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Social Movements of the 20th Century

Life Skills:

  • Character
  • Social & Civic Responsibility

Time Frame:
5 class periods that run 45 minutes each.

Group Size:


Students will select a social or political movement of the 20th century (e.g. woman's movement, civil rights movement) to research and share what they learned with their classmates.

Enduring Understanding:
The U.S. emerged as a world influence through the contributions of individual groups, movements, and events.

Essential Question:
What impact did the social and political movements of the 20th century have on the United States?

Main Curriculum Tie:
Social Studies - 5th Grade
Standard 5 Objective 2

Assess the impact of social and political movements in recent United States history.

Instructional Procedures:
Step 1: During a class discussion bring up the idea of social unrest to the students. Have the children generate a list of topics of concerns that are facing the people of today.

Step 2: Introduce the social and political movements of the 20th century (woman's movement, the civil rights movement, child labor reforms, New Deal, Social Security, labor unions, temperance, immigration laws, peace movement etc.)

You may want to refer to the National Archives website for more information about each movement and the decade that it occurs in.

Discuss the main movements for a general understanding of the unrest.

Note: On UEN's emedia there are many short and long videos on a variety of political and social movements. We felt that each educator would like to select their own area of focus.

Step 3: Divide the class into groups of two or three students. Each group selects a movement to research. They need to analyze information to determine the who, what, where, why and how.

Their goal is to create a PowerPoint to instruct the class. In their PowerPoint they must include primary source documents and photos. Their slide shows should be no longer than 10-15 slides each. An optional slide show could include: title page, who page, what page, where page, when page, how page, why page, extra photos x3 pages, how it effects me now page, bibliography. Please refer to the rubric for specific instruction.

Step 4:
Share the completed PowerPoints with the class.

Web Sites

Assessment Plan:

Pre-assessment: List all the social and political movements of the 20th century and how they effect you.

Post Assessment: The PowerPoint is the final assessment.


Sheri Sorensen
Lynda Davis

Created Date :
Jun 26 2009 13:12 PM

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