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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 |

                          February 2014

PBS and its sponsors are proud to announce a new program playing February 1-8 in honor of Black History Month. On the website you'll find profiles of famous African Americans, Educational Resources and Lesson Plans, (including 9-12 grade science lessons on DNA), a video clip introduction to the series and links to additional online resources.

Profiles include accounts of those who have overcome incredible odds to make valuable contributions to the world. The profile of Ben Carson is an excellent one to use with elementary and middle school students.

Discovery Education Steaming

A keyword search for African American History finds 121 videos, 283 clips, 100 GREAT calendar events, 100 images, and 85 articles. Most of the video clips also include lesson plans. If you need more information about your account, talk to your site librarian or email Linda Foote.

Online Lesson Plans (PreK-12 Lessons)

The ED SITEment web site has a large collection of Civil Rights lesson plans for grades k-12. You can use a scroll down menu at the top of the page to sort the lessons by grade level. After choosing your grade level in the pull-down menu, click display. (In the Subject Navigator Choose: U.S. History-African American or U.S. History-Civil Rights.)

Lessons (Grades PreK-8)

Literature Based Lessons:

Recipe for Courage:
(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

Library of Congress African~American Odyssey This site is a digital collection of rare and unique items related to African American history that are housed in the Library of Congress. It includes pamphlets, letters, political cartoons, photos, manuscripts, music, videos, and news articles. In the section on the Civil Rights Era, issues such as African~Americans serving in the military and dying for their country, yet not being allowed equal access are addressed through political cartoons.  Click on the drawing at the left to see a sample. (Courtesy of Dr. Helma Harrington) You can also see a page from chapter 10 of the book, Hank Aaron, titled: "I Was Tired of Being Invisible"  describing his strategy for becoming a record-sitting hitter. (When the page loads, hold your cursor near the bottom right edge of any artifact or picture. An icon will appear with four arrows on it. Click on it and the artifact will enlarge.) On the introductory page you can read about the incredible amount of hate mail he received upon breaking Babe Ruth's famous home run record.

From Slavery to Freedom, The African~American Pamphlet Collection from 1824-1909 This collection includes personal accounts, public speeches, legislative speeches, dramas, and organizational reports. Some of the authors found in this collection are: Frederick Douglass, Charles Sumner, Mary Church Terrell, and Booker T. Washington. Another collection of pamphlets valuable to the study of African~American History can be found at: African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907.

An excellent new site with local source documents for San Diego County has been published: San Diego African American Heritage Study.


The American Museum of Photography has an online exhibit entitled: The Face of Slavery and Other Early Images of African~Americans that can be used as discussion starters and project resources.

Online Projects

Online Projects: PreK-8

The Scholastic Web Site
Culture and Change: Black History in America
(Grades k-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 Linda Foote 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 PowerPointŪ 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."

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Poway Unified School District
Instructional Technology Specialist
13626 Twin Peaks Road
Poway, CA 92064

last updated: 11/14/2013