Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Madam CJ Walker, and supports the standard of describing the lives and contributions of historical figures. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display this image from the movie (timestamp: 2:30):

Explain that Madam CJ Walker built a business empire in the early 20th century, and became one of the first Black millionaires. Ask students:

  • What challenges might Madam CJ Walker have faced throughout her career?
  • What impact do you think Madam CJ Walker’s success could have on other Black women? 


Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the Madam CJ Walker Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Step 4: DEEPEN and EXTEND  

Students express what they learned about Madame CJ Walker 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: Produce a movie honoring Madam CJ Walker for her life’s achievements that answers these questions: Why is Walker a successful entrepreneur? What is her legacy?
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying different ways that Madam CJ Walker impacted individuals, groups of people, and society.
  • Creative Coding: Code a museum with artifacts representing Madam CJ Walker’s legacies.

More to Explore

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Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments