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Mrs. French's Eng​lish Class


Freedom Writers

BACKGROUND: In our Non-Fiction unit, we will discuss a variety of formats such as autobiographies, biographies, and essays that help to express stories about true people and events. We will analyze these non-fiction formats before viewing a film about true events that occurred in the early 1990's at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, CA. Real people and events from several cultures and time periods influenced this inspiring story about embracing diversity.

Click the links below to see the ABC Primetime interview with Miss G. and the Freedom Writers. It was this interview that inspired a group of writers and producers to bring the story to the big screen. While the names have been changed for the film, the stories are the same ones you have heard in class. The YouTube videos are in order and you will have to view them from home :o( sorry!

Freedom Writers Interview

Part 1 Part II Part III

Freedom Writers Web Quest

Before reading and viewing the Freedom Writers, we will learn about the social events leading up to the events in the story. It is important to understand the state of South Central LA during this time period to truly relate to the characters of the story.

Research and record responses for the following topics and questions:

PLEASE NOTE: WIKIPEDIA IS UNRELIABLE! You must use reliable sources. There are many reliable source links embedded in the WebQuest below. Good luck!

Git er done! :o) 



1. What was The Civil Rights Movement? Who was involved? When did it happen? Where did it take place? Why did it happen? How did it happen? How did it affect other people?

2. What was the Brown vs. the Board of Education and what was the outcome?

3. What was the case of Emmett Till and what was the outcome?

4. Who was Rosa Parks and what did she do? How was this historically significant?

5. Who were the Little Rock Nine of 1957?

6. What were the Greensboro Sit-Ins? How was this historically significant?

7. Who were The Freedom Riders? How was this historically significant? (Check out James Zwerg)

8. What happened during the Birmingham Alabama Church Bombing? Site #2

9. What was Bloody Sunday 1965

10. Martin Luther King Jr’s Assassination: Who was behind it? Who pulled the trigger? Why did they target him?


11. Who is Rodney King? What was the incident that attracted national attention? Make a bulleted list of the events as they unfolded on March 3, 1991.

12. What was the Verdict read in Los Angeles on April 30, 1992? What were the events surrounding the case? What were the events that followed?

13. Describe the civil unrest in LA in May of 1992. What was the monetary damage? Deaths?

14. Who is Reginald Denny? What role did he play in the riots?

15. What was life in like in South Central LA in the early 90's before the LA Riots.

Site #1 Site #2 Site #3

Women in History

15. Who is Anne Frank? Describe her life in a short paragraph.

16. Who is Meip Gies? Describe her life in a short paragraph.

17. Who is Zlata Filipovic? Describe her life in a short paragraph.


NY Times Archive: Rodney King Articles

Timeline: Rodney King

BEST Article! Chock full of details! Click Here

Article: Police Beating Caught on Tape Click Here

NYTimes article:Chaos breaks out after King verdict

Reginald Denny Article 1 and Article 2

Article: Miep Gies, Protector of Anne Frank, Dies at 100 Click here

Article: A Tribute to Miep Gies NY Times Article


New York Times: What if there had been no videotape of the three Los Angeles police officers clubbing, kicking and stomping Rodney Glen King while about 10 more (officers) stood by and watched?

The Investigation into the LAPD after the Rodney King beating. Click Here

An Elegy For Rodney King Click Here