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Lesson Plans
Black History Hall of Fame
3rd–5th Grade
Objectives Objectives
  • Reading and listening to a story about Harriet Tubman and her contributions to American history
  • Researching and identifying an African American hero’s achievements and presenting this information to the class orally and in writing
Materials Materials Needed

Make a copy of the “A Woman Called Moses” Readers’ Theater Script for each student.

Introduction Introduction

Remind students that February is Black History Month, which celebrates the many positive contributions of African Americans throughout history. Tell students that you would like to share a story of one such person, Harriet Tubman.

Procedure Procedure

  1. Distribute the copies of “A Woman Called Moses” to students. You can also cut apart the comprehension questions and pass out one question to each student. Encourage students to think about the questions as you read the script together.
  2. Invite student volunteers to read the different characters’ parts aloud as the rest of the class follows along.
  3. Encourage students to share what they learned about Harriet Tubman. To get started, you may want to prompt students with the comprehension questions. Write students’ responses on chart paper or the classroom board.
    • Why is the story titled “A Woman Called Moses”? What is the woman’s real name, and why is she called “Moses”?
    • What does Harriet mean when she says, “My train has never gone off track”? Is she talking about an actual train? Explain.
    • Why did Harriet pretend to be reading a newspaper when she could not read a word?
    • Do you think Cato and Bessie will make it to freedom? Why or why not?
    • How do you think Harriet feels when she helps people escape their lives of slavery?
  4. Ask students to explain why Harriet Tubman was an American hero.
  5. Explain that heroes are not always famous. People who make positive contributions sometimes become famous—but many other heroes do not.

Independent Practice Independent Practice

  1. Challenge students to do an Internet search for “African American heroes” or “African American achievements.” Ask them to choose and research an African American who has made a positive impact in science, history, sports, music, art or medicine. Encourage students to seek out lesser-known contributors as well as familiar ones. Remind them that the idea is to educate the rest of the class about a person or achievement students may not know about.
  2. Give each student a “Hall of Fame” frame. Then have students draw a picture of their person inside the frame and record information about this person’s life and contributions beneath the picture. Students can also download a picture of the person from the Internet, print it out and then cut it out.
  3. Invite students to give a brief presentation (1–3 minutes) on the person they chose. Display their “Hall of Fame” projects on a bulletin board in honor of Black History Month.

View the 3rd–5th Grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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