Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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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.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

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?  

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description on the Frederick Douglass topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading 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
Students express their understanding through one or more of the following activities, which also address essential literacy skills. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a talk-show style movie where you interview Frederick Douglass about his accomplishments.  (Essential Literacy Skill: determine central ideas)
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map sequencing the major events and accomplishments of Frederick Douglass’s life.  (Essential Literacy Skill: Make inferences and cite specific evidence)
  • Creative Coding: Code a museum with artifacts representing Frederick Douglass’s legacy. (Essential Literacy Skill: determine central ideas)
  • Primary Source Activity: Analyzing a speech Frederick Douglass wrote for the unveiling of the Emancipation Memorial. (Essential Literacy Skill: Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats)

Step 4: REFLECT & ASSESS 

Reflect: Students reflect on what they’ve learned about Frederick Douglass. Prompt them by asking questions such as:

  • What makes reading and writing powerful skills? 
  • Why was Frederick Douglass’s work so impactful? 

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Frederick Douglass Challenge

Additional Support Resources:

 

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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