Grade 9-10 social studies: Who changes the world?

"Who Changes the World?" is a Common Core-aligned culminating task for a 4–6 week unit on argument writing and the civil rights movement in United States history. The unit requires students to "do" history, i.e., to gather evidence from primary documents and use that evidence to make claims about the past. Students demonstrate their mastery of the content and their historical thinking skills by writing an argumentative essay in response to Margaret Mead's quote, "Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." This task asks students to write an argumentative essay in which they support, refute, or modify a quote based on specific evidence from the United States civil rights movement. Students will explore a number of primary and secondary sources in order to analyze the change agents during the civil rights era.

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