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Reader's Theater Scripts (Biographies in US History)

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by Gail Skroback Hennessey

"What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?"

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

The idea to foster contributions of African Americans began with Dr. Carter G. Woodson who first organizeda two week period of time in February which he called "Negro History Week". The time was 1926.In 1976, the month of February as a time to highlight the contributions of African Americas.Dr. Woodson's motto,"It is never too late to Learn". 

Can you name some famous African Americans who contributed to our country in arts,music, civil rights, sports, literature, politics,science and technology? Perhaps, you know the names of Martin Luther King, Jr, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglas, andSojourner Truth. Do you know who Charles Drew was?BB King? Rosa Parks?There are so very many African Americans that have made contributions to our world. Try this webquestand learn about a few of these important people. Use the resources listed below to learn even more.

1. Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., would have been the first African American astronaut but sadly, he died in a training accident in the 1960s. In 1983, Guion Bluford was the first African American to travel into space. Dr. Mae C. Jemison, a surgeon, in 1992, became the first AfricanAmerican female astronaut. In addition to speaking these three languages__________,_____________ and ___________Dr. Jemison appeared on which television show?______________. What did she start in Chicago to spark interest in space among children?___________________Find the answers at this link:

2. How did singer Marian Anderson make history?________________Why did First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resign from the Daughters of the American Revolution, in 1939?Find the answers at this link:

3. During the 1920s, Jazz became very popular. Where did Jazz music originate?_____________What are two words that came from this period of time?___________and _________. Who was the famous jazz musician, nicknamed Pops and Satchmo?_________Which instrument did he play?_____________Find the answers at this


The complete resource has13 Webquestions, A Did You Know section, Comprehension Questions, a Teacher Page with extensions, more links and the key.

Check out these resources:

Check out my play: A Visit with a Tuskegee Airman:

Read my Reader's Theater Script on Bessie Coleman:

Check out my fact-packed Webquest on Martin Luther King/Extension Activities:

Check out my Reader's Theater Script on Harriet Tubman:

Check out my Reader's Theater Script on Marion Anderson:

Check out my Reader's Theater Script on Rose Parks:

Check out my web quest on First Lady Michelle Obama:]

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