Lively Lesson: Groundbreaking African Americans

Can you imagine being the very first person to do something? What if that achievement was significant not only because of the accomplishment itself, but also because it meant facing and overcoming prejudices and barriers?

In this activity, students consider what it must have been like for African Americans who led groundbreaking lives, and they imagine what social media might have looked like on the eve of some of those great accomplishments.

Using SOS: Fakebook as a guide, have students create digital or analog “Facebook” profiles for black heroes with images, text, significant dates, biographical information, and contemporary relationships. Ask students to focus on the night before a significant event occurred, such as the night before Jackie Robinson took the field for the first time with the Dodgers, and post status updates in the voice and mindset of their subject.

Complete this activity with students doing a gallery walk and leaving comments of encouragement or reflection on the profile pages. Share a photo of student projects with #CelebrateWithDE.


Explore these Discovery Education resources about some African American groundbreakers:

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  1. Nicole D. said:

    I love Fakebook! Along the same lines, the SOS strategy titled, “Multiple Perspectives” would be a great way to summarize the historical context of these leaders FIRST before completing the Fakebook activity. In many ways, middle school students are in the beginning stages of taking historical context into consideration before drawing conclusions. For many, it is really difficult to grasp the ideas of segregation and racism unless it is personally experienced so this first step of looking at perspectives may allow students to give more thoughtful and analytical responses to one another for the Fakebook activity.

  2. Pingback: #CelebrateWithDE – African Americans in the Arts | Discovery Education

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  4. essaywritingcenter said:

    That was one of the methods I was referring to when I said they pick and choose evidence to support the claim. We don’t know how many of those kids who said they’d major in education changed their mind or didn’t go to college, but it’s probably a sizable number.

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