Freedom Riders Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Have students examine the important Civil Rights group the Freedom Riders. Discuss Jim Crow Laws, read about events, and evaluate the impact this group had. Finish with reflective writing that can lead to further study.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain Jim Crow Laws and their impact
  • describe events leading to the Freedom Riders
  • evaluate the impact of Freedom Riders


  • 50 minutes, plus additional time to complete writing


  • A screen to show the video and copies of the text for the lesson The Freedom Riders: Timeline, Summary & Facts, one for each student
  • Maps showing routes the Freedom Riders took (with or without routes marked), one for each student
  • Primary and secondary source documents related to Freedom Rider events, such as newspaper articles, journals, autobiographies, etc.

Key Vocabulary

  • Segregation
  • Freedom Riders
  • Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
  • Black Civil Rights Movement
  • Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
  • Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.3

Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

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