Teaching Students About Robert F. Kennedy: A Comprehensive Guide


Robert F. Kennedy is an iconic figure in American history. He was a crucial force in the civil rights movement, the war on poverty, and was a staunch advocate for peace. As educators, it is important to impart knowledge about his life and contributions to our students to help them understand the power of their voice and the importance of civic engagement.

1. Start with a brief biography

Begin by giving your students a brief overview of Robert F. Kennedy’s life. Born in 1925, Robert F. Kennedy was a brother of President John F. Kennedy and served as Attorney General during his brother’s time in office. He was later elected as a New York senator and became known for his dedication to human rights, social justice, and combating organized crime. His life tragically ended in 1968 when he was assassinated during his presidential campaign.

2. Discuss his role as Attorney General

As Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy played a pivotal role in enforcing civil rights legislation and dismantling organized crime syndicates. Explore with your students the efforts he took to integrate schools and public spaces while also shedding light on his fight against the Mafia by mobilizing federal resources.

3. Dive into his senatorial accomplishments

As a senator from New York, Robert F. Kennedy championed many progressive policies such as education reform, healthcare access, and economic equality for minority groups and low-income families. Encourage your students to examine how these policies continue to shape our nation today.

4. Analyze his presidential campaign

While studying his presidential bid, discuss with your students how Robert F. Kennedy’s vision for America centered on healing racial divisions, ending poverty and promoting peace across the globe. Investigate the issues he campaigned on and how they resonate with current social causes today.

5. The assassination and its impact on American politics

Finally, guide your students through the events revolving around Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination on June 5, 1968, after winning the California Democratic primary. Delve into the immediate aftermath, including public reactions and the subsequent trial of Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted of his murder.


By teaching students about Robert F. Kennedy, they not only gain knowledge about a vital figure in American history but also better understand the power of compassion and determination in promoting social change. By doing so, we can inspire a new generation to continue working towards a better tomorrow, emboldened by Kennedy’s legacy and unyielding spirit.

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