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Rise and Demise
Lesson Plan

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Resources for Diverse
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Rise and Demise
Lesson Plan

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Negro Leagues Baseball:
Its Rise and Demise

Lesson Summary:
Students gain knowledge of the history of Negro Leagues
baseball through the use of the internet, historical documents, and hard copy sources. In addition, students will hone their technology and public speaking skills by creating an interactive timeline about the history of Negro Leagues Baseball and presenting it to an audience.

Key Features of Powerful Teaching and Learning:
(National Council for the Social Studies. “A Vision of Powerful Teaching and Learning in the Social Studies: Building Social Understanding and Civic Efficacy.”

Meaningful: Students will compare the elements of Negro League Baseball ’s rise and demise as it related to societal and political happenings of the time period.

Integrated: Students gain valuable technology skills that can be utilized in the future by creating an interactive timeline and/or website.

Challenging: Students work individually to create and present a technologically advanced assessment product.

Active: Encourages student participation in a variety of ways utilizing several kinds of media technology, historical research and documentation, and public speaking skills.

Students gain knowledge of the history of Negro Leagues baseball through the use of the internet, historical documents, and hard copy sources. In addition, students will hone their technology and public speaking skills by creating an interactive timeline about the history of the NLB and presenting it to an audience.

1. Students will be able to identify the various Negro Leagues from 1920-1948.
2. The student will research the Negro Leagues through the internet, textbooks, novels, and historical documents.
3. The student will identify inception dates, elements contributing to failure, and the date the league ceased to exist.
4. The student will be able to create an interactive timeline of Negro League baseball history using various technological methods of their choice.
5. Students will orally present an interactive timeline to peers and/or parents.

Materials/Primary Resources:
Internet access, hard copy textbooks and novels pertaining to Negro Leagues baseball history, note-taking supplies, various technological sources for creating a timeline

Procedures and Activities:
Days 1-2:
Lecture information:
Briefly discuss the history of NLB (go to for lecture notes in this area), explain the time frame students need to research (1920-1960) and that they will be compiling data regarding the inception and demise of various Negro League baseball teams. Explain to students they will be creating a technological and interactive timeline based on the Negro League baseball teams, including important dates and people.

Direct students to the African American World: Timeline at, and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum website. View the timelines and Negro Leagues Baseball Historical Perspective timeline as a class. Students should use these sites for research and as an example for creating their own interactive timelines. Students should begin researching Negro League baseball team history, noting important dates and people. Let students explore the various sections of these websites, and other internet and hard copy resources (see online resources and secondary resources sections). For further information, students can explore the websites located under the NLBM hotlink, “Resources” or use a search engine and Boolean logic to find additional information.

Days 3-5:
Students create a technological and interactive timeline based on the Negro League baseball team information they gathered previously. Students can create their timeline using any type of technology as long as it meets the rubric requirements (see modules/un_modules/timeline.htm for a scoring rubric).

Explain the process to students: Students choose a theme, create a chronology of events related to the theme (see website:
), and present the chronology in the form of an inter-active timeline. Discuss how the task will be assessed and share the rubric. If needed: give students the attached handout, “How to Create an Interactive Timeline: Step by Step.”

Note: Timelines should include images where available, a brief description of the event, and quotations where availablefrom persons involved in or responding to the events. Students should use software such as Inspiration, Timeliner, and PowerPoint,
or create a web page to make the timeline interactive. Students and/or teachers needing assistance on how to create interactive timelines can go to:

Online Resources:
A Look at Life in the Negro Leagues

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

“Mysteries of the Deep” Interactive Timeline

BBC Interactive Timeline

Bottom of the First-Baseball:
Vol. 108, Chapters 3, 5, and 6

Black History on Film

Major League Baseball’s Negro Leagues Legacy

Secondary Resources:
A Hard Road to Glory: The Black Athlete in America (1988)
VID 796.08996 Har (Mason Square)
This film captures and defines some of America's most riveting sports dramas. Narrated by James Earl Jones.

The History of Great Black Baseball Players (1990)
VID 796 H
Examines the accomplishments of great black baseball players from the infancy of the old Negro National League in 1920, through its heyday in the 1930's and 40's and from the first appearance of a black player in the Major Leagues to the emergence of today's superstars.

Brahsler, W., The Story of Negro League Baseball.

Dixon, Phil., The Negro Baseball Leagues: A Photographic History.

Heaphy, L.A., The Negro Leagues, 1869-1960.

Lancot, N., Negro League Baseball: The Rise and Ruin of a
Black Institution.

Loverro, T., The Encylopedia of Negro League Baseball.

McKissack & McKissack, Black Diamonds.

Riley, J., The Negro Leagues.

White, S., Malloy, J., & White, S., Sol White’s History of Colored Baseball with Other Documents on the Early Black Game.

During presentations, students should take notes. The teacher should discuss with students why there were numerous NLB teams that began and then folded. What caused their demise? What comparisons or cause and effect can be drawn from NLB teams’ successes and failures and political and economic events in society at this time? What could have been done differently to ensure early success and/or longevity as a Negro League baseball team?

Extension and Enrichment:
Research and create an interactive timeline detailing key events of United States history during 1920-1948. Compare the Negro League baseball timeline to the United States historical timeline. Students then articulate or write conclusions based on the similarities and differences of the two timelines.

Students present their timelines or websites to classmates and/or parents during class or an arranged event during Black History month or other pertinent event.

Alternate Assessment:
Students create an online Negro League baseball team historical website based on their research. Categories must include: important dates, people, elements that caused failure, and meet website rubric requirements provided for this lesson.

Student Handout:
How to Create an Interactive Timeline:
Step by Step Instructions

Required Software: Microsoft Word

Setting the page to Landscape
1. Open Microsoft Word
2. From the file menu select page setup
3. Select landscape
4. Click OK

Inserting the Timeline
1. Turn on the drawing toolbar by selecting toolbars from the view menu and then drawing
2. Click on the line tool
3. Take your mouse to the center of the page
4. While holding down the shift key, draw your line in the centre of the page

Adding images
1. From the insert menu select picture and then from file
2. Locate the image you would like to insert and then click OK
3. The image will appear on your screen
4. Using the selection handles drag your image to the correct style
5. To move your image anywhere on the page right click on the image and select format image
6. Select the layout tab
7. Click in front of text
8. Now you can move your image anywhere on the page.

Adding a Hyperlink
1. Select the work or image you would like to add a hyperlink to
2. From the insert menu select hyperlink
3. Click existing web or file
4. Click the browse button and locate your file
5. Click OK
6. You will notice that if it was text it has become underlined
7. To activate the link hold down the control key and click with the mouse


Resources for Diverse Learners Handout:
Please see link at top left to download.

Grade level: 7-12
Subject: Social Studies

NCSS Standards:
ISTE Standards: 1, 3, 4, 5
Missouri Standards: 2, 5, 6, 7

Time Allotment:
5, 60-minute periods