Lesson Four: Can Separate be Equal?

Lesson Plan

Students engage in a case study of the U.S. Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson and the court’s assertion that Jim
Crow segregation laws are constitutional by arguing that “separate but equal” is constitutional. Portions of this lesson were adapted with permission from www.landmarkcases.org (StreetLaw, Inc. & the Supreme Court Historical Society)
Lesson 4: Can Separate be Equal? (PDF file)

Teacher Resources:

Teacher Resource 4A: Examples of Jim Crow Laws (PDF file)

Student Handouts (background readings from www.landmarkcases.org):

Handout 4.1: Background Reading (Easier)
Handout 4.2: Background Reading (Intermediate)
Handout 4.3: Background Reading (Harder)
Handout 4.4: Court Majority Ruling

For full Majority and DIssenting Opinions:

Lesson Websites:

Landmark Cases (Materials and activities for the lesson are adapted from this site)
Diagram of Plessy v. Ferguson Case (From Street Law/Landmark Cases)

Additional Lesson Resources:

Interactive Constitution (Includes full text of 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments)

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