About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Historic Landmark files, "Prudence Crandall House" (with photographs) and "Little Rock High School" (with photographs), as well as other sources related to these two historic properties. It was written by Kathleen Hunter, Director of Interpretation and Education at the Old State House, Hartford, Connecticut. The lesson was edited by the Teaching with Historic Places staff. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson could be used in American History courses in units on 19th-century reform movements (abolitionism), the civil rights movement, or the history of education in America. The lesson also could be used to enhance the study of African American history or women's history.
Time periods: 1830s and 1950s
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To examine how Prudence Crandall challenged the prevailing attitude toward educating African Americans in New England prior to the Civil War.
2) To understand the court actions and public reactions involved in desegregating schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the 1950s.
3) To compare and contrast the events relating to African-American education that occurred in Canterbury, Connecticut, in the 1830s and Little Rock, Arkansas, in the 1950s.
4) To investigate the history of public education in their own community.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The map and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) a map showing the locations of Canterbury, Connecticut, and Little Rock, Arkansas;
2) two readings about important events that occurred in Canterbury and Little Rock;
3) seven photographs of the Prudence Crandall Museum and Little Rock Central High School.
Visiting the sites
The Prudence Crandall Museum is located at the intersection of Routes 169 and 14 in Canterbury, Connecticut. It is open to the public from early February to mid-December, Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free admission is offered to school groups by appointment. The museum includes three period rooms, changing exhibitions on a variety of themes, and special seasonal events. For more information, contact the Prudence Crandall Museum, P.O. Box 58, Canterbury, Connecticut 06331.
Little Rock Central High School, now a unit of the National Park System, is located at the intersection of 14th and Park Streets. Permission to enter the building should be obtained from the High School Administration Office. Their address is 1500 Park Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202. The Central High Museum and Visitor Center is located directly across the street from the school at 2125 West 14th Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202. The museum is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information visit
the museum's Web pages.