African-American Heroes


  • Students will use vocabulary related to important African Americans.
  • Students will read the biographies of several famous African Americans.
  • Students will appreciate the honor associated with having a stamp named after someone.
  • Students will identify an important African American and write a letter recommending that this person be honored with a postage stamp.


  • Postage Stamps for Heroes worksheet
  • Access to African-American History websites


  1. Introduce key vocabulary:

    accomplishments = things people have achieved

    excelled = did extremely well (at something)

    honor = credit for acting well

    invention = a new or original creation

    obstacle = something that stands in the way of (or stops) progress

  2. Have students work with a partner to complete the postage stamps for heroes worksheet while they explore websites about African-American history.
  3. Encourage pairs to brainstorm lists of African Americans who deserve to be honored with postage stamps.
  4. Have students select one person and write a letter recommending this person for a stamp, citing specific reasons why the person should receive such an extraordinary honor.
  5. Set aside a time to share the letters of recommendation with the rest of the class and then mail the letters to the postmaster in each student's community.


  • Use students' worksheet responses and letters of recommendation to evaluate their ability to synthesize information and form opinions backed by facts.
  • Find a variety of assessment techniques to use with this lesson.

Extension Activities

Students visit websites to learn about important African Americans and the honor of being featured on U.S. postage stamps.
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