The Color Line lesson is one of my all-time favorite middle-school social studies lessons.
It gets to the heart of a core issue in U.S. history and contemporary politics: “divide and conquer” tactics, which elites use to maintain power and control. The lesson asks students to put themselves in the minds of the elites and brainstorm laws to prevent oppressed groups from joining together. It refers to primary source texts in a meaningful, accessible way.
If I just had one hour to teach all of U.S. History, I’d probably choose this lesson.