Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

Click to open and customize your own copy of the Frederick Douglass Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Frederick Douglass, and supports the standard of describing the contributions of significant leaders. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.


Ask students: What is an autobiography? How might an autobiography be more meaningful than a biography, or story about a person’s life written by someone else?  


  • Read aloud the description on the Frederick Douglass topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “Trivia,” “Quotables,” or “Did You Know?” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign the Frederick Douglass Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about Frederick Douglass while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs. 

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a talk-show style movie where you interview Frederick Douglass about his accomplishments. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map sequencing the major events and accomplishments of Frederick Douglass’s life.  
  • Creative Coding: Code a museum with artifacts representing Frederick Douglass’s legacy.
  • Primary Source Activity: Analyzing a speech Frederick Douglass wrote for the unveiling of the Emancipation Memorial. 

More to Explore 

Time Zone X: Civil War: Challenge students to put historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Teacher Support Resources:


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments