Researching real people helps students to gain a more concrete and compassionate understanding of the culture, lives, and diverse perspectives of people who were enslaved in America and people who worked to end slavery. Giving students the perspective of those who lived during a time period helps them go beyond simply memorizing dates and names to acquire a more substantial, empathetic, and realistic view of the period.
In this activity, students will create a mini graphic novel biography of a person who lived during the time of slavery in America. This narrative storyboard will describe the important events that helped shape this person’s life in the format of a mini comic book or graphic novel.Teachers can assign students specific people or give students a choice on who they would like to research. In each cell, students will create a scene from their person’s life using images and text. The biographies should explain the major events and accomplishments that helped shape the life and legacy of the person that they chose.
These mini biographies can be printed out, laminated and added to the classroom library. Students can also present their biographies to their classmates, sharing their knowledge about their person. Thus combining research, writing, and public speaking skills into one powerful assignment.
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Objective: Research a famous or notable person that relates to the period of slavery in America such as an enslaved person or an abolitionist. Create a mini biography of their life in the form of a narrative storyboard that highlights important events in their life and accomplishments.
Requirements: Person’s image, name, dates of birth/death, 4-8 important events and/or accomplishments depicted with appropriate scenes, characters and items with descriptive captions.
Grade Level 4-6
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment IndividualCommon Core Standards