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Activity Overview


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 biography poster about a notable enslaved person or someone who worked to end slavery.

Teachers can assign students specific people or give students a choice. Teachers may wish to provide resources such as books or the online encyclopedia Britannica for students to read about their person. These posters can be printed out, laminated, and hung around the room as a visual reminder of notable people from the time of American Slavery. Students can also present their posters to their classmates, sharing their knowledge about their person. Thus combining research, writing and public speaking skills into one powerful assignment.

Find more biography poster templates to add to this assignment if desired!

Suggested Important People

  • Crispus Attucks (1723-1770)
  • Elizabeth Freeman (1742–1829)
  • Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797)
  • Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784)
  • Richard Allen (1760-1831)
  • Ona Judge (1773-1848)
  • Mary Prince (1788‐​1833)
  • John Rankin (1793 – 1886)
  • Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)
  • John Brown (1800-1859)
  • Maria W. Stewart (1803–1879)
  • William Lloyd Garrison (1805 – 1879)
  • Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)
  • Henry “Box” Brown (1815-1897)
  • Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)
  • Harriet Tubman (1820(?) - 1913)
  • Sarah Parker Remond (1824–1894)
  • Ellen Craft (1826–1891)
  • Robert Smalls (1839-1915)
  • Susie King Taylor (1848-1912)
  • Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-6

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual

Type of Activity: Biographies



Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Due Date:

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 biography poster that highlights important events in their life and accomplishments.

Student Instructions:

  1. Choose a person.
  2. Using school resources, conduct some research and learn more about your chosen person.
  3. On the poster, include your person’s name and dates of birth (and death if applicable). Choose a character that resembles your person. Add words and images to describe your person’s accomplishments.
  4. Save and submit your storyboard.

Requirements: Person’s image, name, dates of birth/death, 3-5 important events and/or accomplishments.



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Slavery in America





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