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Teacher Feature

Dedication on Display


After visiting the 1956 Civil Rights era in the Time Machine, the students will research African-Americans who have been honored with the Congressional Gold Medal.  Students will research, identify, and analyze the key accomplishments of these honored African-Americans and their lasting impact.


After visiting the 1956 Civil Rights era in the Time Machine, review with the students information about the Civil Rights movement and the historic events that led to the Civil Rights movement in the 20th century.  Explain to the students some of the challenges that African-Americans historically experienced in the United States and define terms such as prejudice, segregation, and adversity.  Record definitions on the board or a piece of chart paper and have students use these definitions to complete the "Dedication on Display" worksheet.  As a class, discuss times when the students have experienced or witnessed prejudice.

Explain to the students that they are going to research a famous African-American who received the Congressional Gold Medal.  As a class, visit the Medal Mania page at to learn more about medals and the Congressional Gold Medal.  Discuss with students some of the qualities an individual must have in order to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

Divide students into pairs or small groups.  As a class, visit the Black History Medals page at on the H.I.P. Pocket Change Web site.  Assign each student pair or small group a Congressional Gold Medal recipient from these pages to research.  Distribute a "Dedication on Display" worksheet to each student and review the worksheet.

Using bookmarked Web sites and/or texts about famous African-Americans, have the students look up the individual they were assigned.  Have the students record their research on the "Dedication on Display" worksheet.  Direct the students to use at least one other source of information besides the H.I.P. Pocket Change site.  After the students have completed their research, ask them to report on the individual they researched by creating a visual display such as a poster, mobile, timeline, or collage.  Ask the students to analyze the impact of this individua's actions on modern society and to communicate this analysis in their display.

As a class, review the student findings.  Have each student pair or small group present its visual display and research to the class.  Discuss the impact of each of these African-Americans as a class and ask the students to identify the qualities shared by all of these individuals.  Have students reflect on the impact of these individuals' actions and the way the students' lives are shaped by historical events.


  • Have students create a timeline of the Civil Rights movement in the 20th century.  Display the timeline around the classroom and include photos, dates, and facts about the events and individuals who contributed to the Civil Rights movement.
  • Have the students research other recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal.


The project described above reflects some of the national standards of learning as defined by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), and the International Society for Technology in Education.  These standards are listed below:

Social Studies Standards

Time, Continuity, and Change

People, Places and Environments

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