Civil Rights Cases that Transformed our Society


I want students to have a better understanding of significant court cases and gain empathy for the plight of the oppressed groups that were affected by these laws and their reversals.  I also want to help students to understand how these court outcomes have influenced their own lives and the lives of families today.


Students will produce a Canva virtual poster, including a video, which highlights the viewpoints of the prosecutor and the defendant, the case outcome, and subsequent societal changes as a result of each Supreme Court case.  


  1.  Students will investigate court cases, using the provided links to determine the purpose of the case, the involved parties, and the outcome of the case.  Brown vs. Board of Ed.Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. the United StatesLoving vs. VirginiaJones vs. Alfred H. Mayer Co.
  2. As part of a jigsaw activity, each small group will use the provided research links to further their own knowledge of the case.
  3. Each group will present a creation using Canva to the rest of the class. 

Differentiation Strategies

1. The links to the different information sources can be substituted with actual text if the one to one ratio isn't available to your students.  Titles with valuable information include, 

The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions By Kermit Roosevelt

From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality By Michael J. Klarman

The Supreme Court, Race, and Civil Rights: From Marshall to Rehnquist By Abraham L. Davis, Barbara Luck Graham

2. Offer students an actual poster option for sharing.

3. For students that have devices and may struggle with reading the text of the informational sites, text to speak may be used to help them listen to the cases instead of trying to read the information for themselves.

4. Students may incorporate music that was relevant at the time of the case, during the presentation.

5. Read aloud titles, Loving vs. Virginia, Separate is never equal: Sylvia Mendez & her family's fight for desegregation

Useful files

Quizlet legal vocab

Project guidelines and rubric

Example project

Oyez Supreme Court Cases

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