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Three-Way Match:
Famous Black Americans


  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts
  • Educational Technology
  • Social Studies
    ----U.S. History


  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Learn about the accomplishments of famous African American men and women using a unique three-way matching activity. (Grades 4-12)



  • use an online resource (Encyclopedia Brittannica's Black History Month Biographies) to learn about famous African Americans.
  • follow directions to complete the three-way matching activity.


Black History Month, African Americans, research, online

Materials Needed

Lesson Plan

This activity might be set up in your classroom computer center; students will rotate into the activity during the week. Or it will also work nicely as a whole-class activity to be completed in your school's computer center. Students can work independently or in pairs to complete the activity. If they work in pairs, be sure to instruct students on how to take turns; they might do that by alternating responsibility for researching and reading the material at hand and recording answers.

In this activity students will match famous African American men and women to their accomplishments and to the year in which those accomplishments occurred. Students will use the online resources of Encyclopedia Brittannica's Black History Biographies (select Biographies from the menu) to complete the activity.

This activity is slightly different from the typical two-column matching activity with which students are familiar. In this three-way matching activity students

  • first draw a line in from the person's name in the left column to that person's accomplishment (in the middle column);
  • then they draw a line from the accomplishment in the middle column to the year in which that accomplishment occurred in the far-right (third) column.

We have provided two printable work pages for this activity. One page focuses on famous African American women and the other highlights the accomplishments of African American men. You might have the boys research the men and the girls research the women, or vice versa; or you might give students a choice or have them do both activities.

Famous African American Women
Famous African American Men

If you find matching activities difficult to grade because the crisscrossing lines students draw are difficult to follow, you might have students alternate between using a pen and a pencil (draw lines related to number 1 in pen, number 2 in pencil, number 3 in pen) or you might have students record their responses on the page in number/matching letter/year format, such as the following:

1. f (1922)


Famous African American Women. 1.c (1949); 2.g (1987); 3.i (1922); 4.h (1833); 5.j (1959); 6.a (1977); 7.d (1961); 8.b (1923); 9.e (1896); 10.f (1982).

Famous African American Men. 1.i (1955); 2.a (1789); 3.h (1983); 4.c (1920); 5.f (1960); 6.e (1962); 7.j (1921); 8.b (1870); 9.g (1925); 10.d (1967).

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.8 Developing Research Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding

NSS-USH.K-4.1 Living and Working together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago
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 All Eras

NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
NT.K-12.5 Technology Research Tools

See more Lesson Plans of the Day in our Lesson Plan of the Day Archive. (There you can search for lessons by subject too.)

For additional history lesson plans, see these Education World resources:

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Copyright© 2008 Education World

Originally published 02/15/2006
Last updated 02/13/2009