Famous African Americans

"All our dreams come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."

Alexa Canady, First African American Neurosurgeon

Social Studies and Language Arts

Grades 3-5

Ojectives -The student will:



  1. What qualities make a person famous? Provide students with index cards to write descriptive words(adjectives). These vocabulary words may be used to begin a bulletin board, "The Wall of Fame."
  2. Discuss and brainstorm with students the various Famous African Americans. Allow students to select an African American to research on the internet or in the library. Below is a list of famous African Americans to choose from.
  3. The students will complete the outline provided below. Students may record their information on index cards to be placed in a large envelope decorated recognizing the selected African American. All of the students cards may be placed in a box to create an African American Trivia Game.
  4. Using a word processor the student will complete a written report on an African American.
  5. The student will demonstrate his knowledge of his research by presenting his character to the class. This may be an oral report or interview by the class. Students are encouraged to dress in character.
  6. The students will draw pictures of the selected African Americans. The picture will demonstrate the contributions of this American. Key facts should be placed on this picture, which will be added to the "Wall of Fame. Place these pictures birth order to create a timeline.
  7. Famous Words of Wisdoms- " Success always leaves footprints." Booker T. Washington, Educator Students may search for famous words or speeches of African Americans. These may be added to the "Wall of Fame or Trivia Game."

Maya Angelou Louis Armstrong Benjamin Banneker Henry Blair George Washington Carver Andrew Beard Frederick Douglass George Grant Reverend Jesse Jackson Dr. Martin Luther King Rosa Parks Elijah Mc Coy Soujouner Truth Garrett Morgan Harriet Tubman Jan Matzeliger Granville T. Woods Marion Anderson Johnnie Cochran Elizabeth Coleman Don Cornelius Barbara Jordan James Earl Jones Fannie Lou Hammer Bill Pickett Adam Clayton Powell Shelby Steele Booker T. Washington Eldrick Tiger Woods Carter G. Woodson Malcolm X Jackie Robinson Alexa Canady Lucy Terry Prince Phillis Wheatley Elizabeth Freeman Nat Turner Lewis Temple James Beckwourth Madame C. J Walker Scott Joplin Robert Smalls Ida B. Wells-Barnett Mary Mc Leod Bethune W. E. B. DuBois Louis Armstrong Garrett A. Morgan Roy Wilkins Wilma Rudolph Langston Hughes Bessie Smith Medgar Evers Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington Jesse Owens Matthew Henson Mary Church Terrell Joe Louis Mohammad Ali Toni Morrison Paul Robeson Dred Scott Daniel Hale Williams Charles Young Lewis Hayden Jermain Wesley Loguen John Anthony Copeland, Jr.

Helpful Websites

Stamp on Black History
The History Channel
Encyclopedia Britannica

Activity Sheet

Biography Outline

Name of Person

  1. Early Life

    A. Birth/Death Dates

    B. Birthplace

    C. Education


    Adult life

    A. Education

    B. Marriage/Family

    C. Career



  2. Accomplishments/Contributions







    These pages were developed through GirlTECH , a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. Copyright December 1997 by Cynthia Lanius.
    Thanks to the RGK Foundation for its generous support of GirlTECH.