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The Citizens' Council

Teaching Levels:

Grades 7 through 12

Proposed Time Frame:

90 minutes with students reading the article prior to the lesson

Resources Needed:

  • Mississippi History Now article, “The Citizens’ Council” by Dr. Stephanie Rolph (assign to be read prior to the lesson)
  • Group Discussion Questions
  • Excerpt of one of the Forum broadcasts available from the Mississippi State University’s Special Collections division available online at https://cdm16631.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16631coll22/search.
  • Printer/poster/butcher paper and markers or computer
  • Lesson Introduction

    1. Assign the article for students to read prior to class for homework.
    2. At the beginning of class, informally assess students’ prior knowledge of the Ku Klux Klan, MS Black Codes, & Jim Crow by asking probing questions.
    3. Explain to students how the Citizen’s Council correlates to the groups and concepts mentioned.
    4. Write/project on the board/screen the Citizens’ Council slogan, “States’ Rights, Racial Integrity.” Tell them to keep the slogan in mind while answering the Group Discussion Questions about the Citizens’ Council article read for homework.

    Class Discussion

    1. Divide class into groups to answer the Group Discussion Questions. Give them time to answer and discuss the questions within their group.
    2. When groups have completed the questions, facilitate a class discussion referring back to the Citizens’ Council slogan.
      • Ask each group to answer the following question: “After reading the article & answering the discussion questions, what does the slogan “States’ Rights, Racial Integrity” mean to you?”
      • Discuss the various group responses.

    Activity

    1. After the discussion, play an excerpt of one of the Forum broadcasts available from the Mississippi State University’s Special Collections division available online at https://cdm16631.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16631coll22/search.
      • Suggested excerpts: “Civil Rights Act of 1963,” “Biology of the Race Problem,” and “August 28 March on Washington” are a few good ones. You can also download broadcast transcripts to determine what is appropriate for your subject and age group.
    2. Based on what was heard from the chosen broadcast, ask students what they believe the Citizens’ Council was trying to convey to the general public about African Americans.
    3. In their groups, have students organize a protest that will take place outside the Citizens’ Council headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi.
    4. Groups will create a slogan for their protest.
    5. Students will then create protest posters utilizing the group’s slogan.
      • It may be helpful for the teacher to show sample slogans and posters used in various historical protests (Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Rights Movement, etc.) to give students more focus for their posters.
      • Posters should include visuals, the slogan, & other eye-catching items.
      • Posters may be created on paper or can be done on the computer.
    6. Groups will then share with the rest of the class explaining their slogan and posters.

Closure

Have students reflect on what they’ve learned about the Citizens’ Council by asking them why they think well-educated people would believe the ideas put out by the Council and then actively work to sabotage the Civil Rights Movement. This may be done as an exit ticket activity or by getting various student responses.

A Choctaw Chief and a Spanish Governor: Franchimastabe and Manuel Gayoso de Lemos

Overview

Manuel Gayoso de Lemos served as the Spanish governor of the Natchez District from 1787 to 1797. During the Gayoso administration, Franchimastabé served as a peace chief from the western division of the Choctaws. These two leaders demonstrated considerable leadership and diplomacy skills in the region during the American Revolution and immediately prior to the creation of the Mississippi Territory. The record of Franchimastabé’s life as a peace chief provides insight into the political and economic changes in the Gulf South and the lower Mississippi River valley brought about through sustained contact among Native American, European, and African cultures in the last half of the eighteenth century. Franchimastabé used trade and diplomacy as a way to secure the goods he needed to meet the expectations and needs of his people. Governor Gayoso also proved to be an excellent and popular leader of the Natchez District. Born in Oporto, Portugal, and partially educated in England, Gayoso studied and spoke several languages, a valuable asset for living and working in Natchez, and later New Orleans, given the diverse populations of these cities.

Curricular Connections

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1 and 5

Teaching Level

Grades 7-12

Materials/Equipment

  • Mississippi History Now article, “A Choctaw Chief and a Spanish Governor: Franchimastabé and Manuel Gayoso de Lemos”
  • Analysis of Leadership Chart
  • Blank maps or unlined paper to draw maps
  • Computer (optional)
  • Paper
  • Pen/pencil

Objectives:

The students will:

  1. Construct suitable maps to relate the boundaries of Spanish Louisiana, Spanish West Florida, Natchez, Vicksburg (Fort Nogales), Memphis (Chickasaw Bluffs), New Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola, the Mississippi River, the Yazoo River, and the Gulf of Mexico.
  2. Compose a compare/contrast essay.

Opening the Lesson

The teacher will ask the class the following questions:

  1. What does the word “diplomacy” mean?
  2. Can you give an example of diplomacy?
  3. What leadership characteristics are necessary when carrying out diplomacy?

The teacher can record the students’ answers to the questions on the board. At the end of the class discussion, the teacher will tell the students that they will have an opportunity to study examples of diplomacy by two colonial leaders who influenced the early history of Mississippi.

Developing the Lesson

  1. Students will create a map that includes the locations listed in the first objective above. After the students complete the maps, the teacher will ask the students why the locations on the map were important to both European and local Native American leaders in colonial Mississippi. After the discussion, the teacher will tell the students that they will study two leaders that were significant to historical events that took place at the locations listed on the map.
  2. After reading the Mississippi History Now article, students will use the attached chart to record information from the article about Manuel Gayoso de Lemos and Franchimastabé.
  3. Using a THINK-PAIR-SHARE format, students will discuss the information on their charts with a partner. Students can add more information and examples to their charts during the THINK-PAIR-SHARE activity.
  4. The teacher will instruct the students to use their charts to write a compare/contrast essay about Franchimastabé and Manuel Gayoso de Lemos. The students can work alone or with a partner for this activity. If computer access is available, students can type their paragraphs.
  5. The teacher will ask for student volunteers to share information from their essays.

Closing the Lesson

The teacher will ask the students to respond in writing to the questions below:

  1. Why did Winthrop Sargent, governor of the newly created Mississippi Territory, call Franchimastabé “a universal friend”?
  2. Do you agree with Governor Sargent? Why or why not?

The teacher will ask for student volunteers to share their responses to the questions above.

Assessing the Lesson

Extending the Lesson

  • Students can research the history of the Native American groups mentioned in the Mississippi History Now article.
  • Students can research the influences of the French, British, and Spanish on colonial Mississippi.
  • Students can research the lives of the key people mentioned in the Mississippi History Now article.
  • Along with this article, the teacher can use other Mississippi History Now articles about colonial Mississippi to create a unit of study.

Karla Smith is the Social Studies Department Chair at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jefferson Davis Campus.

Other related Mississippi History Now articles

Minnie Geddings Cox and the Indianola Affair, 1902-1904

Overview

In January 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt refused to accept the resignation of Minnie Geddings Cox, postmistress for the city of Indianola and Mississippi’s first African American postmistress. Roosevelt subsequently closed Indianola’s post office, and it remained closed for more than a year. The newspapers called the incident the “Indianola Affair.” Raised by business owner parents and educated at one of the premier schools for aspiring African American women, Cox sought opportunities beyond the traditional expectations for women of the time. In 1891, President Benjamin Harrison appointed Cox to the position of postmistress for Holmes County, making her the first African American postmistress in Mississippi, and in 1897, newly-elected President William McKinley appointed Cox as postmistress of Sunflower County. The college educations, land and property holdings, civil servant positions, and comfortable salaries of Minnie and her husband, Wayne Wellington Cox, placed them firmly near the top of the social and economic hierarchy in the region. Around 1902, however, whites in the Mississippi Delta, agitated by the combination of an economic depression, a power grab by the southern wing of the Republican Party, and an aggressive political contest for governor, channeled their anxieties onto African Americans, and Cox found herself in the crosshairs of this conflict.

Curricular Connections

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 4, and 5

Teaching Level

Grades 9-12

Materials/Equipment

  • Mississippi History Now article, “Minnie Geddings Cox and the Indianola Affair, 1902-1904”
  • Board
  • Data projector
  • Computer and internet access
  • Paper
  • Pen/pencil
  • Paper
  • Graphic Organizer

Objectives

The students will:

  1. Identify examples of the factors that played a role in the Indianola Affair.
  2. Write a summary of a nonfiction article.
  3. Examine personal thoughts about an historical event.

Opening the Lesson

The teacher will ask for student volunteers to share answers to the following questions:

  1. What was life like in the Mississippi during the late 1800s-early 1900s?
  2. What type of issues were prevalent in society during this period? The teacher will tell the students that they will have an opportunity to study social, political, and economic issues that impacted the state through the life story of Minnie Geddings Cox who lived in Indianola, Mississippi. During the opening of the lesson, the teacher can use the pictures included with the lesson plan as a part of the class discussion.

Developing the Lesson

  1. The teacher will instruct the students to read the Mississippi History Now article, “Minnie Geddings Cox and the Indianola Affair, 1902-1904.”
  2. After their initial reading, the teacher will instruct students to reread the article. During the second reading of the article, the teacher will instruct the students to record information on the Graphic Organizer provided with this lesson plan. The students can work alone or with a partner as they reread and record information during this segment of the lesson.
  3. Once the students complete their graphic organizer, the teacher will instruct each student to use their Graphic Organizer to write a summary of the article.
  4. Next, the teacher will conduct a class discussion about the article. During the class discussion, the teacher will ask for student volunteers to share information from their Graphic Organizer and article summary.
  5. After the class discussion, the teacher will ask the students to write a reaction paper about their personal thoughts/reaction to what they learned about the Indianola Affair.

Closing the Lesson

The teacher will ask the students to respond to the following questions:

  1. Why is it important to study the Indianola Affair?
  2. Do you see any similarities or connections between the Indianola Affair and other historical events that you have studied?

Assessing the Lesson

  • Class participation
  • Graphic organizer
  • Summary
  • Reaction paper

Extending the Lesson

  • Students can research the political careers of Mississippi governors and U. S. presidents mentioned in the Mississippi History Now article, “Minnie Geddings Cox and the Indianola Affair, 1902-1904.”
  • Students can research other events in state and national history during 1902 to 1904.
  • The teacher can follow-up this lesson with other Mississippi History Now articles about race and/or civil rights in Mississippi history.
Karla Smith is the Social Studies Department Chair at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jefferson Davis Campus.

Other related Mississippi History Now articles

The History of Mississippi's State Flag

Overview

Nearly thirty years after the end of the Civil War, the 1894 Mississippi Legislature, acting on the recommendation of Governor John M. Stone, approved a state flag with three bars of blue, white, and red and a canton in the top left corner that contained the Confederate Battle Flag. As Confederate veterans aged and a second generation of white Mississippians matured, the memory of the Civil War and the Confederate cause merged to form a universal celebration of white sacrifice that ultimately erased the reason for Mississippi’s secession: the defense and continued protection of slavery. Over one hundred years since its approval, the 1894 design has persevered. During a 2001 statewide referendum, Mississippi voters were asked whether they supported the 1894 flag or a new design. More than sixty percent of voters approved the flag’s continuation. Today, Mississippi’s flag represents the last official state flag in the United States containing the Confederate Battle Flag. In light of escalating debates over the contemporary relevance of Confederate symbols and historical memory, the Mississippi state flag remains a controversial topic, in spite of its inauspicious beginnings.

Curricular Connections

Mississippi Studies Framework:

Competencies 1, 3, and 4

Teaching Level

Grades 9 through 12

Materials/Equipment

Objectives:

The students will:

  1. Summarize the main points and supporting details of a nonfiction article.
  2. Analyze how cultural, economic, political, and social factors play a role in historical events.

Opening the Lesson

The teacher will show the students a picture of the current Mississippi state flag. The teacher will ask for student volunteers to share with their classmates what they already know about the state flag. After the teacher brings the class discussion to a close, the teacher will tell the students that they will have an opportunity to learn more about the history of the Mississippi state flag.

Developing the Lesson

  1. The teacher will instruct the students to read the Mississippi History Now article, “The History of Mississippi’s State Flag.” Students will be encouraged to annotate the article as they read. Next, the students should reread the article to complete the Main Ideas Worksheet included with the lesson plan.
  2. Using a THINK-PAIR-SHARE format, students will clarify their understanding of the main points of the Mississippi History Now article with another classmate.
  3. Once the students complete the THINK-PAIR-SHARE activity, the teacher will lead a class discussion about the Mississippi History Now article by asking for student volunteers to share answers from their Main Ideas Worksheet. During the discussion, the teacher will record the student responses on the board to allow students to record additional information on their worksheet.
  4. The teacher will assign students to groups of no more than three to complete a critical thinking activity about the Mississippi History Now article. As a part of the activity, the student groups will use the Brainstorming Graphic Organizer included with the lesson plan. The teacher will instruct the students to consider cultural, economic, political, and social factors that may have played a role in the perception of the flag in 1894 and what factors may play a role in the perception of the flag today. The students should use the Mississippi History Now article as well as other resources to drawn conclusions about the perception of the Mississippi state flag during different periods of time and from different ethnic or economic circumstances. While students will conduct their research together as a group, each student should complete a separate chart.
  5. Once the students have completed their research, the teacher will instruct the students to individually compose an essay about their findings.

Closing the Lesson

The teacher will use the 3-2-1 learning strategy to close the lesson. The teacher will ask the students to write a response to the three questions listed below.

Based on this lesson about the Mississippi state flag:

  1. What are three things that you discovered?
  2. What are two things about the Mississippi state flag you found interesting?
  3. What is one question you still have about the topic?

The teacher will ask for student volunteers to share their answers to these questions.

Assessing Student Learning

  • Class participation
  • Main Ideas Worksheet
  • Brainstorming Activities Organizer
  • Article
  • Responses to questions

Enrichment

  • Take students on a field trip to the Museum of Mississippi History and/or the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson.
  • The teacher can follow-up the lesson with other Mississippi History Now articles and lesson plans as suggested below.
  • The students can research current news stories and/or editorials concerning the debate over the Mississippi state flag design.
  • The students can research information concerning lynchings through the Equal Justice Initiative (https://eji.org/), specifically its report on Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror which is available online at: https://lynchinginamerica.eji.org/.

Karla Smith is the Social Studies Department Chair at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jefferson Davis Campus.

Other related Mississippi History Now articles

Additional Lesson Plans on Mississippi History:

http://www.mdah.ms.gov/new/learn/classroom-materials/lesson-plans-and-teaching-units/

Burnita Shelton Matthews: Suffragist, Feminist, & Judicial Pioneer - Lesson Plan

Overview

On December 28, 1894, Burnita Shelton Matthews was born into an educated, civic-minded family, in Copiah County, Mississippi. Although she aspired from a very young age to pursue a legal career, her father insisted that she pursue the study and teaching of music which he believed was a more ladylike profession. Following her marriage to Percy A. Matthews, she taught music for a short while in Georgia before moving to Washington, D.C. to accept a job with the Veterans Administration. She strategically chose to live and work in Washington, D.C. so that she could pursue a law degree at one of the few law schools that would accept women at the time, the National University Law School. While in law school, Matthews became involved with the National Women’s Party’s suffrage movement. Upon graduation, she operated a legal practice in Washington, D.C., and she continued her work with the NWP as head of their Legal Research Department. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman nominated Matthews to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She became the first woman ever appointed to a federal trial court and only the second woman ever appointed to a federal constitutional court. After a long career on the bench, Matthews died of a stroke in 1988. Her headstone in the Shelton Family Cemetery in Copiah County marks her contribution to women in American society. Her epitaph notes that she was the first woman to become a U. S. district court judge and the “author of laws advancing the status of women.”

Curricular Connections

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 4 and 6

Teaching Level

Grades 7 through 12

Materials/Equipment

Objectives

The students will:

  1. Construct a timeline of events in the life of Burnita Shelton Matthews.
  2. Analyze the life of Burnita Shelton Matthews.
  3. Compose an essay about the role Burnita Shelton Matthews played in furthering the rights of women.

Opening the Lesson

After displaying the term on the board, the teacher will ask the students to define the term “pioneer.” After a class discussion about the term, the teacher will tell the class that they will study about Burnita Shelton Matthews, who was a suffragist, feminist, lawyer, and judge. The teacher will tell the students that through their study, they will determine how she was a pioneer in the fight for female suffrage and equal rights for women.

Developing the Lesson

  1. While reading the Mississippi History Now article, “Burnita Shelton Matthews: Suffragist, Feminist, and Judicial Pioneer,” students will take notes on the major events in her life.
  2. Working with a partner, the students will use their notes to construct a timeline listing at least ten major events in the life of Burnita Shelton Matthews.
  3. The teacher will ask student volunteers to share events from their timeline with the class. The teacher will facilitate a discussion about major events in the life of Burnita Shelton Matthews as student volunteers share their timeline information.
  4. Next, the teacher will ask the students to revisit the events in the life of Judge Matthews to determine the obstacles/challenges she faced in pursuit of her goals. The students should also consider the personal characteristics she possessed to overcome these obstacles/challenges. The students can work alone or with a partner on this portion of the lesson. The chart at the end of the lesson can be provided to the students to record information about Judge Matthews. Once the students complete the charts, the teacher will discuss information from the charts with the class.
  5. Again, with the option of working alone or with a partner, the students will write an essay about the life of Burnita Shelton Matthews. The focus of the student essay will be the following: Burnita Shelton Matthews was a pioneer in furthering opportunities for women in American society.

Closing the Lesson

The teacher will ask the students the following questions:

  1. How was Burnita Shelton Matthews a pioneer for furthering the rights of women?
  2. What do you find most fascinating about her life?
  3. Are there any connections between her life and yours?
  4. What do you think Judge Matthews would say about the roles of women in society today?

The students can discuss answers to the questions above with the class or individually on paper.

Assessing Student Learning

  • Class participation
  • Chart
  • Essay

Enrichment

  • Conduct research on the National Woman’s Party (NWP).
  • Conduct research on the suffragettes, the Nineteenth Amendment, and/or the proposed Equal Rights Amendment.
  • Conduct research on other Mississippi women who held local, state, or national leadership roles.
  • The teacher can use other Mississippi History Now articles such as “Mississippi Women and the Woman Suffrage Amendment” to create a unit on women in Mississippi history.
  • Trace the changes in the roles, rights, and opportunities of women in American society.

Karla Smith is the Social Studies Department Chair at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jefferson Davis Campus.

Other Mississippi History Now articles:

Equal Rights Amendment and Mississippi

Mississippi Women and the Woman Suffrage Amendment

Lucy Somerville Howorth: Lawyer, Politician, and Feminist

Betsy Love, and the Married Women’s Property Act

ADDITIONAL LESSON PLANS ON MISSISSIPPI HISTORY:
http://www.mdah.ms.gov/new/learn/classroom-materials/lesson-plans-and-teaching-units/

Archie Manning: The Story and Significance of a Mississippi Icon - Lesson Plan

Overview

As a young man Archie Manning excelled both athletically and academically in the small Delta town of Drew, Mississippi. Upon graduating from high school with valedictorian honors, Manning began his college football career in 1967 at the University of Mississippi. Under the guidance of legendary college coach John Vaught, Archie Manning and the Ole Miss Rebels football team achieved national recognition. Prior to the start of Manning’s senior year in 1970, the Rebels became one of the national favorites in college football. Perhaps more importantly, however, was Manning’s importance to his home state. During a time when many Americans viewed Mississippi as the nation’s bastion of racism, violence, and poverty, Manning’s rising football career, coupled with his personal character both on and off the football field, provided Mississippi with a symbol of success and pride. Water towers were emblazoned with Manning’s name, and “The Ballad of Archie Who,” written in 1969 by a postman in Magnolia, Mississippi, and recorded by country singer Murray Kellum and his “Rebel Rousers” band, essentially enshrined Manning as a Mississippi folk hero, particularly to white Mississippians. Although Manning eventually finished his collegiate career on a seemingly down note, he ended his time at Ole Miss with a litany of school and conference records. He spent fourteen seasons in the National Football League, most of which were with the New Orleans Saints, and was recognized as the National Football Conference (NFC) Player of the Year in 1978. For many Mississippians, Archie Manning remains a folk hero and the state’s top athlete of the century.

Curricular Connections

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1 and 6

Teaching Level

Grades 7 through 12

Materials/Equipment

Objectives

The students will:

  1. Summarize the life of Archie Manning.
  2. Illustrate events in the life of Archie Manning.
  3. Identify state happenings during the 1960s and early 1970s which may have contributed to Mississippi’s poor image concerning race, violence, and poverty.

Opening the Lesson

The teacher will ask the students the following questions:

  • What is a folk hero?
  • Why is a folk hero different from a celebrity?

Once the students understand the difference between the two terms, the teacher will ask students to name celebrities and folk heroes from Mississippi. The teacher can list the names on the board. After the class discussion, the teacher will tell the students that they will have an opportunity to learn why Archie Manning is considered a Mississippi folk hero.

Developing the Lesson

  1. The teacher will ask the students to create K-W-L charts in their notebooks. The students should write on their charts what they already “know” about Archie Manning and what they “wonder” about him.
  2. Next, the students will read the Mississippi History Now article, “Archie Manning: The Story and Significance of a Mississippi Icon.” As they read the article, students should record notes on the graphic organizer. The investigative question students should consider as they read the article and take notes is: “Why was Archie Manning considered a Mississippi folk hero to many Mississippians, particularly during his collegiate football career?”
  3. Once the students have completed their graphic organizers, the teacher will allow the students to work with a partner to write a summary of the Mississippi History Now article. Students should use their graphic organizer to write the summary.
  4. The teacher will ask the students to share examples from their summaries in response to the question posed in item 2 above.
  5. For the next segment of the lesson, students should be placed in groups of three. The teacher will allow the student groups to select one of the following projects to complete.
    • Write a ballad or poem about the career and life of Archie Manning and his impact on the state of Mississippi
    • Write a speech about the career and life of Archie Manning and his impact on the state of Mississippi
    • Design a mural or collage about the career and life of Archie Manning
    • Write a short essay identifying state happenings during the 1960s and early 1970s which may have contributed to Mississippi’s poor image concerning race, violence, and poverty
      Students should use the Mississippi History Now article as a resource as well as other sources.
  6. Along with the project, students should submit a bibliography of sources used to complete their project.
  7. The students will present their projects to the class upon conclusion of the lesson.

Closing the Lesson

The students will complete the last column on their K-W-L charts with what they “learned” about Archie Manning and his impact on the state of Mississippi. The teacher will ask for student volunteers to respond to the following questions:

  1. What did you learn about Archie Manning?
  2. Why was Archie Manning considered a folk hero in Mississippi, particularly during the late 1960s and early 1970s?
  3. After your study of Archie Manning, is there anything that you admire or appreciate most about him?

Students can respond orally or in writing to the questions listed above. The teacher can also locate on the internet “The Ballad of Archie Who” (YouTube link) to play for the class during the close of the lesson.

Assessing Student Learning

  • Class participation
  • K-W-L charts
  • Graphic organizers
  • Summaries
  • Projects

Enrichment

  • Students can watch the SEC Storied segment, The Book of Manning (YouTube link) .
  • Students can further research the social history of Mississippi at the time Archie Manning attended the University of Mississippi.
  • Students can research other NFL players from Mississippi.
  • Students can research Archie Manning’s charitable work and public serve after his NFL career.
  • Students can research the Manning NFL football legacy.

Other Mississippi History Now articles:

Cool Papa Bell

David “Boo” Ferriss: A Baseball Great

James O. Eastland

Karla Smith is the Social Studies Department Chair at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jefferson Davis Campus.

Additional Lesson Plans on Mississippi history:

http://mdah.state.ms.us/new/learn/classroom-materials/lesson-plans-and-teaching-units/

The Great Depression and Religion in Mississippi - Lesson Plan

Overview

The widespread suffering caused by the Great Depression rendered religious agencies in Mississippi unable to help those in need. As the income of workers fell by 40 to 60 percent, donations traditionally used to fund religious aid for those trapped at the bottom of society also plummeted. Most religious leaders and agencies in Mississippi called for and subsequently welcomed the various social aid programs created by President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. As the New Deal took effect, however, state religious leaders held mixed emotions and opinions concerning the program’s success in the state. Most white clergy continued to support the relief and recovery programs of the New Deal, although many worried that federal aid would undermine Jim Crow segregation. Black ministers in Mississippi responded more cautiously to the New Deal as many program benefits were denied to black southerners, particularly domestic workers, sharecroppers, and tenant farmers. A minority of white ministers feared that the implementation of the New Deal meant that local churches had permanently given up their social and moral authority to an expanded federal government, a fear that would continue to grow among white southern ministers in the coming decades.

Curricular Connections

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 2, and 3

Teaching Level

Grades 7 through 12

Materials/Equipment

  • Mississippi History Now article, “The Great Depression and Religion in Mississippi”
  • Character Analysis Worksheet
  • Classroom board
  • Computer
  • Index cards or unlined paper cut into squares
  • Internet access
  • Resource books
  • PowerPoint
  • Data Projector

Objectives

The students will:

  1. Determine the role religious agencies played in assisting people in need in Mississippi both prior to and after the Great Depression.
  2. Examine the widespread suffering caused by the Great Depression from the viewpoint of different population groups in Mississippi.
  3. Evaluate how New Deal programs impacted different population groups in Mississippi.

Opening the Lesson

Prior to the start of class, the teacher will list the following questions on the board:

  1. What would you do to feed your family?
  2. What do you do to try to recover?
  3. If that fails, where would you go for help?
  4. When that help runs out, where would you go next?
  5. And next?

To open the lesson, the teacher will ask students to imagine that they are living in Mississippi in 1931 during the Great Depression. Next, the teacher will read the scenario listed below to the class. Students should imagine that this scenario is their life in 1931.

It is 1931. Your house burns down. A month later, you contract malaria, and you cannot work. Your family’s life savings has been lost in a bank failure. Your family has almost nothing left to eat.

Next, the teacher will ask students the questions listed on the board prior to the start of class. The teacher will record the student responses on the board. After the class discussion, the teacher will tell the students that they will have an opportunity to study how different populations in the 1930s were affected by the Great Depression and the New Deal.

Developing the Lesson

  1. Each of the characters listed below will be placed on separate index cards or pieces of paper that are card size. The set of cards will be duplicated based on the number of student groups to ensure that each student group receives a card. The students should be aware that these are real scenarios from Mississippi in the 1930s.
    • A black male sharecropper living and working on a plantation in Coahoma County with a wife and five children.
    • A Syrian woman living in Greenwood. Her husband is dead, and she is raising her high school-aged son on her own.
    • A black small business owner in Mound Bayou, whose customers are predominately local black farmers. You, your wife, and your two children live in a small house beside your store.
    • A white male wage laborer in Bolivar County. You have a wife and four children who travel with you looking for work in the cotton fields.
    • A white female minister in Natchez, who is a wife and the mother of two children. She and her husband preach at a local holiness church and scratch out a living on their small farm.
  2. Next, students will be placed in groups of three or four. One member from each group will select one of the character cards mentioned above. Depending on the number of student groups, more than one group may have the same character.
  3. The teacher will instruct the student groups to research their assigned character. Students will use various books and Internet sources to complete their character analysis. Along with the current article, “The Great Depression and Religion in Mississippi,” students will also use other articles from the Mississippi History Now website for their research. Other articles suggested for student research are listed at the bottom of this webpage.
  4. Some of the research questions for the character analysis should include the following:
    • What types of survival strategies or resources were available to your character prior to the Great Depression? Were these same strategies available during the depression? If no, why were they not available?
    • What types of survival strategies or resources were available or may have been used by your character in the early years of the Great Depression?
    • Which New Deal programs might have been available to your character? Would those benefits have been limited in any way depending on your character’s race or occupation?
      Attached to the lesson plan is a worksheet that students can use to record their research notes.
  5. The teacher will tell the students that they will be required to create a PowerPoint on their character analysis research that will be shared with the class. The students should include a slide in the PowerPoint that list the resources used for the assignment. A slide on the geography of the area where their character resided should also be included in the PowerPoint.

Closing the Lesson

The students will present their research projects to the class.

Assessing Student Learning

  • Class participation
  • Group activity
  • Research notes
  • Presentations

Enrichment

  • Students can research local, state, and national leaders during the Depression.
  • Students can conduct further research on the programs included in the New Deal.
  • Students can research local, state, and national resources available to those in need today.
  • The teacher can use Mississippi History Now articles mentioned in this lesson plan to create a unit on the Great Depression.

Other related Mississippi History Now articles (Please hyperlink each article below)

Depression and Hard Times in Mississippi: Letters from the William M. Colmer Papers

(Letters from the William M. Colmer Papers can be directly accessed here. )

Farmers Without Land: The Plight of White Tenant Farmers and Sharecroppers

Religion in Mississippi

Women’s Work Relief in the Great Depression

Cooperative Farming in Mississippi

Economic Development in the 1930s: Balance Agriculture with Industry

The Rural Electrification of Northeast Mississippi

WPA Slave Narratives

Karla Smith is the Social Studies Department Chair at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jefferson Davis Campus.

ADDITIONAL LESSON PLANS ON MISSISSIPPI HISTORY:

http://mdah.state.ms.us/new/learn/classroom-materials/lesson-plans-and-teaching-units/.

Jefferson Davis Soldier Home – Beauvoir - Lesson Plan

Overview

On December 10, 1903, the Jefferson Davis Soldier Home – Beauvoir opened in Biloxi, Mississippi. Over the course of fifty-four years, more than 1,800 residents called Beauvoir home. These residents included Confederate veterans, their wives, and widows. In 1957, control of the property was returned to the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans after the last two residents were relocated to retirement homes. In 2014, the University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of History began a study tracing the lives of the veteran residents of the Jefferson Davis Soldier Home from the 1850s through the twentieth century. The Beauvoir Veteran Project has shown that Mississippi’s Confederate home was one of the few to welcome female residents, to have a female superintendent, and to have female members serve on its board of directors.

Curricular Connections

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 3 and 5

Common Core Standards

RH.3; WHST.2, 4-6

Teaching Level

Grades 7 through 12

Materials/Equipment

Objectives

The student will:

  1. Determine generalizations and supporting details about an historical event.
  2. Compose a written assignment from a specific point of view.

Opening the Lesson

The teacher will show the students photographs from the Mississippi History Now article, “Jefferson Davis Soldier Home – Beauvoir.” Additional photographs can also be located on the website for the Beauvoir Veteran Project (beauvoirveteranproject.org). The teacher will ask students the following questions about the photographs:

  1. Where do you think these photographs were taken?
  2. Who or what do you see in the photographs?
  3. How are these photographs connected or relevant to one another?
  4. Why are photographs an important form of historical documentation?
    The teacher will tell the students that they will have an opportunity to learn more about the subjects in the photographs as they study the Jefferson Davis Soldier Home – Beauvoir.

Developing the Lesson

  1. The teacher will distribute to the students a copy of the Mississippi History Now article, “Jefferson Davis Soldier Home – Beauvoir.” The students will be encouraged to annotate the article as they read. Once students have completed the reading, the teacher will distribute to the students a copy of the Generalizations Chart (attached) or display the chart on a screen or board for students to copy into their notebooks.
  2. The teacher will have the students reread the Mississippi History Now article in order to complete the Generalizations Chart. The students may work independently or with a partner for this activity.
  3. Once the students have completed their charts, the teacher will lead a class discussion about the article by asking student volunteers to share information listed on their charts.
  4. For the next portion of the lesson, the teacher will use the RAFT activity. For this writing activity, students choose a R ole (point of view), A udience (specific reader to whom the assignment is being written), and F ormat (letter, news article, editorial, journal entry, etc.). The T opic for the assignment should be the Jefferson Davis Soldier Home – Beauvoir. The role students should use for this writing assignment should be one that is relevant to the home between 1894 (the date Beauvoir is first suggested as a veterans’ home) and 1957. Students can assume the identity of one of the residents of the home. Information about individual residents can be found on the website for the Beauvoir Veteran Project (beauvoirveteranproject.org). Suggestions for other roles for the writing assignment are listed below.
    • One of the individuals mentioned in the Mississippi History Now article
    • A citizen writing to a member of the Mississippi legislature in support of the establishment of the Jefferson Davis Soldier Home – Beauvoir
    • A newspaper editorial written in support of the establishment of the Jefferson Davis Soldier Home – Beauvoir
    • An employee of the Jefferson Davis Soldier Home – Beauvoir
    • A newspaper article written about the opening or closing of the Jefferson Davis Soldier Home – Beauvoir
  5. Once the students have completed their assignments, the teacher may ask for student volunteers to share their assignments with the class.

Closing the Lesson

The teacher can play the recording of Private Laurentine Higbie singing “Veteran’s Last Song,” which is found on the website for the Beauvoir Veteran Project (beauvoirveteranproject.org). The teacher will ask the students to interpret the meaning of the song’s lyrics. The teacher may also ask students to consider if there is a difference between how the public chose to remember or romanticize the lives of Confederate veterans and how these veterans actually lived following the war.

Assessing Student Learning

  • Class participation
  • Chart
  • Assignments

Enrichment

  • Take a field trip to Beauvoir.
  • Invite a guest speaker to talk to the students about conducting historical research.
  • Conduct research on current issues relevant to Mississippi’s veterans.
  • Follow-up this lesson with other Mississippi History Now lesson plans.

Other Mississippi History Now articles

Jefferson Davis

Beauvoir

Sarah Anne Ellis Dorsey: A Woman of Uncommon Mind

Mississippi Soldiers in the Civil War

Black Confederate Pensioners after the Civil War

Karla Smith is the Social Studies Department Chair at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jefferson Davis Campus.

ADDITIONAL LESSON PLANS ON MISSISSIPPI HISTORY:

http://mdah.state.ms.us/new/learn/classroom-materials/lesson-plans-and-teaching-units/.

Sarah Dickey, Indomitable Mississippi Educator, Lesson Plan

Overview

Sarah Dickey was a young women in her twenties when she was sent on a mission by the United Brethren Church to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Between 1863 and 1865, she helped operate a school in Vicksburg for newly emancipated slaves. It was during this time that Dickey realized her life’s calling – to teach African American children during one of the most turbulent times in American history. After the war, she enrolled at Mount Holyoke, a female college in Massachusetts known for training teachers. She received her teaching diploma in 1869 and returned to Mississippi where she taught at Freedmen’s Bureau schools in Raymond and Clinton. In 1875, she opened Mount Hermon Seminary for Colored Females, a seminary for African American females in Clinton modeled after beloved Mount Holyoke. At Mount Hermon, Dickey oversaw the training of hundreds of African American women as teachers. Mount Hermon closed its doors in 1924 following Dickey’s death in 1904. Her life’s work, however, lived on through the work of students who went on to teach African American children in segregated schools throughout Mississippi.

Curricular Connections

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 3 and 4

Common Core

RH.1-2; WHST.2, 4-6

Teaching Level

Grades 7 through 12

Materials/Equipment

  • Mississippi History Now article, “ Sarah Dickey: Indomitable Mississippi Educator”
  • Sarah Dickey Life Chart
  • Worksheet
  • Unlined paper or poster board
  • Computer (optional for essay and timeline)

Objectives

The students will:

  1. Construct a timeline of events in the life of Sarah Dickey.
  2. Examine significant events and details about her life.
  3. Compose an essay about the life of Sarah Dickey.

Opening the Lesson

The teacher will ask the students the following questions:

  1. What type of career interests you?
  2. Why do you want to pursue this career?
  3. Why do you think teachers chose education?

During the class discussion, the teacher will inform the students that they will learn about the life and career of Mississippi teacher Sarah Dickey.

Developing the Lesson

  1. As the students read the Mississippi History Now article on Sarah Dickey, they will take note of significant events in order to construct a timeline.
  2. With a partner, students will create a timeline outlining what they feel are the ten most significant events in the life of Sarah Dickey. The students will create the timelines on unlined paper or small poster board.
  3. Once the students complete the timeline, the teacher will ask for student volunteers to share the events listed on their timelines. During the discussion, the teacher will ask the students why they consider the events selected as important to the life of Sarah Dickey.
  4. The teacher will distribute a copy of the Sarah Dickey worksheet to each student. Once the students complete the worksheet, they will share their work in small groups.

Closing the Lesson

Using their previous work and the Mississippi History Now article, the teacher will ask the students to write an essay about Sarah Dickey’s life that addresses the following questions:

  1. How did the time period of Sarah Dickey’s life create both opportunity and obstacles for her work in education?
  2. Why should Sarah Dickey be remembered exemplary educator?

Assessing Student Learning

  • Class participation
  • Small group discussion
  • Sarah Dickey Life Chart
  • Worksheet
  • Essay

Extending the Lesson

  • Compare and contrast the training and education of teachers today to the training of teachers during the nineteenth century.
  • Plan a Sarah Dickey Day program to be celebrated during National Education Week or Teacher Appreciation Week that also incorporates honoring current teachers.
  • Invite a guest speaker to talk about the history of local schools.
  • Invite a guest speaker to talk about teacher education programs.
  • Have students research the history of their school or school district.
  • Use other Mississippi History Now articles, such as the ones listed below, to create a unit that incorporates contemporary Mississippi history events in the life of Sarah Dickey.
    • The Clinton Riot of 1875: From Riot to Massacre
    • Reconstruction in Mississippi, 1865-1876
    • Isaiah T. Montgomery, 1847-1924
    • Civil War: Vicksburg During the Civil War (1862-1863): A Campaign; A Siege

Other Mississippi History Now articles:

The Clinton Riot of 1875: From Riot to Massacre

Reconstruction in Mississippi, 1865-1876

Isaiah T. Montgomery, 1847-1924

Isaiah T. Montgomery, 1847-1924

Civil War: Vicksburg During the Civil War (1862-1863): A Campaign; A Siege

Karla Smith is the Social Studies Department Chair at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jefferson Davis Campus.

ADDITIONAL LESSON PLANS ON MISSISSIPPI HISTORY:

MDAH Lesson Plans and Teaching Units

Marcus Shook: A Mississippi Hero - Lesson Plan

Overview

For over seventy-two years, the crew of one World War II plane has held a special place in the hearts of the people of Lomianki, Poland. This particular crew belonged to a B-17 or Flying Fortress named “I’ll Be Seeing You” after a popular Bing Crosby song. Mississippi Sgt. Marcus Shook, born on June 30, 1920, in Belmont, Mississippi, and affectionately dubbed “Shooky” by his fellow airmen, was a member of this exceptional ten-man crew. Shook and the rest of the crew of “I’ll Be Seeing You” are considered heroes by the citizens of Lomianki, Poland. In 1944, the crew of “I’ll Be Seeing You,” along with the crews of more than one hundred other B-17s, participated in daring airdrops attempting to provide badly needed supplies to the Polish resistance engaged in the Warsaw Uprising, an attempt to liberate the beleaguered, capital city from German occupation. Shook was one of only two crew members of “I’ll Be Seeing You” to survive the dangerous mission. “I’ll Be Seeing You” was the only B-17 downed by Germans during the historic mission. After being struck by enemy fire and exploding, the plane’s remains crashed at Dziekanόw Leśny near Lomianki, a small town located nine miles from Warsaw. In 1986, the community of Lomianki erected a nine-foot granite memorial in Kielpin Cemetery. One year later, Shook, along with then Vice President George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, attended the first annual ceremony to honor the crew of “I’ll Be Seeing You.” In 1994, the city of Lomianki made the Mississippi native an honorary citizen just before he succumbed to cancer in 1995.

Curricular Connections

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1 and 3

Common Core

RH.1-2, 4, 8-9; WHST.2, 4-9

Teaching Level

Grades 7 through 12

Materials/Equipment

  • Mississippi History Now article, “Marcus Shook: A Mississippi Hero”
  • Reading guide
  • Research worksheet
  • Computer
  • Internet access
  • Data projector
  • Various resource books

Objectives

The students will:

  1. Analyze historical photographs.
  2. Conduct research on a historical event.
  3. Create a news segment about an aspect of the Mississippi History NOW article and related events.

Opening the Lesson

The teacher will place the students into groups of three or four in order to analyze the pictures included with the Mississippi History Now article, “Marcus Shook: A Mississippi Hero.” The teacher will ask one student in the group to record the group’s answers to the questions listed below. The students should be given about 15 minutes to respond to the questions.

  1. Study all of the pictures included with the article. What is your overall impression of the collection? (Include one or two sentences.)
  2. Where were the photographs taken?
  3. Who is in the photographs?
  4. What type of activity is taking place in the photographs?
  5. By observing the details of the photographs, what can you determine?
  6. What would you like to know about the events or subjects in the pictures that you cannot visually see by looking at the photographs?

After 15 minutes, the teacher will conduct a class discussion about the photographs based on the student responses to the questions above. During the discussion, the teacher will emphasis that Marcus Shook is a native Mississippian. The teacher will inform the students that the crew members of the B-17 bomber “I’ll Be Seeing You” were considered heroes not only to their native states and country, but also to the citizens of Lomianki, Poland. The teacher will tell the students that over the course of the next several days that they will be able to study and research native Mississippian Marcus Shook and the crew of “I’ll Be Seeing You,” along with their World War II mission. A world map should be used during the discussion of the pictures in order for students to understand geographical locations of regions important to the mission of “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

Developing the Lesson

  1. The teacher will distribute to the students a copy of the Mississippi History Now article, “Marcus Shook: A Mississippi Hero,” and a copy of the article reading guide attached to this lesson. As the students read the article, they should respond to the questions on the reading guide. The students can work independently or with a partner to answer the questions during class.
  2. The teacher will lead a class discussion about the Mississippi History Now article by asking student volunteers to share their answers to the questions on the reading guide.
  3. Once the class discussion has been concluded, students should be placed in groups of three to complete a project. The teacher will tell the students that each group will be responsible for creating a 10 to 15 minute radio broadcast about an aspect of the events mentioned in the Mississippi History Now article, “Marcus Shook: A Mississippi Hero.” The teacher will also inform the class that a radio broadcast was selected as the format for the project because this was the most common mode of communication used to keep the public informed about the war effort. Each group should be given a copy of the project research worksheet attached to this lesson in order to record and document the sources used for the group project. If available, students should be encouraged to use both primary and secondary sources when researching the topic of their project. Once the research is complete, each group should write a script for their radio broadcast. Listed below are topic suggestions for the radio broadcast:
    • Warsaw Uprising of 1944
    • Supply drops made by 110 B-17s, including “I’ll Be Seeing You” on September 18, 1944
    • The crew of “I’ll Be Seeing You”
    • B-17 Bombers
    • The 1986 monument and the 1987 ceremony at Kielpin Cemetery to “I’ll Be Seeing You”
  4. Once the students have written their script for their radio broadcast, they should type their final draft to be submitted to the teacher.

Closing the Lesson

Each group should present their broadcast to the class. After the group presentations, the teacher will ask the students to respond to the questions listed below. The students can respond in an oral or written format.

  1. What are the three things you discovered from your study of the Mississippi History Now article, “Marcus Shook: A Mississippi Hero” and the research for group project?
  2. What are two interesting facts you learned from your study of the Mississippi History Now article and the research for your group project?
  3. What questions do you still have about the topics you have studied in this lesson?

Assessing Student Learning

  • Class participation
  • Photograph activity
  • Reading guide
  • Research worksheet
  • Radio broadcast script
  • Presentation

Enrichment

  • Students should research answers to questions they still have about the lesson.
  • Plan a program to honor the crew of “I’ll Be Seeing You.”
  • Write a diary entry for one of the following viewpoints during World War II: ( a ) a Member of the crew of “I’ll Be Seeing You; ( b ) a Citizen of Lomianki during the supply drops; or ( c ) a Member of the Polish Home Army resistance fighters.
  • Pretend to be an American pilot who flew and provided aid during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 and write a letter home to loved ones after the mission.
  • Research the interment of American POWs during World War II.
  • Study monuments and memorials erected here and abroad in honor of American veterans.
  • Visit Marcus Shook’s gravesite in his hometown of Belmont, Mississippi.

Other Mississippi History Now articles about World War II:

Karla Smith is the Social Studies Department Chair at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jefferson Davis Campus.

ADDITIONAL LESSON PLANS ON MISSISSIPPI HISTORY:

MDAH Lesson Plans and Teaching Units

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