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October 02

Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1967.

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Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1967.

Grades 7 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Historical Figure & Event





Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967. Marshall was the first African American Supreme Court Justice. Marshall was instrumental in numerous civil rights cases. In 1954, he argued and won the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the Supreme Court declared segregation of public schools illegal.





Discuss the following statement by Thurgood Marshall with your students: "If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his house, what books he may read or what films he may watch." Invite students to think about Marshall's statement by considering each piece of the comment. For instance, begin by reading the First Amendment and talking about the civil rights that the amendment guarantees. After exploring the quotation fully, use K-W-L Creator to complete a K-W-L chart with your students and have them use the resources listed below to begin an investigation.




  • Thurgood Marshall

    This site includes biographical and background information on Marshall, as well as details on court decisions he was involved in.


  • Thurgood Marshall: American Hero

    From the US Postal Service, this printable resource includes information about Marshall, a few lessons plans, and a word puzzle.


  • Today in History: October 2

    From the Library of Congress, this page includes a biography of Marshall with links to information on important cases he played a role in, such as Brown v. Board of Education.


  • The Supreme Court

    Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids provides grade-appropriate information about the Supreme Court and how it works.



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Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Exploring Free Speech and Persuasion with Nothing But the Truth

Students read Avi's Nothing But the Truth and examine the First Amendment and student rights, and then decide whether the rights of the novel's protagonist, Philip, are violated.


Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

What Are My Rights? Exploring and Writing About the Constitution

Students speak up in this lesson about rights, examining the Constitution in the context of issues that affect their everyday lives.


Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Freedom of Speech and Automatic Language: Examining the Pledge of Allegiance

This lesson has students explore freedom of speech by examining the Pledge of Allegiance from a historical and personal perspective and in relationship to fictional situations in novels.


Grades   6 – 10  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Blending the Past with Today's Technology: Using Prezi to Prepare for Historical Fiction

To prepare for literature circles featuring historical novels, students research the decades of the 1930s to the 1990s and share their information using Prezi, a web application for creating multimedia presentations.


Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

That's Not Fair! Examining Civil Liberties With the U.S. Supreme Court

Students have the right to have fun in this lesson in which they create a PowerPoint presentation about civil rights and the Supreme Court.