Sports Shape Society

Sports Shape Society: Students Learn How Sports Have Played a Beneficial Role in the Evolution of Civil Rights and Contributed to “Leveling the Playing Field” for Disenfranchised groups in the United States

Author: Toni Loroña-Allen

Suggested Grade Level(s): 8 / Adaptable 7–12

Suggested Subject Area(s): English / Social Studies

Number of Class Periods Required: 12–14 class periods

Essential Question: How do sports shape society?

Teacher Overview:
The unit could be adapted to shorten the number of classroom days needed if some of the activities are assigned as homework. Each of the four lessons could be taught intact as stand alone lessons. Taught together, the four lessons comprise a comprehensive survey of the beneficial role sports has played in the championing of civil rights in the United States. The lessons focus on the plight of specific disenfranchised groups during critical chapters in America’s civil rights history: 1) the Japanese Americans during World War II, 2) the continued post-World War II segregation of African Americans, 3) Americans with Disabilities and the Disability Rights Movement of the 1980’s, and 4) Women and the Equal Rights Movement of the 1970’s. If faced with time constraints, some of the lesson activities could be scaled back per teacher discretion.

Download the entire “Sports Shape Society” unit (4.4 MB)


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