President Kennedy & the CRM


As we look at the Civil Rights Movement (CRM) and key individuals who influenced it, we need to consider the role of the President. John F. Kennedy (JFK) was the president of the United States from 1961-1963 and is someone who fought for the equality of African Americans. We are going to be learning about JFK's impact on the CRM today and the different ways he worked to end injustice. 

We will first watch a video of JFK's Civil Rights Address so we can hear the specific points he made and the goals he had going forward. Follow along with the transcript in front of you.



Your task will be to research one of four key topics on the JFK Civil Rights website. You will be divided into groups of four, and each group member will be assigned one topic: (1) The Right to Vote in Mississippi, (2) The Integration of the University of Alabama, (3) Address to the American People, and (4) The Bill.

Your group will be given a large piece of chart paper divided into four sections/labeled by section. Your job is to take notes on the topic you were assigned and neatly transfer that information to your section of the chart paper. Additionally, include information that provides evidence for what JFK's perspective on your assigned topic was. 

On the website, explore the different articles, videos, and documents related to your topic. Do your best to answer the questions that correspond with your group/topic. You will be responsible for teaching the rest of your group about the topic you researched after about 15 minutes.




1. The teacher will divide the class into four groups. The students will be given the link to the website to research their assigned topic.

2. The groups will be given chart paper, colored markers, pencils and paper for note taking. 

3. Each group member will receive a laptop to research their assigned topic. The teacher will set the timer for the groups to begin their research.

4. Each group member will answer the questions they were assigned and fill out their section of the chart paper. 

5. Students will take turns "presenting/teaching" their section to the rest of their group.

6. The teacher will go over all four topics with the whole class to clarify any misunderstandings and solidify concepts. 







The student did not record a response to their assigned topic.

The student recorded a response to their assigned topic but lacked some key information.

The student recorded a response to their assigned topic and included key information about the topic.


The student’s section of the chart paper was messy and illegible. 

The student’s section of the chart paper lacked organization but was legible.

The student’s section of the chart paper was clearly organized and legible.


The student did not explain their section to the rest of their group.

The student explained their section to the rest of their group with some details but was not very thorough. 

The student explained their section to the rest of their group in great detail and was thorough.



After completing the web quest, students will understand the impact that the president at the time, JFK, had on the CRM. Students will understand that if his life/presidency had not ended so early, he could have continued to make a positive impact on the CRM. They will ultimately understand and be able to explain what he did that influenced the lives of African American's at the time.


Grier, P. (2014, January 20) Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy: civil rights' wary allies. Retrieved from:

Holodny, E. (2017, November 22) 14 quotes about leadership from John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. Retrieved from:

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. (2018) Retrieved from:



Teacher Page

Standards Addressed: 

SS.H.1.4. Explain connections among historical contexts and why individuals and groups differed in their perspectives during the same historical period.