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Student Protest at Northern Illinois University: Home

Student Protest at Northern Illinois University: Lesson Plan

STUDENT PROTEST AT NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

                                                                                                                            Student Protest at NIU

Standards:            CCSS. ELA-Literacy.R.H.9-10.2

                                    Determine the central ideas or information of a

                                    primary or secondary source; provide an

                                    accurate summary of how key events or ideas

                                   develop over the course of the text.

 

Objective:                  The students will be able to trace a time line of events and decisions that led to student

                                   protests and their subsequent public and administrative responses at Northern Illinois

                                   University. 

 

Evidence:                  Crisis on Campus, May/ June 1980, Alumni News, folder 3.48, UA 50, Vertical Files,

                                  Regional History Center at Northern Illinois University.

                               Articles from the Northern Star

                                  Transcriptions from UA Oral Histories, Collection 53

                                  Audio from UA 11, Box 22b

                                              Photographs from UA11, 17.046

 

Time Frame:              This lesson will take 2-3 days to cover.

 

Essential Question:    Did the war in Vietnam bring about a social revolution in the United States?          

 

Set Induction:           The students will watch a 1 minute video from the time period of the Vietnam protest

                                  movement.  It is silent footage of two students exchanging information at an information

                                  table regarding the draft.  After having viewed the video, the students will pose their own

                                  questions regarding what they have seen.  A short classroom discussion will follow, leading

                                  to the presentation of historical background information.

 

 

Table of Contents

Download Lesson Plan

Historical Background

Set Induction

Activity 1

Activity 1 Documents and Images

Nixon Vietnam War Press Conference May 8, 1970

Work Sheet Link

Activity 2

Activity 2, Group 1 Documents and Images

President Rhoten Smith Convocation Statement

Activity 2, Group 2 Documents and Images

Activity 2, Group 3 Documents and Images

Activity 2, Group 4 Documents and Images

Closing

Flickr - Documents and Image Set

Historical Background

Historical Background:

On May 4, 1970, four students were shot to death by National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State University. Within hours of the shootings, student demonstrations occurred on campuses all over the United States.  On May 4, 8000 students at Northern Illinois University joined in the nation-wide protests with a peaceful student march on downtown DeKalb.  However, the demonstrations did not stop there.  On May 14 at Jackson State College in Jackson Mississippi, two more student demonstrators were shot and killed.  This set off a series of protest events at NIU which will be explored in the course of this lesson.

 

Set Induction

The students will watch a 1 minute video from the time period of the Vietnam protest movement.  It is silent footage of two students exchanging information at an information table regarding the draft.  After having viewed the video, the students will pose their own questions regarding what they have seen.  A short classroom discussion will follow, leading to the presentation of historical background information.

Activity 1

Activity 1:                              

The students will gain background knowledge about the Vietnam war student protest movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s. 

A.    All of the students will read the Northern Illinois Alumni Newspaper account of the NIU student protests of May 1970.  This will give the students an “after the fact” accounting of Vietnam protest incidents that occurred at Northern Illinois University in May of 1970. After reading, the students will use the attached mind mapping guide to analyze the article:

                 1-4 Crisis on Campus: Ten Years Later, the Questions Remain, Alumni News, May- June 1980, UA

                 Collection 50, 3.48, Regional History Center at Northern Illinois University.

 

 

The students will join a small group of other students and share their “mind mapping’ guides and determine whether they want to amend their ideas about what they have determined to be the main idea of the article based on the other group member’s reflections.

                                                           

B.     The students will read the May 5, 1970 Northern Star, NIU student newspaper, accounting of the Kent State shootings.

                5. Four Killed in Kent State Rioting, “Northern Star”, (DeKalb, Illinois), May 5, 1970.

 

C.     The students will listen to audio of President Nixon addressing Student Unrest on Campuses across the United States in protest of the Vietnam War.

                Nixon Press Conference, UA 11, Box, 22b.

 

Nixon Vietnam War Press Conference May 8, 1970

Work Sheet Link

Activity 2

Activity 2:

The students will make connections between several different accountings that relay narratives of student protest incidents at NIU in May of 1970.

The students will break up into four groups.  Each group will explore a different perspective upon the student protests at Northern Illinois University that followed the shootings at Kent State University and Jackson State College in May of 1970.  They will do this by examining different types of primary source materials from distinct groups of witnesses and participants in the events.

The students will use their sources to write their own newspaper account of student protest events from their sources adopted point of view.

Group 1: Perspective of administration and faculty members of NIU:

 

             1.      Photo of NIU President Rhoten Smith on the bridge with

                      demonstrating students

 

             2-5    Professor Marvin Rosen, Oral History UA Collection 53,

                      OH 1.10, pp. 1, 6-8.

 

 

             6-7    NIU President Rhoten Smith, UA Collection 4, Box 27,

                       May 18, Letters A and B.

 

                       NIU President Rhoten Smith Convocation Statements, Box, 22b, UA 11.

 

             8.     “Violent Protest Self-defeating: Smith Comments on Kent State Tragedy”, Northern Star,

                     (DeKalb, IL), May 6, 1970.

             9.    “Period of Meditation: Smith Cancels all Classes”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 7, 1970.

 

 

            10.    “No Stomach for Council Meeting: Smith Calls for Convocation Today”, Northern Star,

                    (DeKalb, IL), May 11, 1970.

 

 

            11.    “Bystanders Not Innocent: Smith”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 22, 1970.

 

 

Group 2: Townspeople of DeKalb, Illinois:

            1.        Burning car photograph

            2-3.      Barbara Moise, “Protesters Rampage Campus”, Northern Star,

                       (DeKalb, IL), May 6, 1970.

            4.       “National Guard Alerted”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL),

                       May 7, 1970.

           5.       “36 Arrests Follow NIU Disturbances”, Northern Star,

                     (DeKalb, IL), May 7, 1970.

           6.       “City Businessmen Report Estimated Store Damages”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 7, 1970.

           7.         Irene Piraino, “Groups May Repay City Merchants”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 11, 1970.

           8.        Tom Conrad, “Battle Rages; 43 Arrested”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 20, 1970.

           9.       "Monday Night”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 20, 1970.

          10.       Tom Conrad, “Vote Preludes Disorders”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 21, 1970.

          11.      “Businessmen Seek Retribution, DeKalb to Bill NIU for Damages”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL),

                       May 21, 1970.

 

Group 3: Students at Northern Illinois University:

           1.       Photograph of campus banner

           2.       Photograph of student with book.

           3.       Vietnam demonstration with signs.

 

           4.       News from Nowhere, May 1970, UA 35, Box 19B,

                     Regional History Center at Northern Illinois University.

 

 

           5.       News from Nowhere Special Bulletin, May, 1970,

                     UA 35, Box 19B, Regional History Center at Northern Illinois University.

           6-7.    News from Nowhere Posters

           8.       Tom Conrad and John Hartley, “Freaks and Geeks Together: Campus Unites for March”,

                     Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 7, 1970.

 

           9.      “Students Charge Faulty Arrests”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 7, 1970.

 

 

          10.     “In Memorium”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 7, 1970.

 

 

          11.     “Students Organize Boycott” Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 11, 1970.

 

 

          12.     “As We See It: Everybody Loses on the Bridge”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 20, 1970.

 

 

          13.      Tom Conrad, “Star Editor Subpoenaed”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 22, 1970.

 

 

          14.     “Two Day Class Moratorium”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 20, 1970.

 

Group 4: Police and Security Officials:

            1.       Photograph of police on the highway.

            2-6     Don Bruer, Oral History UA Collection 53 OH 2.25

            7.     “National Guard Alerted”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL),

                      May 7, 1970.

            8.     “Guardsmen are People Too”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL),

                      May 7, 1970.

            9.     “Police Establish NIU Command”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 20, 1970.

           10.    “SA to Conduct Special hearings on Police Action”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 22, 1970.

           11.    “Police Arrest 35”, Northern Star, (DeKalb, IL), May 20, 1970.

President Rhoten Smith Convocation Statements

Closing

Closing:    

The students will view the short silent video of the protest table that they opened with.  Instead of posing questions this time, the students will create dialogue for the students in the film and they will recreate sound for the film and demonstrate their work for their classmates.