Haley Assigns Civil Rights Project


Quinn Pedrick

Quinn Pedrick’s second slide of his Historical Investigation Presentation on the the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing in Birmingham, Alabama.

Valeria Garcia Alcala, Reporter

A civil rights project was assigned in ninth grade teacher Kristina Haley’s English classes, where they had to research all about civil rights, due at the start of Black History Month.

Haley made the choice to make this project a much simpler and faster project because she wanted the students to really understand and enjoy the topic. She also wanted to make sure that the project was simple, so all her students could get a good grade.

“For this project, students have to research their particular topic during the Jim Crow Era/Civil Rights Movement: they work in groups of three and choose from a person, event, or organization,” Haley said. “They evaluate websites on their credibility, compile information in a way that is complete and concise, and track their sources using an annotated bibliography. They also present their work to the class.”

Haley assigned this project for many reasons, but primarily because it will help her students practice their digital literacy skills and critical thinking as they find and add information about a new topic.

“It also benefits everyone in the class because we all get to hear all about what life in the US was like during that time and the people who fought to make it more equitable and just,” Haley said. “It gives everyone valuable historical knowledge to take with them as we read To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Haley wanted a project that would help the students understand the setting and background in To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel set in the Jim Crow Era of America.

“This research project is centered around the Jim Crow Era and Civil Rights Movement because these critical times in American history represent the setting and publication of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which we read immediately after,” Haley said. “It’s been described as our ‘national novel,’ and so an awareness of the events which make up its setting and contextualize how it came to be part of our national identity is really integral to fully understanding and appreciating it.”

Lyric Clarity, one of Haley’s students, feels that the project will help her and her fellow students understand the topic much better because they will be discussing with one another and seeing different people’s interpretations.

“I believe this project is important because it gives students the ability to not only study, and understand the topics for ourselves, but to also come together and discuss the topics with one another, and I think that will provide students with a better opportunity of understanding the topic than if we were to just go over it quickly in class,” Clarity said. “I believe this project will teach me about the racial injustice that started in America, many years ago, and is sadly, still going on today.”