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Identity Politics in the 1960s and 1970s: Women & Native Americans

Lesson Author
Required Time Frame
2-3 days for homework completion; one class period for synthesis activities & discussion
Grade Level(s)
Lesson Abstract
In this lesson, the students will apply their knowledge of the tactics and strategies used during the Civil Rights Movement to the movements for women's rights and Native American rights. The students will use both primary and secondary sources.

In this lesson, the students will apply their knowledge of the tactics and strategies used during the Civil Rights Movement to the movements for women’s rights and Native American rights.  The students will use both primary and secondary sources as they expand their knowledge of identity politics.

Rationale (why are you doing this?)

Students must be able to identify the similarities and differences between rights-based movements in the 1960s and 1970s.  This lesson will help students refine their historical thinking skills, specifically historical causation, continuity & change over time, comparison, appropriate use of historical evidence, contextualization, and synthesis.  Historical thinking skills are an essential component of the redesigned AP U.S. History curriculum. 

Lesson Objectives - the student will
  • Apply his/her knowledge of the African American Civil Rights movement to either the women’s movement or the movement for Native American rights.
  • Identify the similarities and differences between each movement as it sought to gain recognition of its demands.
  • Utilize primary sources and historical analysis to understand the goals of each movement and then apply that knowledge to the status of the movement (women or Native Americans) in the 21st century.
District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met
  • Kansas Standards for History, Government and Social Studies (adopted 2013), Standard 4 – “Societies experience continuity and change over time.”; Unit – Civil Right, Social Change; Compelling Question -  “What social, political and economic changes have occurred as a result of civil rights movements?”
  • Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
  • Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2 - Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
  • Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.7 - Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
  • AP U.S. History Curriculum Redesign (effective Fall 2014) - Period 8 (1945-1980), Key Concept 8.2; historical thinking skills mentioned in “Rationale” above
Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed

Mark Carnes & John Garraty, The American Nation, 11th edition, Chapter 31 entitled “Society in Flux”

Primary sources needed (document, photograph, artifact, diary or letter, audio or visual recording, etc.) needed
  • primary sources in Laura Belmonte’s Speaking of America: Readings in U.S. History, volume 2
    • document 24.5 – Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
    • document 24.14 – “No More Miss America”
    • document 25.3 – Roe v. Wade (1973)
    • document 25.5 – Phyllis Schlafly Attacks the Equal Rights Amendment (1977)
    • document 25.2 – Mary Crow Dog Recalls the Siege of Wounded Knee (1973)
  • “AIM Statement on Wounded Knee, November 1973” -
  • “What is AIM?” – 2 page document available at (page 1) and (page 2)
Fully describe the activity or assignment in detail. What will both the teacher and the students do?
  1. Two to three days prior to the in-class discussion, introduce the assignment to the students.  They are required to choose either women or Native Americans and watch the appropriate episode prior to the class discussion. While watching their chosen episode, the students must take notes in the style of their choosing, paying particular attention to the issues addressed in the episode and the way(s) that each group sought to gain recognition of these issues.
  2. The students must also read three of the primary sources referenced above for their chosen group.  Four options are given for women; three are given for Native Americans.  For each primary source, students must complete an APPARTS, Soapstone-POV, or “Fact, Perspective, Narrative, Truth” analysis of each document.  Templates for each of these primary source strategies are appended to this lesson plan.
  3. On discussion day, the students must bring their video and primary sources notes to class.  Students will first be grouped by the group they chose to investigate (women or Native Americans).  In these groups, the students will compare their video and primary source notes, sharing observations and the things they learned.  They will list the issues and tactics used by each group to gain recognition in American society, and then will compare those issues and tactics to the ones used in the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
  4. Once each group has discussed their observations, new groups will be formed.  Ideally, each new group will have four participants: two representing women and two representing Native Americans.  They will compare the issues and tactics used by both groups and again connect this information to the Civil Rights movement.  Each student will make a T-chart identifying the similarities and differences in the issues identified and tactics used by each group.
  5. The students will use their T-charts to compile a master list of similarities and differences on the whiteboard.  This chart will then provide the basis for the class discussion on identity politics during the 1970s.



APPARTS – Primary Source Analysis



Place & Time

Prior Knowledge



The Main Idea




Author:                Who created the source?

What do you know about the author?

What is the author’s point of view?


Place & Time:     Where & when was the source produced?

How might this affect the meaning of the source?


Prior Knowledge: Beyond the information about the author and the context of the

                             document’s creation, what do you know that would help you further

                             understand the primary source? For example, do you recognize

any symbols and recall what they represent?


Audience:           For whom was the source created?

How might this affect the reliability of the source?


Reason:              Why was the source produced?

How might this affect the reliability of the source?


The Main Idea:   What point is the source trying to convey?


Significance:       Why is this source important?

Ask yourself, “So what?” in relation to the question being asked.

















Who is the Speaker? 

Remember that it is not enough to simply name the speaker. What can you say about the speaker based on references in the text?



What is the Occasion?

What is the larger occasion – that is, those issues or ideas that must have made the speaker think about this incident—and the immediate occasion.



Who is the Audience?

At whom is this text directed? It is not enough to say “anyone who reads it.” You will want to identify a certain audience by describing some of its characteristics.



What is the Purpose?

The purpose can be purely a personal one, i.e., to assuage guilt or to encourage action. However, it could also be directed at the audience. Decide what the message is and how the author wants the audience to react.



What is the Subject?

You should be able to state the subject in a few words or a very short phrase.



What is the Tone?

Choose a description of the tone that fits the piece as a whole. Include specific words or phrases from the text and explain how they support your statement.



What is the author’s Point of View?

From what perspective does the author view the issue about which he or she has written, and how does that affect their viewpoint?










“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan 



FACT: Something that has really occurred or is actually the case; a truth known by actual observation or authentic testimony, as opposed to what is inferred, guessed, or hypothesized; a product of experience, as distinguished from the conclusions that may be based upon it.


PERSPECTIVE: A particular attitude toward or way of thinking about something; an individual point of view.


NARRATIVE: The story we tell or believe, in order to explain how a set of facts or events are connected to each other.


TRUTH: The quality of being true; conformity with fact or reality; an obvious or accepted fact; the character of being, or disposition to be, true to a person, principle, cause.  Truth is something each person creates for him/herself – an interpretation of facts based on his or her own perspective.



Name of Source: __________________________________________________________________


Date of Source: _______________________   Author: ____________________________________


















Assessment: fully explain the assessment method in detail or create and attach a scoring guide

  • The students will be assessed informally during the class discussions.  They will hand in their video notes and primary source analyses to be graded.