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Digital Biography Project for African American History

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Keywords: African American History Month, research, technology project,
Subject(s): Writing, Reading, Information Skills, Social Studies, Spelling, Grammar, History
Grades 3 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Lincoln Elementary School, Ruffin, NC
Planned By: Deanna Gardner
Original Author: Deanna Gardner, Ruffin
Essential Question: Who is an African American who was/is an important figure in American History?

Objective: Students will choose a famous African American to research and follow guideline of questions to answer. They will create a digital story as their project.

AS: Introduce the importance of African American History Month and how African Americans help shape the course of US History.

Guided Modeling and Strategic Teaching:
Students will be introduced to a wide variety of athletes, teachers, business men and women, scientists, educators, politicians, and civil rights leaders from the African American community throughout American History.
As a class, we will be discussing Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy, and President Obama.
Students will draw a name from list of possible research candidates. The name that is chosen from the "tub" will be the basis of the Digital Story and research.
Students will learn research tools and procedures during cross teaching with Media Specialist.
Students will learn about available on line research tools with Technology Instructor.
As a class, we will spend at least one class period per week, along with Media and Computer classes, learning how to research and record information.
Project will be a three week process, using both school and home time for research. This includes completing questionaire and writing rough draft of story to prepare for final draft to type during lab.
Students may want to bring a memory key to save work completed at school and/or home.
Students will receive a list of questions that will need to be answered for this project.
Report should be in child friendly and able for students to read when putting final voice to digital story in lab.
*Depending on class and personal preference, teacher may assign person or allow students to choose

Due Date: ____/_____/20__
For all 3rd Grade students
*Choose one famous African American to research
*Answer each question and write a rough draft biography report. Ms. Gardner and Mrs. May will help with editing and revising reports during class.
*Students will need to write a neat sheet of report to read during the recording of digital story in lab.
Research and Rough Draft will be due in three weeks, ____/____/ 20

Please have your child practice reading neat sheet the week before we begin creating the digital story in the lab.

Digital Story Guideline
*each digital story will need a title page
* an illustration or photograph must be included. If you will need a picture or drawing scanned to add to story, send it in and we will do that in the lab.
*Students working on digital story at home as well as school will need a memory key to save work.
*There should be no less than 5 pages to digital biography. This does NOT include title page.
*Voice recording should be grammatically correct. Speak at a normal pace and level.

1. What is my full name? nickname?
2. When and where was I born?
3. If I am not alive, what year did I die? How? Where?
4. Where did I grow up? What kind of family life did I have? How did I spend my childhood?
5. What did you learn about my education? Did I go to school? Where? Was I able to go to college?
6. How was I important to American History or Culture?
7. What contribution did I make to society?
8. What are 2 facts you would like to share about me?
This project can be as in depth as you would like for it to be. I do not use as many questions for this project as I did when I taught 4th grade. I also modify questions for my special needs students. Teacher discretion
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
correlating with Technology teacher, integrating Social Studies and American History, Language Arts with Writing Composition, Grammar, and Spelling. Team teach with technology teacher and media specialist to help with research
presentation of digital stories to students across grade levels, use for presentations during Open House Parent Night
Links: Link to Google
Materials: Flip Video, CDs and DVDs, Printers, Flash/USB Drives, Memory Cards, Keyboards, Headsets, Mice, Writing, Social Studies, Word Processor, Art Tools, Keyboarding, Web Page, Clip Art, Timeline, Animation, Integrating Technology