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Our Town's Black Heritage

  • Arts and Humanities
    Architecture, Language Arts, Literature, Dance, Music, Visual Arts
  • Educational Technology
  • Social Studies
    Anthropology, Civics, Geography, Government, History, U.S. History, State History, Regions and Cultures, Sociology


K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Advanced

Brief Description

Students tour Boston's Black Heritage Trail and create a black heritage tour of their own town.



  • learn about black history in their city or town.
  • work in groups to research and write informational essays about relevant locations.
  • create a black heritage tour, including a map and informational brochure.


African American, black, black history, Civil War, culture, heritage, map, mapmaking, slavery, tour

Materials Needed


  • computer with Internet access (optional)
  • Black Heritage Trail or a print version of stops on the tour
  • art materials

Note: If students do not have access to the Internet, print the pages from the Web site above and combine into a booklet. Have students browse through the booklet prior to the activity.

Lesson Plan

Explain to students that they will create a tour of their city or town that shows the locations of places that had a significant role in black history.

  • Invite students to tour Boston's Black Heritage Trail. Discuss the importance of each location.
  • Arrange students into small groups and assign each group a category, such as religion, education, science, government, culture, and history. Provide each group with a list of local resources relevant to its assigned category. These might include black churches, civic or political organizations, educators, museums, and so on.
  • Ask students in each group to use those local resources, as well as print and online resources, to research the important local people and events in black history in their category. Have each group create a one-page, illustrated report on the important locations associated with each person and event. (Remind students to include in their reports the address or exact location of each place.)
  • Have students read their reports aloud to the class. As each report is read, mark the location on a map of your city or town. Create a map key.
  • Combine the reports and map into a black heritage booklet.

Extension: Help students scan each page of the report and post your tour online.


Evaluate students on the accuracy and completeness of their reports as well as on their oral presentations.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Linda Starr

National Standards

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts


  • GRADES K - 4
    NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.K-4.4 Understanding the Visual Arts in Relation to History and Cultures
    NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines


  • GRADES 5 - 8
    NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.5-8.4 Understanding the Visual Arts in Relation to History and Cultures
    NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines


  • GRADES 9 - 12
    NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding And Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.9-12.4 Understanding the Visual Arts in Relation to History and Cultures
    NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines








  • GRADES K - 4
    NSS-USH.K-4.1 Living and Working Together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago
    NSS-USH.K-4.2 The History of Students' Own State or Region
    NSS-USH.K-4.3 The History of the United States: Democratic Principles and Values and the People from Many Cultures Who Contributed to Its Cultural, Economic, and Political Heritage


  • GRADES 5 - 12
    NSS-USH.5-12.2 Era 2: Colonization and Settlement (1585-1763)
    NSS-USH.5-12.3 Era 3: Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820s)
    NSS-USH.5-12.4 Era 4: Expansion and Reform (1801-1861)
    NSS-USH.5-12.5 Era 5: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)
    NSS-USH.5-12.6 Era 6: The Development of the Industrial United States (1870-1900)
    NSS-USH.5-12.7 Era 7: The Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930)
    NSS-USH.5-12.8 Era 8: The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
    NSS-USH.5-12.9 Era 9: Postwar United States (1945 to Early 1970s)
    NSS-USH.5-12.10 Era 10: Contemporary United States (1968 to the Present)



  • GRADES K - 12
    NT.K-12.3 Technology Productivity Tools
    NT.K-12.4 Technology Communications Tools
    NT.K-12.5 Technology Research Tools
    NT.K-12.6 Technology Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Tools

Click here to return to the African American History lesson plan page.


Links last updated 02/06/2012