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African-American History

African-American History

Elementary School Lesson Plans

Ruby Bridges
Students will study about six year old, Ruby Bridges who demonstrated many positive character traits after being sent to an all-white school, especially courage standing alone in the face of racism. Students will understand that Ruby Bridges helped shape American history when she became the first African-American sent to first grade in an all-white school.
African and African American Studies Principle(s): 5 and 6
Grade Level(s): 2nd


Amazing Grace
The students will recognize the actions Grace took to overcome the prejudice of others and understand how these actions support her character traits.
African and African American Studies Principle(s): 5 and 6
Grade Level(s): 2nd


John Henry
Students will carefully examine an African American tall tale/heroic myth based on the popular black folk ballad, John Henry. The students will gain an understanding of specific and figurative language an author uses to develop characters, particularly in the genre of African American tall tales.
Additional Resources:
Graphic Organizer: John Henry
African and African American Studies Principle(s): 5 and 6
Grade Level(s): 3rd


Frederick Douglass & Harriet Tubman
Students will understand helping others through acts of bravery and courage. During writers’ workshop lessons (gradual release of responsibility), the teacher will model an essay focused on Frederick Douglass. Students will independently write an informational essay focused on Harriet Tubman.
African and African American Studies Principle(s): 4 and 5
Grade Level(s): 4th


Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream
Students will learn about why Martin Luther King Jr. was an important leader in the fight for civil rights for African Americans. They will learn that he worked to change unfair laws and secure freedom for African Americans through peaceful actions.
African and African American Studies Principle(s): 5, 6, and 7
Grade Level(s): 1st

Music Genres Historically Associated with African American Culture
Students will use physical activity as a means of expression related to specific music genres historically associated with African American culture.
Grade Level(s): 3rd - 5th

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