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Civil Rights Movement Lesson Plan

Learning Objective

Students will understand the key events and figures of the Civil Rights Movement and be able to create an animated gif using Brush Ninja to illustrate a significant moment from this historical period.


  • Computers or tablets with internet access for each student
  • Brush Ninja website
  • Research materials on the Civil Rights Movement (books, articles, websites)
  • Paper and pencils for sketching ideas



  • Begin by discussing the importance of civil rights and equality.
  • Introduce the Civil Rights Movement as a significant period in history where people fought for equal rights and an end to racial segregation.
  • Show images or videos related to the Civil Rights Movement to provide visual context.

Research Activity

  • Divide students into pairs or small groups.
  • Provide each group with research materials on different aspects of the Civil Rights Movement (e.g., Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., sit-ins, March on Washington).
  • Instruct students to gather information about their assigned topic and take notes.

Creating Animated Gifs

  • Explain that students will use Brush Ninja to create animated gifs that depict a significant moment from the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Demonstrate how to navigate Brush Ninja’s interface, including how to add frames, draw using different tools, and adjust timing.
  • Encourage students to refer back to their research notes and sketches as they plan their gifs.
  • Provide time for students to work individually or in pairs on creating their animated gifs using Brush Ninja.


  • Have each student or group present their animated gif in front of the class.
  • Ask them to explain which event or figure from the Civil Rights Movement their gif represents.


  • Assess students’ understanding of the Civil Rights Movement through their research notes and participation in class discussions.
  • Evaluate the animated gifs based on creativity, accuracy in depicting a moment from the movement, and effective use of Brush Ninja’s features.


  • Students can write short descriptions or captions to accompany their animated gifs, explaining the significance of the depicted event or figure.
  • Encourage students to share their animated gifs with other classrooms or on a class website to raise awareness about the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Facilitate a class discussion about how the lessons learned during the Civil Rights Movement can be applied to current social justice issues.

How to animate with Brush Ninja

This video teaches the basics of using Brush Ninja

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Note: The lessons are written with the assumption that teachers will be using them as a starting point, and will be adapting them to suit the needs of their students and curriculum.

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