Lesson Plan

Young People in the Civil Rights Movement

Little Rock Nine Escorted by 101st Airborne Division

Courtesy of the National Archives

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Civics Lesson

GRADE LEVEL: High School

How Were Youth Involved in the Civil Rights Movement?

Throughout history, young people have stepped up and into leadership roles during different civil rights and social movements. This was never more evident than in the Civil Rights Movement, where young people were on the frontlines of the Montgomery bus boycotts, Freedom Rides and sit-ins. Given that student activism is on the rise again across the U.S., understanding how those young voices were able to be heard and make change will prepare today’s students to continue that legacy.

About the Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students will learn about two young activists and the contributions they made to the Civil Rights Movement.




  • Analyze photographs of youth activists during the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Describe the lives of Ruby Bridges and Stokely Carmichael.
  • Teach each other about youth activists during the Civil Rights Movement.