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A Look at Segregation

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A Look at Segregation. Note from the Chief Inspector: . I n order to better read and understand the plot of Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry , we must first seek out information on segregation in this country.

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A Look at


note from the chief inspector
Note from the Chief Inspector:
  • In order to better read and understand the plot of Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, we must first seek out information on segregation in this country.
  • This week you will assume the role of detective and investigate issues related to segregation.
  • Your report on this topic will be due back to me by Friday, November 12th.
  • Your will have 4 days in class to complete your investigation and report. You will need to plan accordingly. Some of the project may need to be completed at home.
  • Remember to be creative and resourceful. All reports will be shared with the class.
introduction attention detective
Introduction: Attention Detective

This is a briefing on your next assignment for the task force. You’ve already been informed of the story of Barbara Johns and now it’s time to gather information for the department on segregation, Brown vs. the Board of Education, Martin Luther King Jr, and Rosa Parks.

Your mission is to perform the tasks listed under (PROCESS) in order to gain information for your report back to me. Yes Detective, your ultimate assignment ( TASK ) is to report back to me your findings and opinions on the facts and situation during the time when segregation was prominent.

Under (PROCESS) , I’ve listed a few sources that might be of use to you, as well as some options for your report. I expect your report to be on my desk by Friday, November 12th at the beginning of the class period.

Use your time wisely, Detective. I’m counting on you for this information. Now, get to work!

the task a report to the chief inspector
The Task: A report to the chief inspector


  • All 5 vocabulary words
  • All four topics: segregation in general, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr, and Brown vs. the Board of Education
  • An opinion of all four topics: Use the questions you answer during your research to guide you
  • At least 5 paragraphs in length with a minimum of five sentences per paragraph. That’s 25 sentences minimum, Detective! There should be one paragraph on each topic, and one for your opinions and personal reaction/thoughts.
  • * Be creative! Write like an actual detective would write a report to their boss, the Chief Inspector. Think about the different ways to write and put yourself in the shoes of that character. You can play around with the tone, point of view, and voice of your report. Don’t forget that you are addressing the Chief Inspector on this assignment!
  • Options for Report:

* Email, journal, letter, editorial, newspaper article, brochure, essay, opinion article, magazine article, series of poems, short story, creative writing, PowerPoint presentation, written speech, educational pamphlet, advertisement

the process the questions to answer
The Process: The Questions to answer

Chief Inspector Johnson will give you a copy of Martin Luther’s “I have a Dream” speech as well as an extra piece of paper to answer the following questions. After you answer the questions, use your answers and notes from your research to write your report.

  • Find 5 words you don’t know the meaning of during your investigation and write down their definition. *2 of these words must come from Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a Dream” speech* - Put a box around the words chosen in the speech
  • Underline one thing in the “I have a Dream” speech. Why did you underline this section? What does it mean to you?
  • Find information on Martin Luther King Jr. When was he born? When and how did he die? What do you think was his greatest accomplishment? Why do you think it was his greatest?
  • Find information on Rosa Parks. Why is she an important historical person? What did she do to impact the fight for desegregation? What happened to her as a result of her form of protest?
  • Find more information on Brown vs. the Board of Education. What were the other court cases besides the one involving Barbara Johns? Why was this court case important for desegregation?
  • Look up pictures of segregations signs and other protests for desegregation. What do you think about them? What is your opinion about the protests? Do you think they were successful? (ex: Rosa Parks, lunch counter sit-ins)
  • What are the “Jim Crow” laws? What role did they play in segregation?
  • Look up information on the NAACP. Summarize their purpose and how they got started. What kinds of things do they do today?
  • Look up information on Plessy v. Ferguson. How did this court case impact segregation? Summarize the decision that was made in this case. What court case changed the decision of this one?
  • Think about how you answered the questions above. What do you feel about segregation? What do you think about these people, laws, and court decisions? Write a short summary of how you feel now, after looking up more information for your report .
resources using the following link to start your investigation
Resources: using the following link to start your investigation

Can be used to find information about Rosa Parks


Can be used to find information on court cases


Can be used to find a biography of MLK


Can be used for vocabulary definitions


Great search engine to look for information