Do your students like sports? While definitely not for everybody, sports are a great way to connect with many students! Personally, I love using this easy method of connection to engage students. Black History Month is a great time to share with students the stories of several notable Black athletes from history!
Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Alice Coachman, Wilma Rudolph, and more have incredible and inspiring histories! Jesse Owens proved world leaders wrong! Jacki Robinson endured persecution on nearly every front but changed the sport of baseball for the better. Alice Coachman began her career training barefoot with homemade equipment and eventually became the first woman of color to win an Olympic gold medal! Wilma Rudolph was told by doctors that she would never walk again, but with hard work and perseverance, she broke three world records running at the Olympics!
Inspired by these stories and more, I’ve put together seven mini-biographies highlighting some of my favorite Black athletes. These individuals were not only incredible in their sports and personal lives, but have made significant contributions to justice and equality outside of athletics.
Each two-page biography comes with a comprehension crossword puzzle, a partner discussion guide, and additional comprehension graphic organizers. (BONUS: these graphic organizers are compatible with any text!)
Black Athlete Biography Bundle
Between you and me, the best value would be to try out the bundle which includes not only the 7 texts and student activities but contains a Bonus Slides Presentation introducing strategies for reading informational texts. The Slides Presentation discusses 14 strategies for before, during, and after reading. Additionally, it highlights several “fix-it” strategies to help students when understanding breaks down.
These texts work well for jigsaw reading and group discussion. Whether students complete the activities individually, as partners, or in groups, they will definitely enjoy learning about these amazing individuals!