North Dakota Government site North Dakota Tourism site

The Road to Little Rock

Curriculum Now Available to All North Dakota Schools

Inspiring North Dakotans of All Ages

Art Work for "The Road to Little Rock"

Welcome to “The Road to Little Rock.” The curriculum in this project was designed to provide teachers with an added tool to help students discover accurate historical content, to demonstrate relevance of subject matter, to maintain high engagement levels within the classroom, and to provide students the tools to apply their content knowledge to contemporary issues.

“Why do we need to learn this?” This is a question all teachers need to be prepared to answer. To answer this question teachers need engaging and relevant curriculum which demonstrates a clear connection between the activities of the classroom with the lives and personal goals of the students.

A Civil Rights Story –

“The Road to Little Rock” tells a story of nine teenagers and one judge who demonstrated enduring positive human qualities of courage, honor, determination, and responsibility. The story begins in 1957 as nine African-American teenagers sought enrollment at an all-white high school in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1957 many school districts continued to ignore the 1954 US Supreme Court ruling of Brown v Board of Education which declared that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Students will witness the courage and determination demonstrated by the “Little Rock Nine” who sought to attend the high school of their choice.Students will also be introduced to US federal Judge Ronald N. Davies, from Fargo, who followed the law, ignored political pressure, and required the school district in Little Rock to integrate “forthwith.”

Interdisciplinary Curriculum –

“The Road to Little Rock” curriculum is applicable for middle and high school students. The content and activities found in “The Road to Little Rock” provide added curriculum for courses in US History, Political Science, US Government, Civics, Sociology, Problems of Democracy and Psychology. The content is also interdisciplinary and contains many components which apply to Language Arts curriculums.

“The Road to Little Rock” curriculum is standards-based with specific connections to North Dakota and Arkansas Departments of Education content standards. The activities are also aligned with the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts Literacy in History/Social Studies.

The curriculum is intended to help teachers add to existing lessons/curriculum—or fill in gaps which may exist in the curriculum. The activities have been designed to adapt to most classroom settings. Teachers are encouraged to use professional skills in determining how to best use the material to best serve the needs of students.

Curriculum Components –

DVD (30 minutes): Includes features from never-seen-before interviews with three members of the Little Rock Nine and US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. The DVD is a blend of interviews with key individuals who played primary roles in the Little Rock desegregation case, and primary source documentation to tell the story of the events which led to the integration of Little Rock Central High School.

ELEMENTARY VIEWERS GUIDE: Two activities are included in the elementary packet.  The activities include primary source text analysis (including quotes and photographs), character education, sourcing information, and application of knowledge. Each activity includes reproducible handouts. Teachers may access the Elementary Viewers Guide at: nd.theroadtolittlerock.org

SECONDARY VIEWERS GUIDE: Seven activities are included in the secondary packet. The activities include primary source text analysis (including political cartoons and photographs), a DBQ style writing assignment, writing essays based on Common Core Standards, character education, sourcing information, and the application of knowledge to contemporary issues. Each activity includes reproducible handouts.  Teachers may access the Secondary Viewers Guide at: nd.theroadtolittlerock.org

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Web-based training is available for both the elementary and secondary versions of “The Road to Little Rock” curricula.  Each school district may determine whether the professional development should be required or optional.  This professional development has been designed to assist individual teachers who want to access this resource on their own.  Some school districts and/or regional education associations may also want to organize group presentations (with or without credit).