1968, The Year That Rocked Washington: After visiting the exhibit (Middle School)


1968, The Year That Rocked Washington: After visiting the exhibit (Middle School)


Legacy Washington, Office of the Secretary of State




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Grade Levels


1968: The Year That Rocked Washington features a collection of online oral history profiles and a public exhibit inside the State Capitol Building that explores the lives of 19 Washingtonians caught up in one of the most tumultuous years in world history. With profiles, compelling photos and artifacts, Legacy Washington documents activism and aftershocks of a landmark year in world history. View the online exhibit and profiles.

1968: The Year That Rocked Washington includes middle school curriculum with accommodations and adjustments available to upper elementary and high school.

The lesson plans follow the inquiry arc as outlined in the College, Career, Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards and are common core aligned (Washington State standards) to challenge students in essential reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. These plans are poised to engage students before, during, and after visiting the 1968  project and exhibit (either in person or online).

Lesson Objectives

  • EQ: Was ‘68 a watershed year of change for WA?
  • EQ: How do the impacts of various individuals impact one another?
At the end of this lesson students will:
  • Synthesize three stories of impactful people from 1968.
  • Use historical empathy and perspective taking to understand how various people impact on another and a time period.


  • Which one doesn’t belong? - images and instructions
  • Student handout
  • One page excerpts for each individual in display
  • Online access to review display


Common Core Reading
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2.  Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Common Core Writing
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.7.  Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
Common Core Speaking and Listening
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.1.  Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
State Social Studies Standards
  • History- Understands that there are multiple perspectives and interpretations of historical events.


Entry task
  • Which one doesn’t belong? (project images and instructions below)
Activity: Pen Pal Time Machine
    1. Pick a primary person from the ‘68 display who you are most interested in.
    2. Chose two associated people from the display who you will relate to your individual of focus. (The three people should relate to the topic of focus that your notes from the display focused on)
    3. Review your notes, the display for those three people, and the one page summaries for each of the three. (Link display URL here)
    4. Write a short letter to the primary person you chose:
      1. Identify their impacts that you most appreciate and explain why you appreciate them.
      2. Ask questions about what led to their life impacts.
      3. Ask questions of the person that relates to the experience of two associated people in the display.
    5. Respond to your own letter in your person of focus’ voice. Be sure their response explains ways in which their work was related to work of the two other individuals you asked about.
Exit Task
Write one idea of how you could continue to the work of your person of focus today. Share on sticky notes to teacher (read a few out loud).

Formative Assessment

  • Letters to and from chosen individual
  • Idea for how to continue the work of the person today
1968, The Year That Rocked Washington: After visiting the exhibit (Middle School)
1968, The Year That Rocked Washington: After visiting the exhibit (Middle School) Text Set of page excerpts