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TED Talks

Do you want to get your students involved in One Book, One College events but can't make the events? Incorporate our series of TED Talks into your classroom.  Each month we are watching two TED Talks.  We will have discussion guides for each presentation.

This is a great way to get online students involved in the One Book,One College discussion. 

"TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world." -From



Assignment Ideas

March into the Classroom


  • How do the authors use visuals to emphasize important moments?  Comment and provide details/evidence from the visuals.
  • Discuss how Lewis uses the media to highlight social and political change.
  • Using at least two pages from March, discuss how the images portray emotions, feelings, and atmosphere.
  • Compare/contrast the representations of African Americans in March to other graphic representations of African Americans.  Representations should cover different decades to provide analysis of the change to our culture.
  • Discuss the use of shading in the book.  Take at least 4 pages and discuss how the shading is effective in terms of the message.
  • How did jazz artists, like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, deal with Jim Crow and segregation in the 1920s to 1960s?



  • Using one event listed in the book March, research the people involved. Eg. Pettus Bridge march organizers, the lunch counter sit-in participants, etc.
  • Discuss the difference between the north and south during the 60s.  Give examples from the novel.
  • Is the date (page 12) that begins the book important?  Why or why not?
  • Discuss what effects the comic book Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story (1956) had on Americans.  How did it change the civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s?
  • Select one of the key issues that generated the actions in this book and analyze in depth one of the positions on that issue that sparked the events.  You will need to do some historical research and use your findings to inform your analysis.




  • Discuss, briefly, what it means to be a citizen, of a country or of the world, up to 300 words.  This assignment could be “published” on the citizenship blog (through Michelle Nielsen Ott).  Can you connect your view of citizenship to aspects of March?
  • Discuss civil disobedience.  How is this defined in terms of legal sanctions, our jurisprudence, our personal morality?  How far should Americans go to express civil disobedience?
  • What ideas are worth breaking the current laws in order to make changes in our legal system?  In what ways is civil disobedience detrimental or progressive?
  • Discuss what citizenship means.  This could be developed into a discussion board assignment or part of the OBOC citizenship blog opportunity.
  • Discuss the similarities and differences between civil rights in the 1960s (during the time of the Pettus Bridge march) and today.
  • How does the world view US civil rights?
  • For class discussion:  should Americans be required to provide one to two years’ military service after high school?


Economics / Business

  • Discuss how economics helped to desegregate the South.
  • In what ways is a business affected by society/culture?  Does or should society/culture affect a business’s activities/management? 
  • What obligation(s) do businesses have to society?
  • Social movements and/or movements seeking to bring about change often require significant organization/funding. What role do non-profit organizations play in social change?
  • What type of company is Top Shelf Productions, the publishing company for the March series? What information can you find about the company online? What conclusions do you reach in regard to its business model?



  • Discuss the use of time as it is displayed in the graphic novel.  For example, why is it important to have the preface with the Edmund Pettus Bridge march, leaping forward to 2009, and then retreating to the past?  What is the purpose of the time shift?
  • Why are we told about John Lewis’s childhood on the farm? Is this important to the story?  Why or why not?
  • Discuss the use of the song Lewis sings in the morning (14-15).  Why or why not is this important?
  • Compare and contrast the two graphic novels:  Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story (1956) and March: Book One (2013).



  • Using one of the TED talks available on, discuss its relevance / significance to March
  • Over the year, the One Book, One College program will host a number of TED talks in room 212C/D.  These talks will also be available online.  Have students discuss/argue a position related to the TED talk.  These discussions could be posted on Blackboard’s Discussion Boards for online classes.