Staff Development Language Arts Mathematics Science Social Science Teaching Portals Free Web Tools

PUSD Home  | L Pt | C & I  | Ed Tech Central |Teaching & Learning | MAP Tools | Cultural Literacy | GATE | ELL | Reading Recovery | PATH


Cultural Literacy Home
Constitution Day
Native American Day
Cesar Chavez Day
Martin Luther King Day
African American Hist









Online Lesson Plans (Prek-12) | Lessons PreK-8 | Lessons 9-12
 Online Projects: PreK-8 | Online Projects:  9-12 |
SASinSchool: Social Studies ,
American Literature | Source Documents |

Breaking Barriers  Essay Contest

Breaking Barriers
Students in grades 4-8 can enter this year's Breaking Barriers Essay Contest sponsored by Scholastic.  Entries must be received by March 13, 2015  Prizes include a trip to the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, laptop computers for teachers and students, a class visit from Sharon Robinson (daughter of Jackie Robinson), and a Sharon Robinson book set.

The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed

Discovery Education Streaming

  • A keyword search for African American History or Black History in Discovery Streaming returns excellent videos, video clips, images, source photos, lesson plans and articles.  If you need more information about your account, talk to your site librarian or email the PUSD helpdesk team at:  

Online Lesson Plans (PreK-12 Lessons)'s:


US Government Websites

Lessons (Grades PreK-8)

Literature Based Lessons:

  • The Brown Bookshelf: 28 Days Later, A Black History Month Celebration of Children's Literature This site introduces "emerging children's authors of color" for 28 days in February.  Interviews with the authors are excellent as are their recommendations of good works on African American History.

  • Recipe for Courage: After students read works on the courage of Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, Melba Beal, Harriet Tubman, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, and others, brainstorm a list of the character traits they had that allowed them to demonstrate courage.  Students will determine which traits were most necessary and which played smaller, but equally significant roles as they equate them with the various measures on this black line recipe master. (For example if one of the characters said she had faith that it is what she was meant to do, then the student might choose faith as the 2c. ingredient.  If she said her friend sometimes talked to her in the halls and helped her get through the day, perhaps friendship would go in 1/4 c.)
    (Blackline Master for Writing Project)

Ruby Bridges:

For a transcript and audio interview with Ruby Bridges on KPBS Online Focus.

Ruby Bridges Official Website

The Story of Ruby Bridges  
by Robert Coles Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges

Rosa Parks: has hosted multiple live chats with Rosa Parks over the years. You can read transcripts on their site. They also have a photo journal of her life and many additional resources and lesson plans as well at a section of their site titled: "Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights."


Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt:

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson


Lessons (Grades 9-12) 

Literature Based Lessons:

Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals is an excellent book that describes the challenges faced by a young girl who integrated Little Rock High School in the 1950's.  For lesson plans, resources, a photo journal of her life, and multiple student led interviews with Melba, visit Integrating Central High: The Melba Pattillo Story at


Source Documents

Unseen. Unforgotten: When the Birmingham News discovered several unpublished photos of civil rights events in their archives, they posted them on this site with the title: From Negatives to Positives.



Online Projects

Online Projects: PreK-8

  • This site has developed a tremendous amount of resources for teachers and students studying Black history. There are projects, readings, web field trips, research starters, live interviews, and writing prompts. You can also read some amazing interviews students have done with Melba Pattillo, one of the Little Rock Nine, Rosa Parks, or Jackie Robinson's family. For a teacher's guide that gives an overview of the various projects with rubrics, class management ideas, grade level ideas, and other valuable resources, click here.

Online Projects: 9-12

SASinSchool Software (Grades 9-12) 
Web Version

  • To access this outstanding software purchased by PUSD, click on . Contact  or your school librarian for information on your password and login, or check the email sent to you earlier this year.  Some sample lessons are described below. A search in SASinSchool for the keywords African American History will bring up a list of links directly to Literature and Social Science lessons.

Social Studies > US History> Struggle for Civil Rights>

This section has the following components:

  • Evolution of the Supreme Court:  In this web lesson, students analyze important Supreme Court civil rights cases from the 1850s to the 1990s. They research and summarize the Court's decisions and their impact on African Americans and subsequent civil rights events. The class then creates a PowerPoint® presentation that profiles the cases chronologically in order to identify and discuss the evolution of the Supreme Court's decisions.

  • Recipe for Rights:  In this classroom activity, students explore the methods of nonviolent protest used by the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Small groups of students develop a campaign for a contemporary civil rights issue, creating a class presentation that outlines the goals, protest methods, and proposed outcomes of their social action.

  • All for One:  In this project, students research one of six African-American civil rights organizations and analyze its impact on the struggle for civil rights during the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Booker T. Washington and Equality: In this InterActivity, students use a case study approach to answer the focus question: Should African Americans follow Booker T. Washington's advice for achieving equality?

  • African American Autobiography:  In this web lesson, students research the lives of two African American writers, George Moses Horton and Frederick Douglass. They analyze selected quotations from their autobiographical works and discover the external causes and internal motivations that led Horton and Douglass to become professional writers, despite the oppressions of slavery.

  • Character and Plot in A Raisin in the Sun:  In this classroom activity, students transform their classroom into a stage set and perform scenes from A Raisin in the Sun. They analyze the elements of dramatic characterization and plot development as they read, view, and perform scenes from the play. When they complete their study of the play, students write, perform, and assess a dramatic dialogue of their own.

  • Black Boy by Richard Wright:  In this project, students read Black Boy by Richard Wright, create a chart for note-taking purposes, choose from a list of essay topics, and compose a well-elaborated essay. Students conclude their study with a classroom presentation that reveals their response to their reading and the author's literary achievement.

  •  African American Quest:  Overview:  In this InterActivity, students complete learning steps that prepare for an assessment activity, either a written literary analysis or notes for a group discussion. African American Quest introduces students to the culture, themes, and stylistic devices associated with African American literature. In the opening Focus section, students examine images and respond to questions that prepare for reading. In the Explore section, students read and may listen to short quotations by Frederick Douglass, Pauline Hopkins, W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Eldridge Cleaver, and Lucille Clifton. Interpretive aids help students analyze themes and stylistic devices in these passages. In Respond, students apply their learning in an independent analysis of James Baldwin's "Letter to My Nephew."

  • In English: under American Literature > African American Literature There is a new audio inquiry on the Harlem Renaissance.

Back to Top 



Linda Foote
Instructional Technology Specialist
Poway Unified School District

Last Updated on:



Hit Counter