Glory Road Teaching Materials

   
Introduction    

One of UTEP’s most important moments came on March 19, 1966, when the men’s basketball team beat Kentucky for the NCAA National Championship. Coach Don Haskins and the entire team were later admitted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997 and 2007, respectively. In 2011 the team was featured on a Wheaties box and the next year, during the 75th anniversary of the NCAA tournament, ESPN ranked the victory the #3 moment in the entire tournament history.

But the victory’s significance extends beyond basketball. The fact that the Miner team started five black players against Kentucky’s all-white team thrust the game into the nation’s civil rights movement. In 1955, the school had been the first in Texas to desegregate but the national struggle for rights was far from over. The victory challenged the color line in college athletics and the rest of national activities. The Miners’ story was immortalized in the 2006 motion picture Glory Road.

These lesson ideas and resources have been created and recommended by El Paso-area educators. The  Center for History Teaching & Learning presents them as part of UTEP's Centennial Celebration, a moment in which teachers can help a new generation of students to appreciate the community's history and look forward to its future.

   
Lesson Ideas    

Evaluating Contrary Interpretations
U.S. History | Historical Thinking
By Keith A. Erekson

Glory Road (2006) features a scene in which Coach Haskins sits the team down before the game and tells them he will start five black players to make a statement about civil rights. In his memoir, Haskins tells a different story (pp. 179-182). What are the differences? Which is most reliable?

 

Key Words and Terms
U.S. History | Understanding
By Tina Collins

In order to broaden student understanding of American civil rights, students should understand the following key words: segregation, Jim Crow, civil rights, civil rights leaders, civil rights movements, Civil Rights Act of 1966; basketball, college sports; Don Haskins, Texas Western Miners. The terms could be used on flash cards or in a game of charades.

 

Stereotypes and Stories
U.S. History | Culture
By Alan Ventura

Stereotypes are used by societies to explain cultural differences. During the 19th century, white Americans created “Tom,” a caricature that portrayed African Americans as childlike, ignorant, docile, groveling, and harmless. How could slavery be wrong, argued its proponents, if black African-Americans were happy and loyal? What is the role of stereotypes in society? Why were the members of college team sports all white? What stereotypes exist in the 21st century?

 

Mapping the 1966 Team
Geography | Social and Cultural Patterns
By Hunter Nix

Using the information in The Road to Glory online museum and an outline map of the United States, mark the following locations: El Paso, the hometown of each member of the 1966 team, the location of every school that played the Miners in the 1965-66 season. What patterns emerge? Are there differences between where the Miners grew up and where the opponent schools were located? How might geographical differences have impacted the teams’ experiences?

 

Critical Analysis of Popular Culture
English Composition | Film Analysis
By Karina Calderon

Cinematic movies—like Glory Road (2006)—are created as a source of entertainment, not as a source of accurate historical and/or factual information. After conducting research in The Road to Glory online museum, students will watch the film, taking notes on logical, emotional, and ethical appeals. Who is the film’s audience? Is the film accurate? Does it meet the expectations of the audience?

 

Re-Enacting Don Haskins’ Defensive Drills
Physical Education | Basketball
By Keith A. Erekson

One of the early cultural stereotypes about African American athletes was that they were lazy. The 1966 team, however, was renowned for its defensive abilities. Haskins and his team made a film about defense. Can you perform the drills? How important is teamwork?

 

Opening Activity
All Subjects | Attention Grabber
By Joseph Leff

Distribute a blank bracket from the 1966 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and invite students to guess the outcomes. After students have attempted to fill out their brackets, show the actual results. See how close the students can get in guessing the tournament results.

   
Resources    

Classroom Materials
For Students
For Teachers

Primary Sources
Video
Narrative
  • Don Haskins with Dan Wetzel, Glory Road (New York: Hyperion, 2006)

Secondary Sources
Online Museums
Video
Narrative and Analysis


 
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