The Little Rock Nine

The desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School caught national attention when Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus deployed the Arkansas National Guard to prevent African American students from entering the school. The fight to allow those students to attend Central lasted much longer than those first weeks. The Little Rock Nine faced violence and intimidation throughout the school year in their quest to get an equal education. 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.4
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 11-12 reading and content, choosing flexibly...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.10
By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.2
Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3
Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.6
Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g.,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.7
Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.9
Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.8
Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of...
CLE 3001.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
CLE 3001.4.3
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
CLE 3001.4.5
Use a standard format to arrange text, to cite sources correctly, and to document quotations, paraphrases, and other information.
CLE 3002.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
CLE 3002.4.3
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
CLE 3002.4.5
Use a standard format to arrange text, to cite sources correctly, and to document quotations, paraphrases, and other information.
CLE 3003.1.2
Employ a variety of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, etymology, spelling, and usage of words and phrases.
CLE 3003.5.1
Use logic to make inferences and draw conclusions in a variety of complex oral and written contexts.
CLE 3003.6.1
Comprehend and summarize the main ideas of complex informational texts and determine the essential elements that elaborate them.
CLE 3003.8.1
Demonstrate knowledge of significant works of American literature from the colonial period to the present and make relevant comparisons.
CLE 3003.8.4
Analyze works of American literature for what is suggested about the historical period in which they were written.
CLE 3005.1.2
Employ a variety of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, etymology, spelling, and usage of words and phrases.
CLE 3005.6.1
Comprehend and summarize the main ideas of complex informational texts and determine the essential elements that elaborate them.
CLE 3005.8.1
Demonstrate knowledge of significant works of British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present and make relevant comparisons.
CLE 3005.8.4
Analyze works of British literature for what is suggested about the historical period in which they were written.
SPI 3001.4.4
Evaluate the validity of Web pages as sources of information.
SPI 3001.4.6
Identify information that must be cited or attributed within a writing sample.
SPI 3001.8.4
Identify and analyze how the author reveals character (i.e., what the author tells us, what the other characters say about him or her, what the character does,...
SPI 3002.1.9
Recognize a shift in either verb tense or point of view within a writing sample.
SPI 3002.4.4
Evaluate the validity of Web pages as sources of information.
SPI 3002.4.6
Identify information that must be cited or attributed within a writing sample.
SPI 3002.8.4
Identify and analyze how the author reveals character (i.e., what the author tells us, what the other characters say about him or her, what the character does,...
SPI 3003.1.11
Correctly choose verb forms in terms of tense, voice (i.e., active and passive), and mood for continuity.
SPI 3003.8.6
Identify and analyze standard literary elements (i.e., archetype, allegory, parable, paradox, parody, satire, foreshadowing, flashback).
TSS.ELA.11-12.L.VAU.4
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on 11th -12th grade-level text by choosing flexibly from a...
TSS.ELA.11-12.RI.IKI.9
Analyze and evaluate a variety of thematically-related texts of historical and literary significance for their topics, facts, purposes, and rhetorical...
TSS.ELA.11-12.RI.KID.2
Determine multiple central ideas of a text or texts and analyze their development; provide a critical summary.
TSS.ELA.11-12.RI.KID.3
Analyze how an author's choices regarding the ordering of ideas and events, the introduction and development of ideas, and connections among ideas...
TSS.ELA.11-12.RL.IKI.9
Demonstrate knowledge of and analyze thematically-related, significant literary texts, considering how two or more texts treat similar themes or topics.
TSS.ELA.11-12.RL.KID.2
Determine multiple themes or central ideas of a text or texts and analyze their development; provide a critical summary.
TSS.ELA.11-12.RL.KID.3
Analyze how an author's choices regarding the development and interaction of characters, events, and ideas over the course of a text impact meaning.
TSS.ELA.11-12.W.RBPK.9
Support and defend interpretations, analyses, reflections, or research with evidence found in literature or informational texts, applying grade band...
TSS.ELA.11.RI.RRTC.10
(For 11th Grade) Read and comprehend a variety of literary nonfiction throughout the grades 11-12 text complexity band proficiently, with a gradual...
TSS.ELA.11.RL.RRTC.10
(For 11th Grade) Read and comprehend a variety of literature throughout the grades 11-12 text complexity band proficiently, with a gradual release of...
TSS.ELA.12.RI.RRTC.10
(For 12th Grade) Read and comprehend a variety of literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 11-12 text complexity band independently and...
TSS.ELA.12.RL.RRTC.10
(For 12th Grade) Read and comprehend a variety of literature at the high end of the grades 11-12 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
TSS.ELA.9-10.RI.KID.2
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development; provide an objective or critical summary.
TSS.ELA.9-10.RI.KID.3
Analyze how an author presents and develops key ideas and events to impact meaning.
TSS.ELA.9-10.RL.KID.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development; provide an objective or critical summary.
TSS.ELA.9-10.RL.KID.3
Analyze how complex characters, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text to impact meaning.
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.RBPK.8
Use multiple search terms to generate a variety of print and digital sources; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of...
US.92
Describe significant events in the struggle to secure civil rights for African Americans, including the following:
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Students will read and analyze multiple primary sources related to the desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School. Students will also compare and contrast these sources in a class discussion to answer the investigative question. 

Essential and guiding questions: 

What role did the Little Rock Nine play in the civil rights movement?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Extension suggestions: 
  • Assign students different members of the Little Rock Nine and explore what happened to them after the 1957-58 school year. How did being a member of the Little Rock Nine shape their lives?
  • Have students research the desegregation of Clinton High School in Clinton, TN. How do these two events compare?
  • Have students research the desegregation of their school or school district. This may include interviewing students or teachers who experienced desegregation effort in your local area. 

Helpful Hints

MATERIALS:

  • Stop signs for each student
  • Easel Pad or White Board