Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Tuskegee Airmen, and supports the standard of understanding how individuals have contributed to social change in the United States. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Prompt students to reflect on a time they showed courage. Ask students: 

  • Can you think of a time you were courageous in the face of adversity? What was the challenge and how were you able to overcome this challenge?

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read the description on the Tuskegee Airmen topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “In Depth” or “Laws and Customs”. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE 

Students express what they learned about the Tuskegee Airmen 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 mini-documentary about the efforts of the Tuskegee Airmen, including their impact on WWII and the Civil Rights Movement. (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas) 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying and explaining the key challenges and successes of the Tuskegee Airmen. (Essential Literacy Skill: Summarize key details)
  • Creative Coding: Code a meme expressing the strength and courage of the Tuskegee Airmen. (Essential Literacy Skill: Make logical inferences)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students take the Tuskegee Airmen Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Tuskegee Airmen Quiz.

Step 5:  EXTEND LEARNING

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

Black History Unit: Continue to build understanding around important figures and events with more BrainPOP topics. 

Additional Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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