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Title: The life of Malcolm X

Grade: 10-12

In this lesson plan, students will analyse the four stages of Malcolm X’s life. The stages when he was referred to by a different name: Detroit Red, Malcolm X, Malcolm Little, and el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz.



It is expected that students will discuss in detail what each stage of his life symbolized.

Students can work in groups of 3-5.

Part 1) Students will watch the Autobiography of Malcolm X and the teacher will provide various books and newspaper articles for the students to read.

Part 2) Teacher and students will discuss and create a time line of the different names that Malcolm used in his life time (Malcolm X was born in 1925 as Malcolm Little and was known asDetroit Red in the early 1940s, He was known as Malcolm X in 1952 and el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz in 1964). In the discussion teachers should discuss the following:
* Why might some adopt a new name?
* What does a name tell about a person?
*Ask students if they use a nick name instead of their birth name and why.

Part 3) The students are separated into four groups and are assigned one of the four time periods in Malcolm X’s life. Each group is expected to describe the following:
*What his personality was like during the time period?
* What events happened to Malcolm during this time period?
* Did he have any views on violence (if any) during this time period?
* Did he have an opinion (if any) concerning civil rights in the United States?
* Find a quote that reflects that time period in Malcolm X’s life?
After the students have finished discussing in their specific groups, each group must give a presentation of the specific time period assigned and present their findings.
Assessment Strategies: Students can be assessed in three ways. First, students are given a mark based on their participation in the group presentation and also from peer evaluations. Secondly, students are given a quiz based on the information presented during the lesson plan. Thirdly, students can write a short essay on any of the following topics:
*Discuss how Malcolm X’s experiences as Malcolm Little, Detroit Red, Malcolm X, and el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz shaped his life.
*How did each of these names symbolize different periods in his life?
* What did he learn from his experiences under each identity?
* What might we learn from his struggles?
*Do you think one man can change society?
* Why do you think people who try to reform society have so often had their lives taken?
* What do you think were the major influences that moved Malcolm X to become a leader?


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Resource: Alex Haley and Malcolm X's The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Harold Bloom, editor. Chelsea House, 1996.

Source: http://school.discovery.com/lessonplans/programs/malcolmx/
by:Audrey Carangelo

Submitted by: N. Charles

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