Little Rock Nine Teacher Lesson Plan

Share the importance of Brown vs. Board of Education decision with students. MY HERO's multimedia lesson plan includes discussion guide and learning outcome.

Little Rock Nine Lesson Plan
Credit: MY HERO

On Sept 23, 1957, "The Little Rock Nine" integrated Central H.S. in Little Rock, AR, after the Supreme Court passed Brown v. Board of Education, ruling school segregation unconstitutional.


Students read the stories about the Little Rock Nine, and about Thurgood Marshall, who was instrumental in school desegregation. Then consider the discussion questions.

Constance Baker Motley

By: Jane Wallace

Constance Baker Motley helped write the Supreme Court brief for Brown v. Board of Education, which gave the Little Rock 9 the right to attend Little Rock High School.

Melba Pattillo Beals: a Warrior and a Hero

By: Allyson Chong

One of the "Little Rock Nine" students who integrated Little Rock High School in Arkansas

The Little Rock Nine

By: Shannon from Post Falls

Shannon teaches in a rural Arkansas school for two weeks and looks for a hero--but finds nine.

The Little Rock Nine

By: Natasha from New Haven

The Little Rock Nine bravely fought discrimination to attend an all white high school in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Ernest Green

By: KInzer Ratajczyk

Ernest Green was part of the Little Rock 9, who desegregated Central High School in Arkansas. He was the first of the 9 to graduate from the school

Thurgood Marshall

By: Vijay

Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was instrumental in school desegregation, through Brown v. Board of Education.


Short film: Overview of the history of the Little Rock 9

Little Rock Nine

Kitty Richardson
A short film giving an overview of the history of the Little Rock 9.

Story and Artwork by an Upper Elementary Student

Melba Pattillo Beals

By: Sara from San Francisco

Melba Joy Pattillo Beals was one of the Little Rock Nine students. 

Discussion Questions

1. Research other heroes who helped desegregate schools in the United States. Who impressed you? Share his or her story with MY HERO.

2. What are areas in the world that do not allow equal access to education? Research what is being done to change this. Who is an activist working for change? Share their story with MY HERO.

3. What are obstacles that prevent access to education today? 

4. Who currently is advocating for equal access to education? What are they doing? Share their story. 

5. Create an original piece of art of your hero who has worked for equal access to education. Submit your artwork to our gallery.


Learning Outcome

Students will further develop research and communication skills. Students will evaluate obstacles to access to education globally. 

Related Story: Listen & Read Along. Great for ESL students

Ruby Nell Bridges

By: Madison from Maine

One of the most important heroes in the fight against segregation in America was a six-year-old girl, Ruby Nell Bridges.


Laura Nietzer

The Little Rock Nine lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

Books About the Little Rock Nine

Cracking the Wall: the Struggles of the Little Rock Nine

By: Eileen Lucas

A brief introduction to the nine African-American students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.

Warriors Don't Cry

By: Melba Patillo Beals

An autobiographical account by one of the Little Rock Nine.

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

Students can share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program

Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.

Submit your artwork to be entered in the MY HERO art contest or to be exhibited on our Gallery Homepage.

Students can submit their films for free with a waiver to the MY HERO International Film Festival.

Organizer created on 8/4/2019 6:43:10 AM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 9/6/2022 12:20:48 PM by Laura Nietzer