Curricular Unit Information

Unit Title: Georgetown and the Progression of Civil Rights in America
Course: Social Studies
Grade Level: 5
Unit Length: 10 days
Length of Class Period: 45 minutes
Personal Stake:

The unit is important to me since one of my primary objectives as an educator is to do my part in creating a world in which skin color,  zip code, and a parent's occupation does not determine whether a person succeeds or not throughout his or her life.

Unit Topic:

Civil rights, in some places, are increased over time in different ways in different places.  Locally, the Georgetown neighborhood is an excellent place to see how the rights of African-Americans have expanded over the last 200 years from non-existent to the possession of presidential authority and prestige.

It is important for students to know that civil rights can be established or can be taken away. Place plays an important role when analyzing how and why changes occur.

Students should know that Georgetown has been a place where these changes have occurred and has a large repository of knowledge embedded throughout its landscape.

Students should be able to analyze primary source documents related to the liberation of Africa-Americans and describe some of the important events which occurred in Georgetown.

Students should develop an attitude of curiousity towards “historical thinking” as a result of this unit (sourcing, multiple perspectives, change over time, contextualization)

DCPS Content and Skills Standards:

5.1.2. Describe the enslaved immigrants from Africa from the 1790s through the 1820s and the routes they traveled from disembarkment (e.g., from New Orleans up the Mississippi and westward along the Gulf Coast, from Mobile, Savannah, Charleston, Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, westward, northward, and southward). (G, S)

5.1.3. Describe the process of the “internal slave trade” that saw Africans born in the United States sold into the southernmost states (Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina) from more Northern states (Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland).

5.2.4. Describe the contributions of enslaved and free Africans to the economic development of the colonies.

5.3.3 Identify the characteristics of slave life and resistance on plantations and farms throughout the colonies (and later, states).

5.3.4 Explain the significance of and consequences ensuing from the abolition of slavery in the Northern states....

5.4.7 Students identify prominent people and movements for social justic in the US, including Frederick Douglass...

5.4.8 List and describe the stops towards desegregation...

5.4.9 Explain the growth of of the African American middle class.


Common Core Standards (connections):

Reading Standards - RI.5.1 Quoting accurately from a text when explaining...

RI.5.2 Determine two or more main ideas of a text...

RI.5.6 Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic.... 

RI.5.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend info texts... independently and proficiently.

W.5.2 Write informative/explanatory text 

W.5.4 Produce clear and coherent writing....

W.5.8 Recall relevant information from experiences...and provide list of resources. 

W.5.9 Draw evidence from literary or information text to support analysis...

W.5.10 Write routinely over extended time frames...

Methods of Inquiry:
Cognitive Processes:

1. Sourcing

2. Contextualization

3. Change Over Time

4. Multiple Perspectives 

Students should develop an attitude of curiousity regarding how their nearby environment has played a role in the progression of civil rights and a willingness to engage in historical thinking through the analysis of primary source documents and landscape.
Essential Questions:
  1. Was slavery a benign (causing no harm) or evil institution?  Who was affected most?  Who was affected least?
  2. Was it ironic that the capital of the nation that upholds freedom and liberty had legalized slave trading in its immediate environ?  Why did legalized slavery last so long here?
  3. Was slavery the primary cause of the Civil War?  Do people disagree about this question?
  4. Was "Separate But Equal" ever a workable system in America?  Would you want to go back to that system?
  5. Did the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s expand democracy for all Americans?
  6. Is civil disobedience the most effective means of achieving racial equality?  
  7. Is violence or non-violence the most effective means to achieve social change?
  8. Did the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s effectively change the nation?  How was the nation changed?

Diagnostic Assessment:

KWL exercise to determine what students know, what they would like to learn, and a follow-up to see if those learning goals were met.

Formative Assessment:

Brief Quizzes

Paired. Small Group, Whole Group Discussions

Map Making

Sourcing Exercises

Speech Evaluation 

Summative Assessment:

Students will integrate unit sources and individual experiences in a 2-4 minute speech on theme of "change over time" as it relates to Georgetown and Civil Rights. 

Differentiated instruction to include 1) text; 2) visuals, including maps 3) interpersonal exchanges
Community and Cultural Resources:
Georgetown University, Lincoln Memorial, Rose Park, Tudor Place

Daily Instruction:
1. Introduction to slave trade in Georgetown

2. Exploration of slave life at Tudor Place estate

3. Learning about early forms of resistance and counter-resistance 

4. Separate But Equal - Schools

5. Separate But Equal - Parks

6. Local Reactions to Brown v Board of Education

7. Civil Rights Era - "Casual Indifference at Georgetown University

8. Change Over Time - From Civil Rights to Climate Change

9. Speech Writing and Integration of Source Materials

10. Speech Delivery at Lincoln Memorial