Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
Black History Stamps
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

In this lesson, students learn about the lives and contributions of the many black Americans who are honored on U.S. commemorative postage stamps. One way of understanding American cultural values is to consider those individuals who are honored in this manner.

The lesson emphasizes finding, organizing, synthesizing and communicating information. The culminating activity is a presentation in which students report on their research about the honoree and his or her place in American history.

Grade Level: 7-9

Time Allotment: 5 class periods

Subject Matter: Social Studies and English

Learning Objectives

Students will know:

  • the contributions of the black Americans honored by commemorative stamps and some of the challenges that they faced
  • the social, political, economic, artistic and historic context for those Americans commemorated in stamps
  • the criteria for honoring a person with a commemorative stamp
Students will be able to:

  • Make a presentation that synthesizes information about a historical figure and time. To do this, they need to establish a focus for their research (know what they are looking for), cull relevant information, record and organize the information to suit the established purpose
  • Write a persuasive letter

ELA (national):

  • Identify, organize, analyze, and use information from various sources
  • Understand and apply the concept of voice (when writing a persuasive letter and making presentations)
Social Studies (New York State)

  • Use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States

This lesson was prepared with Amy Benjamin.