African American Lives
Analyzing the Evidence
The Science and the Investigators
Who am I? A Genealogy Guide
Sharing Stories
For Educators
About the Series

For Educators
Intro Lesson Plan 1 Lesson Plan 2 Lesson Plan 3
Designed for immediate use in middle and high school classrooms, these lessons -- which adhere to national learning standards -- contain comprehensive instructions for classroom implementation, downloadable student handouts, links to relevant and dynamic online resources, and suggestions for cross-curricular extensions. Feel free to adapt the lesson plans to meet your students' needs and your own curricular goals

Find more teaching aids at PBS TeacherSource.

For additional resources to help youth investigate the past, visit The Story in History: A Toolkit for Researching the Past.

Photo of historians John K. Thornton and Linda Heywood Grade Level: 6-8
In this lesson, students will develop strategies for investigating history through the examination of artifacts and primary source documents. After utilizing the "Analyzing the Evidence" interactivity and viewing an excerpt of the broadcast series, students will engage in a series of hands-on activities examining artifacts and documents. Students will then be asked to "curate" a photograph or object relevant to their family or family history.
Photo of a book containing registers of slaves shipped from Angola to the Americas Grade Level: 6-8
In this lesson, students will examine excerpts of the AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES broadcast series in order to develop an understanding of how an individual's or family's stories can reflect larger events or trends in history. Students will develop their own timelines connecting their lives -- and the lives of family and community members -- to local and national history.
Screenshot of a computer program displaying DNA sequences Grade Level: 9-12
In this lesson, students will learn about genetic lineages and will explore the different DNA tests (admixture, mtDNA, y-chromosome) that are used in the series AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES. Using segments of the broadcast series and the online activity "The Science and the Investigators," they will discover how advances in the field of population genomics let researchers trace genetic markers in groups of people. By tracing ancestry using genealogical charts, students will explore what these genetic tests can -- and cannot -- reveal about our origins.

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