The Green Book: Data and Mapping


8th Grade Humanities

For this lesson I would use the Green Book in conjunction with the reading of the Young Adult book, The Watsons go to Birmingham. This activity would take place following the completion of the book and have the students plan their own road trip. The lesson would begin with a short discussion on The Great Migration and some of the differences between life in the North and the South using their previous reading as a guide.

Students will be introduced to the Green Book as a historical source and the teacher will project the Watson’s fictional trip on the screen as a demonstration on how to use the tool. This will be followed by a class discussion of the Green Book, sundown towns, and the implications about American society at the time. Students will be encouraged to draw parallels from other eras of history that they have learned about in past lessons, mayhap the early Nuremberg laws.

Following this students will draw a location in the North and South from a hat, and use the Green Book in order to plan a trip from the assigned locations. Students will be encouraged to check and see if any of the locations on their trip are still open using basic google searches.

As a exit ticket students will be asked to reflect on the Green Book tool and encouraged to ask several questions,When the Green Book was written, 1950’s, do you think it took longer than today to travel long distances? Do you think the mapping tools assumption of 750 miles a day is feasible or based off modern technology? How do you think the trip you planned would differ from an actual trip at the time? Students would be reminded to use the Watsons trip for context.

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