The DuSable Museum of African American History

Lesson Plans

DuSable Museum offers teachers the following lesson plans and worksheets for use in conjunction with a visit to the museum. We also offer suggested vocabulary lists for your students.

Lesson Plans and Worksheets

Click on the images to view curriculum

African Women and the Origin of Mathematics

Students will learn to understand the significance of Women and the Origin of Mathematics.


Pyramids of Giza

Although there are nearly 100 pyramids in the country of Egypt, the three pyramids that occupy the Giza Plateau, (a flat, raised part of the dessert) are arguably Africa’s greatest architectural achievement. Many textbooks, and films depict the Ancient Egyptian builders of the pyramids as being Indo-European, but Herodotus, an eyewitness visitor to Egypt in 440 BCE records the fact that the Egyptians are “black-skinned” with “wooly hair.” Moreover, the esteemed historian and scientist, Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop, points out that the Ancient Egyptians did not call their homeland Egypt.


Libraries of Mali

Historians have repeatedly emphasized that Africa, particularly the regions that are south of the Sahara Desert, rely primarily on an oral (spoken) tradition. This infers that Africa would not be a place where you would find any written history or even a place where traditions were written down. However, in the 1970s information began to surface about manuscripts that had been hidden for years in the country of Mali. The vast majority of them were written in Arabic, some were written in various other African languages, and there is even one that is reportedly written in Hebrew. The oldest manuscript dates back to the 1200s. Let’s examine how these manuscripts got there


Africans in the New World

Students will learn to understand the significance of African Presence in the Americas before Columbus.


Discovering DuSable Curriculum

Jean Baptiste Point DuSable was an enterprising pioneer who had the determination to establish a business in the middle of nowhere. He had the vision and forethought to see the potential for the profitable exchange of commerce. As a result of his actions, his trading post for goods and supplies became the main hub that inspired other settlers and indigenous groups to build permanent settlements near his trading post and grow the region. In this skills-based lesson module aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and supports literacy development, students will analyze a variety of informational texts to learn more about the life of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, his migration to Chicago and his path taken towards entrepreneurship. Students will also create a digital presentation that reflects their understandings of the characteristics and challenges of being an entrepreneur and the lasting legacies of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable’s efforts.


African Americans in the Civil War: Active Partners in the Fight for Liberation and Freedom

Students will learn to understand the significance of African Americans in the Civil War. Appropriate for Grade Levels: 9-12 high school, can be adapted to middle school.


Mobile Museum Activity Guide


Amistad Introduction

The educators who designed the curriculum for the Illinois Amistad Commission intended to create an African-centered curriculum based in the history, perceptions and realities of African people no matter where they were born.


Suggested Vocabulary

The following suggested vocabulary lists can be introduced to students before visiting the museum.


  • Africa
  • Community
  • Folktale
  • Kente Cloth
  • Kwanzaa
  • Village

Primary Grades

  • Artifact
  • Aviator
  • Authentic
  • Achievement
  • Biography
  • Document
  • Entrepreneur
  • Founder
  • Garments
  • Legislator
  • Masks
  • Mayor

Middle School & Secondary School

  • artifact
  • aviation
  • fraudulent
  • emancipation
  • legacy
  • mechanization
  • Primary resources
  • Secondary resources
  • authentic autobiography
  • Reconstruction Africa
  • segregation
  • Jim Crow laws
  • Civil Rights
  • Bronzeville
  • delta
  • Exodus
  • prosperity
  • Underground Railroad
  • research
  • fraudulent
  • Renaissance
  • enslavement
  • legislator
  • migration
  • testament
  • sharecropper