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Sparks Fly

Text Box: History and Social Science Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools covered in this Web guided are:

6.8F6.96.10A, D6.11	9.10J9.10K11.1611.18



The 1960’s were a time of great change in American society.  During this decade many things changed; the family evolved from the Ozzy and Harriet prototype to a generation of free love.  Youth was transformed from a time of growth and freedom to a period that required instant maturity in a war-zone for many young men.  Entertainment changed immensely with the emergence of Rock and Roll, the classical arts were superseded by names such as Warhol, while movie staples such as the Sound of Music gave way to Easy Rider, a film that examined these societal changes.  The mores of American were not just questioned but challenged! A new sense of America and what it was and what it stood for was taking place.


The Task:  


v Gain an understanding of the 1960’s, by researching and discussing the        changes that took place in America.


            p Describe these main events in American politics.


                        The Kennedy, Nixon Debates.

                        John F. Kennedy’s Assassination.

                        The 1968 Democratic Convention.

                        What about Richard…Nixon that is?


            p Trace the evolution of the Vietnam War.     


            p Describe the anti-war protest movement. 


                        What was the basis of the protests?

                        Who was involved?

What were the results of the protests, good and bad?

                        What happened at Kent State?






p Develop an understanding of the Civil Rights movement. 


What were the principal organizations?    

Who were the leaders?

What was the aim?

Was it successful, how so or why not?



p Discuss the main events of Rock and Roll? 


Who influenced society by their music?


What happened at Woodstock?



Resources:  Use the following links to start your research.  Feel free to find and use other websites to complete the tasks.


General 60’s:


Politics: <Debates>  <John F. Kennedy>  <Lyndon B. Johnson> <Richard M. Nixon>




Protest:  <Chicago 68>

    <Kent State>


Civil Rights:

Rock and Roll:     <Rock and Roll Hall of Fame> <Motown>  <Woodstock>



The Process:  (Activities, Projects, and Assignments)


(1)       In a group, discuss the social changes that took place within the sixties.

            You must have someone present the viewpoints of the following:





            Blue-Collar Father


(2)               Create a live newscast from the Kennedy-Nixon Debate; ensure you critique each candidate’s ideas and positions.  Also, interview audience members for their reaction.


(3)               Provide a geographic, political and military briefing for President Kennedy on the situation in Vietnam, which benefits him upon assuming the presidency.  You must have people assume the role of:


President Kennedy

Vice President

National Security Advisor

Joint Chiefs of Staff


Each person portraying these roles must come prepared with questions appropriate to their title and position.


(4)               Perform a play that recreates the atmosphere of protest at either the Democratic National Convention of 1968 or Kent State (1970).  You must be true to the historical facts, while representing all sides (i. e. protester, politician, policemen or solider).


(5)       Create a collage of pictures that accurately portrays the emotions and events of the Civil Rights movements during the 1960’s.


(6)       Create a sound mosaic of selected music and political sound bites that reflect the cultural and political atmosphere of the decade. 





This WebQuest will provide students with the knowledge to understand the decade of the 60’s, while equipping them to understand how the changes that took place during this period impact their generation.


Teacher s Resources:


A Note to the Teacher About this WebQuest



This WebQuest focuses on standards for Social Studies but can be easily modified to include/cover other subjects: Political Science, English, U.S. History, History, Music History, Art, Technology, Science, Cultural Diversity, and Problem Solving. The WebQuest can be adapted to elementary to high school students.  The entire WebQuest could take several weeks. 


You may choose to assign the entire WebQuest, or only particular pages. This flexibility allows for time constraints and curriculum requirements.  The WebQuest is easy to follow. Use the above links to teach all of the units in this WebQuest.