Grade Level: 6–8
Subject/Content: Social Studies
Summary of Lesson
Students will research various African Americans to create posters to share with the school during Black History Month.
What contributions have African Americans made to our history, culture, and development as a nation?
Databases:Student Resources in Context, Biography in Context Procedures: Steps/activities by teacher:
In a class discussion, ask students to think about African Americans who have made significant contributions to society. Ask them to think about how these people shaped American culture.
Tell students that they will research a famous African American and create a poster that explains this person's contribution(s) to society.
Students may select one of the subjects from the subject list [link], or they may select a person they are interested in learning more about. Be sure to approve all subjects that the students select on their own.
Pass out copies of the research outline. Remind students to take careful notes as they research their subject.
Provide time for students to access the Student Resources in Context and Biography in Context databases to complete their research. Students may also use these resources to select images of their subjects for their posters.
Once students have completed their research outlines, ask them to write a draft of the information they will include on their posters. This information should be limited to one to two paragraphs and should clearly indicate the contribution(s) their subject has made to society.
Ask students to peer edit each other's drafts before creating their posters.
Have students create their posters. Along with the text, students may also include pictures of their subject or additional visual aids.
Arrange for students' posters to be displayed around the school during Black History Month.
Steps/Activities by student(s):
Discuss African Americans who have made significant contributions to society with the rest of the class. Think about an African American who interests you or who you would like to learn more about.
Take a look at the subject list provided by your teacher. Select a subject from this list to research. If you would like to research someone who does not appear on the list, ask your teacher for permission before starting your research.
Access the Student Resources in Context and Biography in Context databases to locate information on your subject. You will use this information to create a poster that will be displayed around the school during Black History Month.
Use the outline provided by your teacher to help guide your research.
When your research is complete, write a draft of the information you will include on your poster. This information should be about one to two paragraphs in length and should clearly indicate the contributions your subject has made to society.
When your draft is edited, create your poster. Your poster may include images of your subject or other visual aids.
Display your poster around the school so other students can understand the contribution(s) your subject has made to society.
Students educate themselves and their peers about the contributions of African Americans.
Related Activities: This activity can be easily integrated with the activities suggested.
Ask students to write a poem about their subject. Encourage students to use a variety of poetic forms to create their poems. Ask students to share their poems with the rest of the class.
Learning Expectation: Students will use their research skills to find information about an important African American and then use their creativity to make a poster that shows other students the contributions this person has made to society.
National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies Middle Grades II. Time, Continuity, and Change
Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of the past and its legacy.
Learners will be able to:
C. Research and analyze past periods, events, and issues, using a variety of primary sources (e.g., documents, letters, artifacts, and testimony) as well as secondary sources; validate and weigh evidence for claims and evaluate the usefulness and degree of reliability of sources to develop a supportable interpretation.
A. Ask and answer questions about the various forms and roles of individuals, groups, and institutions.
B. Analyze the effects of interactions between and among individuals, groups, and institutions.
Standard Source:NCSS 2010
ISTE NETS for Students
1. Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:
B. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
3. Research and Information Fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:
B. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
C. evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
D. process data and report results.
Standard Source: ISTE NETS for Students, 2007
Information Power; Information Literacy Standards:
Standard 1:The student who is information literate accesses information efficiently and effectively.
Standard 2:The student who is information literate evaluates information critically and competently.
Standard 3:The student who is information literate uses information accurately and creatively.
Standard 7:The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and recognizes the importance of information to a democratic society.
Standard 9:The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate information.
Standard Source: American Library Association, 1998
Additional subjects may be found in the Student Resources in Context and Biography in Context databases. Have your teacher approve any subject who does not appear on this list before starting your research.
Black History Month Research Outline Name ____________________
Directions: Use the following prompts to guide your research of your subject. Take thorough notes and put all information in your own words. Use additional paper when necessary.