1. The scenario for this lesson is a "Symposium on Lessons Learned" based on the student killings at Jackson State College and Kent State University in 1970.
2. Using the websites listed below, as well as any other sources available, students should research what happened in 1970. Separate topic areas might include:
- background on the unrest of the 1960s
- events of May 1-3 at Kent State
- events of May 4 at Kent State
- the National Guard's experience in Cleveland before May 2-3
- events at Kent from the point of view of the National Guard
- background on racism at Jackson State
- events of May 14-15 at Jackson State
- outcome of events at Jackson State
3. When the research is complete, teachers should lead students in a discussion of the events to be sure that common misinformation has not surfaced. Then, students should prepare reports (or PowerPoints, posters, or other media) telling the story of these two incidents.
4. Students should organize a classroom (or school-wide) symposium in which their research is presented. The point of the symposium is to decide what might be learned from this part of American experience that might be useful today. Possible questions to guide the symposium might be:
- What should be the role of students in speaking out about American affairs?
- What rights does the First Amendment give to students and others?
- How is it possible to call the government to account for actions taken without public or Congressional approval?
- Where should the line be drawn between appropriate governmental action in time of war and action that oversteps the bounds of American beliefs and values?