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In the Classroom > African Americans Lessons

Three Great Women

Grade Level: Kindergarten - Grade 2

Massachusetts History and Social Science Frameworks


Concepts & Skills
6. Give examples that show the meaning of the following concepts: authority, fairness, justice, responsibility, and rules.

Learning Standards
PreK-K.5 Retell stories that illustrate honesty, courage, friendship, respect, responsibility, and the wise or judicious exercise of authority, and explain how the characters in the stories show these qualities.

Grade 1

Concepts & Skills
8. Give examples that show the meaning of the following words: politeness, achievement, courage, honesty, and reliability.

Learning Standards
1.8 After reading or listening to stories about famous Americans of different ethnic groups, faiths, and historical periods describe their qualities or distinctive traits.

Grade 2

Learning Standards
2.10 After reading or listening to a variety of true stories about individuals recognized for their achievements, describe and compare different ways people have achieved great distinction.

Summary and Objective

Students will hear about the lives, struggles, and accomplishments of three African-American women who lived in colonial Massachusetts; Lucy Terry Prince, Phillis Wheatley, and Elizabeth Freeman (Mum Bett). They will understand that these women are considered to be great because they achieved more than people at the time thought was possible for black women.

Needed for the lesson

Teaching the lesson

Read at least two of the three stories to the students and ask the following questions:

  • What does it mean to be a slave?
  • Was slavery fair?
  • What bad things happened to this woman? What was hard for her to do?
  • What good things did this woman do?
  • Do you think each woman was happy being a good slave?
  • What is the best thing that she did? Why do you say that?
  • Who is your favorite person? Why?

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