Civil Rights History: Before You Could Say "Jackie Robinson"

Unit Overview


"There should be some broader cause - such as lack of ability, behavior or intelligence - for barring a player, rather than his color."

- Weldy W. Walker, 1880s African American Major League Ballplayer

In baseball - as in America - freedom is an ongoing quest. For almost 65 years, African American players were prevented from playing Major League Baseball simply because of their skin color. In this unit, students will explore American history from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement. They will work both independently and collaboratively to learn how race relations in baseball reflected significant social and cultural developments in the United States.

About the Curriculum

 
All of the lessons and activities that you will find below have been prepared to accompany "Civil Rights History: Before You Could Say "Jackie Robinson." You will find that the curriculum is organized into three levels: Level 1 for elementary school students, Level 2 for middle school students, and Level 3 for high school students. Feel free to pick and choose lessons from multiple levels if you feel that your students are ready for a challenge or would benefit from a review.

Within each level you will find both pre-visit lessons and post-visit lessons. We strongly encourage you to use these materials before your visit or videoconference. We've found that students understand and learn so much more if they are prepared before their Hall of Fame experience.

Click on the links to view Adobe Acrobat documents, which you can easily print or save for later use. All lessons are aligned with Common Core State Standards.

Level 1 - Rookie


Elementary Level Overview & Table of Contents
Lesson 1 (Pre-Visit) 19th Century Baseball
Lesson 2 (Pre-Visit) The Negro Leagues 
Lesson 3 On-Site Visit - or - Videoconference
Lesson 4 (Post-Visit) Jackie Robinson and Integration

Level 2 - Intermediate


Intermediate Level Overview & Table of Contents
Lesson 1 (Pre-Visit) 19th Century Baseball
Lesson 2 (Pre-Visit) The Negro Leagues
Lesson 3 (Pre-Visit) Jackie Robinson and Integration
Lesson 4 On-Site Visit - or - Videoconference
Lesson 5 (Post-Visit) Baseball After Jackie

Level 3 - Advanced


Advanced Level Overview & Table of Contents
Lesson 1 (Pre-Visit) 19th Century Baseball
Lesson 2 (Pre-Visit) The Negro Leagues
Lesson 3 (Pre-Visit) Jackie Robinson and Integration
Lesson 4 On-Site Visit - or - Videoconference
Lesson 5 (Post-Visit) Baseball After Jackie

Interested in Additional Resources?

On the Recommended Reading list below, you’ll find resources that were compiled to aid parents, teachers, and students in learning more about baseball and Civil Rights History.

Recommended Reading for Civil Rights History

Participating in a Videoconference?

Click here for a copy of the Civil Rights History: Before You Could Say "Jackie Robinson" Videoconference checklist.

You will also need to make a copy of this Civil Rights Artifacts document for use during the Videoconference.