A Documents-Based Lesson on the Voting Rights Act

This A Documents-Based Lesson on the Voting Rights Act lesson plan also includes:

How did the Voting Rights Act affect the daily lives of American citizens? A document-based lesson plan developed by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating committee (SNCC) presents a case study of the impact of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 on black residents of Lowndes County, Alabama. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Rather than making print copies of the many documents, assign groups different documents and provide the links
  • Have groups investigate current voting rights controversies such as those involving voter registration ID, early voting restrictions, and the Supreme court decision Shelby County v. Holder
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires consider prep time to read through and select which documents to include in the lesson
  • Establish a protocol that permits a safe, respectful discussion of controversial issues


  • The DBQ format encourages learners to develop critical thinking skills as they research, interpret, and analyze historical documents

  • None