|Lesson Overview||This activity will help students understand the state of racial relations in the United States in the 1950s by highlighting a particular instance of racial discrimination in the life of Percy Julian, who was affected personally and professionally by segregation laws. Students will read a letter written by Julian to the president of the American Chemical Society in which he questions their apparent support of existing segregation laws. They will consider broader issues of racism and do research on a number of questions.|
|Learning Objectives||Students will be able to reconstruct some of the history of the laws that enforced segregation and the impact of this segregation on U.S. society. Students will be able to understand that “separate but equal” really meant “separate but NOT equal.”|
|Skills Required||Basic reading, research skills, and computer skills.|
|Time Required||In class work will take a minimum of two class periods for reading and taking notes. Additional time will be needed for answering questions and class discussion and presentations.|
|Student Ability Level and Grouping||
Middle school students working in pairs.
|Post-activity||If you divide the research questions among the students, you could have the students make class presentations on their assigned questions. If the students do not make presentations, you should assemble all the written research work for class discussion.|
|Assessment||Teacher evaluation of the written research information by the students. Standard rubric used for evaluating written work.|
|Student Resources for Further Study||See the various links in the student material.|
This activity meets the following National Science Education Standards (Grades 5-8) and Curriculum Standards for Social Studies.
National Science Education Standards (Grades 5-8)
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
History and Nature of Science
Curriculum Standards for Social Studies