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

Teen Leadership
Introduction Lesson 1 Lesson 2
Overview Teacher Activities Extensions and Connections Student Materials

Lesson Plan 1: What a Character!

Read Harper Lee's novel TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, which describes life in the Jim Crow south.

Write letters to corporations requesting information about the creation and/or development of their spokesperson or mascot.

Ask your students to create contemporary or historical political cartoons using the characters they created.

Research and create a timeline of events during the Jim Crow era. What happened in African-American life between 1865 and 1950? Who were the significant historical figures during the Jim Crow era?

Create a profile or report of other iconic characters from throughout American history. What is the derivation of the character? How was the character used?

Visit the Library of Congress' American Memory Web site at to view primary source documents about Jim Crow. What additional information do you find?

Research songs that played a role in the Jim Crow era, such as "Strange Fruit." Where did this music originate? Consider making a simple recording or songbook of Jim Crow era songs.

Community Connections
  • Collect and analyze political cartoons. How do political cartoonists represent current social and political situations through characters?
  • Interview older friends or relatives about their experiences with segregation and racism during the Jim Crow era.
  • Ask a marketing executive from a local company to come and speak to your class about corporate branding, logos, and/or mascots.
  • Research the history and development of school mascots and local team names.
  • Visit a local history museum and research the history of Jim Crow legislation and/or segregation in your community.

Teacher Activities
Extensions and Connections
Student Materials
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