Lesson Plan

People Who Made a Difference

Researching great African-American lives and publishing their stories
Rachelle W.
Digital Learning Specialist
Fort Settlement Middle School
Sugar Land, United States
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My Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts

For this project students research some African-American people (alive or dead) and write a story/narrative about their life and the impact their life had on our society.  

Students will be able to...

  • conduct short research project on an African American life using the planning sheet as their guide
  • introduce, develop, and conclude their topic with appropriate transitions
  • use graphics, music,  and images to support their story
  • use technology to publish their stories and share them with a larger audience
English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 8 – 9
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Prewriting

Have students choose an African-American (alive or dead) that they would like to learn more about.  They may want to choose someone that has similar interests  that they have or they can choose someone they know personally.  Give students the People Who Made a Difference Planning Sheet to help guide their research and plan their scripts.

Student Instructions

After choosing the African-American that you want to research, use the People Who Made a Difference Planning Sheet to guide your research and help you plan your storyboard.

2 Drafting

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Have students use the planning sheet and a sheet of paper to draft their storyboard and script.

Student Instructions

Use the planning sheet information to draft your script and create your storyboard.

3 Editing

Google Drive
Free, Paid
Free, Free to try, Paid

Use one of the collaborative tools like Google Drive, Office 365, Padlet, or Turnitin  to have students edit their  peers' scripts and storyboards.  

Student Instructions

Share the links to your draft and storyboard with another group or pair.  Review their drafts and provide feedback regarding: 

  • Is the story told in a logical order?
  • Is the language and style appropriate for the target audience?
  • Do the visuals support the written part of the script?
  • What questions do you still have about this person that are left unanswered but necessary?
  • What could they add to the script that would make their story more engaging?

4 Revising

Activity: Other — Revising their own writing/storyboard

Have students revise their stories based on peer feedback.

Student Instructions

Revise your paper based on peer feedback.

5 Publishing

Students will use the Adobe Voice app on the iPad to publish their stories.  This  project rubric will help you assess student projects.  You may even want to share it with students before the project.  You may need to create an Adobe ID class account for students to use the app for their digital stories.  Be sure to tell students how they will share their finished digital stories with you.  You can have them share it with a link and email it to you, upload it to your learning management system, etc.

Student Instructions

Use the Adobe Voice app on the iPad to create their stories about their African Americans.  There are a wide variety of Creative Commons images available for you to use, but if you can't find one in the app, you may search an outside source but you must attribute it properly.  There is a space available when getting ready to share your digital story where you can add additional credits.