The Watsons Go To Birmingham—1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

A primary source set of photographs, videos, newspaper articles, and FBI reports provides insight into race relations during the 1960s, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, and the murder of Emmitt Till. Designed to be used to set the stage for a reading of Christopher Paul Curtis's novel, The Watsons Go to Birmingham, the set is also appropriate for any study of the Civil Rights Movement.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • To save copying costs, project the documents, or if pupils have access to computers, load the documents on each group's devices
Classroom Considerations
  • The documents are powerful and disturbing; ensure that a protocol is in place for a safe, respectful discussion of the events and of the times
  • Requires copies of Christopher Paul Curtis's The Watsons Go To Birmingham
  • The packet includes discussion questions and a writing prompt
  • Offers suggestions for how to set up the documents as a station activity
  • None