Digital Public Library of America

The Watsons Go To Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

SpotOn Score

3.5
Out of 4.0

Content

3.5

Pedagogy

3.6

Technology

0.0

Standards

N/A

SpotOn Review Summary

3.5 Overall Score

The civil rights movement was one of the most powerful social justice movements in history. The Watsons Go to Birmingham deals directly with how racism traumatized youth during this time period. It shows that many Americans are still resistant to the concept of racial integration. This lesson plan includes primary resources pertinent to the time period.

  • Grade Level(s)

    Developed for grades 6-12
  • Discipline

    English Language Arts
  • Product Type

    Lesson
  • Pricing Model

    This resource is available free of charge.

Spot On

  • This resource is designed to help students develop critical-thinking skills.
  • Online resources and primary-source sets provide an interesting array of information.
  • Numerous higher-level thinking activities are included.

Off the Mark

  • No specific means of differentiation for English language learners or for students with different learning needs is provided.
View Product Details

Content

Content Quality Review

This lesson plan includes primary resources pertinent to the time period. It provides background information on race relations in Alabama during the 1960s, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, and civil rights activism in the South. Students read a letter from Martin Luther King Jr. from the Birmingham City Jail in 1963, they view various newsclips/images along with legal documents from the times, and they watch a video of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. King speaking on the issues at hand. Each piece in the primary set focuses such things as author's point of view, author's purpose, historical context, and audience. Informal assessment can occur with the provided discussion questions and writing assi…

Read More

Content Quality

3.5

Criteria How are these criteria defined?

Accuracy

3.5

Clarity

3.5

Identifying a sense of purpose

3.5

Developing conceptual understanding

3.5

Assessing student progress

3.5

Pedagogy

Pedagogy Review

This resource provides Activities include group discussions and station work.

This resource helps teachers use primary-source sets in the classroom. It offers discussion questions, primary-source analysis tools, and classroom activities for preloading information so students learn about the important historical context of the novel. It sparks pedagogical creativity by giving a sample approach to the material. The use of primary sources helps students make real-life connections and requires them to think critically. For example, students use primary-source analysis for the historical context of the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The guide provides recommendations for inquiry-bas…

Read More

Pedagogy

3.6

Criteria How are these criteria defined?

Building on student ideas

4.0

Engaging students

4.0

Promoting student thinking

4.0

Developing discipline-based processes and practices

3.5

Enhancing the learning environment

3.5

Attention to diversity

4.0

Differentiation

2.0

Technology

Technology Review

All resources are online and are appealing to the viewer. Documents are spaced out nicely on the pages and they are easy to view. Students use technology to access news clips of speeches about Birmingham, Alabama, given by Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. Students also view online historical documents and letters, such as Martin Luther King Jr’s, “Letter from Birmingham City Jail.” All links work and take students to reliable pages. These resources address media and informational literacy. Document analysis worksheets are also available.

Technology

0.0

Criteria How are these criteria defined?

Creativity and innovation -- P21 Partnership for 21st Century Learning

N/A
P21 Partnership for 21st Century Learning
Learning and Innovation Skills
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Communications and Collaboration
Information Media and Technology Skills
  • Information Literacy
  • Media Literacy
  • Technology Literacy
Life and Career Skills
  • Flexibility
  • Initiative
  • Social Skills
  • Productivity
  • Leadership

Standards

Topics Alignment Review

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop critical-thinking skills by exploring topics in history, literature, and culture through primary sources. Drawing online materials from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States, the sets use letters, photographs, posters, oral histories, video clips, sheet music, and more. Each set includes a topic overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. These sets were created and reviewed by the teachers on the DPLA's Education Advisory Committee.

Topics in this resource include:

  • author's point of view, author's purpose
  • historical context
  • relationships between sources
  • using supporting evid…

Read More

Topics Alignment

N/A

This content is not standardized curriculum, and as such, it is not measured against state standards.

English Language Arts Topics
Coverage
Assessment
1 of 1 Subtopics Included
  • Assessment Referenced
Language 2-12
0 of 3 Subtopics Included
  • Conventions of Standard English Not Included
  • Knowledge of Language Not Included
  • Vocabulary Acquisition and Use Not Included
Reading Informational Text
0 of 1 Subtopics Included
  • Strategic Reading Skills Not Included
Reading Literature
1 of 3 Subtopics Included
  • Drama Not Included
  • Stories Referenced
  • Strategic Reading Skills Not Included
Reading Skills
2 of 8 Subtopics Included
  • Close Reading Not Included
  • Fluency Not Included
  • Independent Reading Referenced
  • Literary Response Referenced
  • Phonics and Word Recognition Not Included
  • Phonological Awareness Not Included
  • Print Concepts Not Included
  • Text Complexity Not Included
Speaking and Listening
1 of 3 Subtopics Included
  • Collaboration Not Included
  • Comprehension Referenced
  • Presentation Not Included
Writing
0 of 2 Subtopics Included
  • Grammer Not Included
  • Writing Types: Opinion/Argument, Informative Explanatory, Narrative Research Not Included
Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts
Grades 6–12
RL
Reading: Literature:
RL.9-10
Grades 9-10:
KID
Key Ideas and Details:
RL.9-10.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CS
Craft and Structure:
RL.9-10.6
Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.
ROR
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:
RL.9-10.10
By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 9–10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
W
Writing:
W.9-10
Grades 9-10:
RBPK
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
W.9-10.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  1. Apply grades 9–10 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work [e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare]”).
  2. Apply grades 9–10 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning”).
ROW
Range of Writing:
W.9-10.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Reviewed on September 18, 2016

All of SpotOn's reviews are writen by highly qualified, certified teachers trained by educators at The Ohio State University to become Digital Review Specialists.

Learn More About How We Rate

Tell us your experience with The Watsons Go To Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis!

Content & Features

  • Product Type: Lesson
  • Series Title: Primary Source Sets
  • Subject Area(s): English Language Arts
  • Copyright/Release Date: 2015
  • Resource Time: Less than 60 minutes
  • Languages: English

Digital Public Library of America's Product Description

Christopher Paul Curtis’s historical novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 (1995) is unique because it deals directly with how racism traumatized youth. A beautiful yet tragic coming-of-age story, it shows how a young boy is traumatized after witnessing the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. This primary source set provides background information on race relations in Alabama during the 1960s, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, and civil rights activism in the South.

See On Company's Site

Please note that the following features are based on the company's claims and were not part of SpotOn’s evaluation. All product information is believed accurate at the time of publication but subject to change at the supplier’s discretion.

Features

  • LTI Compliant
  • Technology-enhanced Assessments
  • Teacher Resources
  • Supports ELL
  • Personalized Content
  • Personalized Assessments
  • Multiple Reading Levels
  • Lexile Levels

Accessibility

Accessibility Features

  • Provides literacy tools
  • Screen reader compliant
  • Tab controls
  • Captioned videos
  • Alternative text annotations
  • Audio descriptions
  • Suitable for users with low vision
  • Suitable for deaf/hard-of-hearing users
  • Braille version
  • Large print version
  • NIMAS Compliance

Technology & Requirements

Support & Resources*

  • On-site Service
  • Virtual Training Webinars
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Online Help
  • Embedded Help
  • FAQs
  • Discussion boards
  • Live chat
  • Phone Support

Other technology support: Email

*Some support services may be fee based. Please confirm with the company before purchase.

Supported Devices

  • Chromebook
  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • Android phone
  • Android tablet
  • Computer
  • Device agnostic

Company Information

Logo for Digital Public Library of America

Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. DPLA aims to expand this crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable.

Visit Website