The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow A Century of Segregation
Jim Crow Stories
A National Struggle
Interactive Maps
Tools and Activities
For Teachers

Introduction Lesson Plan Activities Resources

Lesson Plan 7: "Domestic Terror": Understanding Lynching During the Era of Jim Crow
overview procedures for teachers steps

Terror and violence were used to sustain the Jim Crow system throughout its bloody history. Many of the stories and images contained in the series depict disturbing scenes of terror that need to be discussed in the classroom. This unit considers violence in the struggle for civil rights -- when and why violence was employed.

In the struggle to end this practice, lynching was documented in a variety of ways. Organizations such as the NAACP sought to compile statistical information on lynchings, organized by year, state, victim's race, and the supposed offence. Journalists such as Ida B. Wells and magazines such as the NAACP's THE CRISIS provided anecdotal information about specific episodes of lynching, often included eyewitness accounts and reporting from the local press. Finally, the African American press often published photographs of lynchings.

This unit considers the problem of lynching during the Jim Crow era and the way in which a variety of documentary information was gathered and disseminated to educate people about lynching and to advocate for federal laws prohibiting its practice.

Grade Level:
Grades 9-12

Time Allotment:
Four class periods

Subject Matter:
African American History, History of Jim Crow, Racial Violence

Learning Objectives:
Students will be able to:

  • Recount how racial violence was employed against African Americans during the Jim Crow era.
  • Evaluate statistical and textual information for evidence of racial violence.
  • Understand the response of the African American community to racial violence.

Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning

United States History Standard and Benchmarks

MCREL Standard 29, Level IV (Grade 9-12)
Understands significant influences on the civil rights movement.

MCREL Standard 15, Level IV (Grade 9-12)
Understands factors that inhibited and fostered African American attempts to improve their lives during Reconstruction.

Historical Understanding Standard and Benchmarks

MCREL Standard 2, Level IV (Grade 9-12)
Knows how to perceive past events with historical empathy.

MCREL Standard 2, Level IV (Grade 9-12)
Knows how to evaluate the credibility and authenticity of historical sources.

MCREL Standard 1, Level IV (Grade 9-12)
Knows how to identify the temporal structure and connections disclosed in historical narratives.

This lesson was prepared by: Thomas Thurston


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Intergenerational Discussion Guide
presents ideas and facts on the Jim Crow era.
  To download the Guide, you'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download Adobe Acrobat.  


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