COMMEMORATING COURAGE

Education Activity Suggestions:

Students should review the Commemorating Courage exhibit before completing any of the following assignments. Students may work in groups or individually.

 

Option One:

Each student or team of students selects a particular portion of President Clinton’s speech on the 40th Anniversary of desegregation at Little Rock Central High School and examines how the content of it changed from drafts to the final version. Students will then give an oral report or complete a writing assignment on how the content changed between drafts. Ask students to speculate on why the edits were made. For example–Why do you think President Clinton changed a particular word or phrase, mentioned a specific person, or included a certain quote?

Extension Activity/Informed Action Component:

Each student or team of students writes a short speech to commemorate a historically significant local, state, regional, or national event. Then, the draft versions are reviewed by classmates who will suggest changes. As a class, the students will combine the best elements of the drafts into a final speech. The final speech can be presented at an assembly, school open house (live or recorded), shared as a podcast (audio only or video file), through social media, and/or as a press release to traditional media outlets.

 

Option Two:

The Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Little Rock Nine represents the highest civilian honor awarded by Congress. Each time it is awarded, a unique design is created to reflect the recipient(s) and their contribution to society. In this activity, each student or team of students examines the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Little Rock Nine and other Congressional Gold Medal designs. Next, students will consider other groups or individuals who have not yet been recognized and write a recommendation for them to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. Finally, students will design their own medal, reflecting the achievements of their selected group or individual. Students can present their findings, recommendations, and design in a written report, multimedia presentation (such as PowerPoint, Prezi, or iMovie), website, poster, or exhibit board.

Extension Activity/Informed Action Component:

Organize an assembly or school open house where the students can share their findings on a broader platform. Students can also write a letter to their House Representative or Senator with their recommendation for recognition. 


Option Three:

Little Rock Central High School was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and became a National Historic Site after President Clinton signed legislation in 1998. In this activity, students will review the nomination records for the site-found here- and will consider the differences between the two designations. Then, students will search the National Register database to identify a local property of historic significance and conduct research (polls, surveys, interviews) to gauge public awareness of the site.

Extension Activity/Informed Action Component:

Students create a social media campaign to promote awareness of the site they researched. Or students can identify the State Historic Preservation Officer for their state or research a local site that may have significant historical value that is not already listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Students can then use the National Park Service National Register Criteria to determine if the site is eligible and complete the nomination form for the National Historic Register of Historic Places.