Daily Activities – James Earl Ray
The daily activities created for each of the Today in Georgia History segments are designed to meet the Georgia Performance Standards for Reading Across the Curriculum, and Grade Eight: Georgia Studies. For each date, educators can choose from three optional activities differentiated for various levels of student ability. Each activity focuses on engaging the student in context specific vocabulary and improving the student’s ability to communicate about historical topics.
One suggestion is to use the Today in Georgia History video segments and daily activities as a “bell ringer” at the beginning of each class period. Using the same activity daily provides consistency and structure for the students and may help teachers utilize the first 15-20 minutes of class more effectively.
Level 1: Provide the students with the vocabulary list and have them use their textbook, a dictionary, or other teacher provided materials to define each term. After watching the video have the students write a complete sentence for each of the vocabulary terms. Student created sentences should reflect the meaning of the word based on the context of the video segment. Have students share a sampling of sentences as a way to check for understanding.
Level 2: Provide the students with the vocabulary list for that day’s segment before watching the video and have them guess the meaning of each word based on their previous knowledge. The teacher may choose to let the students work alone or in groups. After watching the video, have the students revise their definitions to better reflect the meaning of the words based on the context of the video. As a final step, have the students compare and contrast their definitions to their textbook, dictionary or other teacher provided materials definitions.
Level 3: Provide the students with the vocabulary list and have them use their textbook, a dictionary, or other teacher provided materials to define each term. After watching the video, have the students write a five sentence paragraph based on the provided writing prompts.
1. Do you think James Earl Ray should have been given a trial? In a five-sentence paragraph
defend your answer to the question.
2. In a five-sentence paragraph explain what you think the video segment means when it
says James Earl Ray “was a small-time crook with big ambitions”?
3. Why do you think the King family supported James Earl Ray’s request for a trial? In a
five-sentence paragraph give some potential reasons why the King family would support
a trial for James Earl Ray.
Related Georgia Performance Standards:
Reading Across the Curriculum (Grades 6-12)
SSRC1 Students will enhance reading in all curriculum areas by:
c. Building vocabulary knowledge
• Demonstrate an understanding of contextual vocabulary in various subjects.
• Use content vocabulary in writing and speaking.
• Explore understanding of new words found in subject area texts.
d. Establishing context
• Explore life experiences related to subject area content.
• Discuss in both writing and speaking how certain words are subject area
• Determine strategies for finding content and contextual meaning for unknown
Common Core, College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing
Text Types and Purposes
1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using
valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and
information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and
analysis of content.
3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective
technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Theme 2: Time Continuity and Change; Theme 5: Individuals Groups and Institutions
Grade 8 Georgia Studies
SS8H11 The student will evaluate the role of Georgia in the modern civil rights movement.
a. Describe major developments in civil rights and Georgia’s role during the 1940s and
1950s; include the roles of Herman Talmadge, Benjamin Mays, the 1946 governor’s race
and the end of the white primary, Brown v. Board of Education, Martin Luther King, Jr.,
and the 1956 state flag.
b. Analyze the role Georgia and prominent Georgians played in the Civil Rights
Movement of the 1960s and 1970s; include such events as the founding of the Student
Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Sibley Commission, admission of
Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter to the University of Georgia, Albany
Movement, March on Washington, Civil Rights Act, the election of Maynard Jackson as
mayor of Atlanta, and the role of Lester Maddox.
c. Discuss the impact of Andrew Young on Georgia.
United States History, 9-12
SSUSH22 The student will identify dimensions of the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1970.
a. Explain the importance of President Truman’s order to integrate the U.S. military and
the federal government.
b. Identify Jackie Robinson and the integration of baseball.
c. Explain Brown v. Board of Education and efforts to resist the decision.
d. Describe the significance of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail
and his I Have a Dream Speech.
e. Describe the causes and consequences of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting
Rights Act of 1965.
American Government, 9-12
SSCG22 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the criminal justice process.
a. Analyze the steps in the criminal justice process.
b. Explain an individual’s due process rights.
c. Describe the steps in a criminal trial or civil suit.
d. Examine the different types of sentences a convicted person can receive.