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Tuskegee Airmen Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

This lesson plan focuses on an exploration of the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII. Through a lesson and activities, students will become familiar with their contributions as well as the obstacles they faced as African-Americans in the U.S. during WWII.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to do the following:

  • list and describe some of the contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen
  • explain the obstacles faced by African Americans wanting to serve in WWII

Length

45-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.9

Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.9

Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources

Materials Needed

  • Projector or SmartBoard
  • Online access for research
  • Roll of paper for mural
  • Paint and paintbrushes

Instructions

  • Ask students if they have ever heard of the Tuskegee Airmen. If they have, have them share what information they know to activate prior knowledge about the topic.
  • Use a projector or SmartBoard to display the lesson, Tuskegee Airmen: History, Facts & Accomplishments.
  • Have the students silently read the first section of the lesson, 'Separation and Service' to find out who the Tuskegee Airmen were. Discuss how segregation impacted the ability of African Americans to serve in WWII. Be sure they recognize that the Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American men ever to serve as pilots in the U.S. military.
  • Return to the lesson and ask students to silently read the next section, 'From Alabama to Europe,' to find out where the Tuskegee Airmen trained and why they were called the Red Tails. After all have finished reading, discuss the Tuskegee Airmen's training and the origin of the name.
  • Return to the lesson, and ask the students to silently read the section, 'Impressive Accomplishments.' Ask the students how they think the stellar accomplishments of the airmen impacted the overall view of African Americans in the U.S. and why they think so.
  • Have students finish reading the rest of the lesson silently. When everyone is finished, ask them if their predictions were right; did the Tuskegee Airmen change public opinion about the roles of African Americans in society?
  • Display the Tuskegee Airmen: History, Facts & Accomplishments Quiz. Show one question at a time, having students respond to each question to check for understanding. Discuss the correct answers as a group.

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