information you think someone should know about your topic. Be sure to consult more than one source. Wikipedia alone won’t do it.
    2. Complete the planning document attached.
    3. Write an organized summary of the information you’ve learned.


    1. Presentation
    1. With your partner create a page on a Google Site I create.
    2. Your page must include:
    1. a video you create about your topic
    2. Some type of visual (a poster, a model, a chart, a map, etc.) about one specific part of your topic
    3. a timeline of major events - 10 events
    4. a summary of your topic
    1. The rest is up to you. You may use a PowerPoint, create a game, etc.  You decide the best how to do in depth about one aspect of your topic.  This can go along with your visual or be about another aspect of your topic.



    Apps that that can help enhance your page:


    Paper by WeTransfer:  mobile app where you can do sketch notes or digital drawings


    Thinglink:  create images with sound to describe the picture, put words on the picture, tell a story of what was learned.


    Chatterpix (Apple devices only):  make a photo talk; draw a mouth on an object in photo and record your voice.  Object talks.  On Chromebooks you can you Pixlr Editor or PicMonkey


    Stop Motion Studio:  Create beautiful stop motion animated movies anywhere instantly on your device.