African American Concentration

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Social Studies, United States History

Grade 5- 8


Students increase their awareness of the important contributions made by individuals throughout history.


Discuss with students the origins of African American history month. In 1926, a scholar named Carter Woodson felt that African Americans did not know about the achievements of their collective past. He instituted Negro History Week as a time to learn about and celebrate these past achievements. In 1976, this celebration became a month-long one, and is seen as a time to reflect on achievements and contributions that may still be too little known.
In this activity, students play Concentration by matching the picture and name of a famous African American with his or her biographical sketch.
Provide students with copies of the African American activity pages. Read over the biographical information with students. If you would like students to make cards of their own, provide copies of blank cards.
Have students glue the cards onto one color of construction paper or tagboard and cut them out. Now each student should have a set of 24 playing cards, 12 portraits (pictures) with names, and 12 biographical sketches.
Have students pick partners. Ask them to place their cards face down and play Concentration.
A player scores a point each time a portrait is matched with a biographical sketch.


  • African American Concentration activity pages
  • scissors
  • glue
  • construction paper or tagboard

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