Famous Americans

Grade 2 History and Social Science SOL 2.4

The student will describe how the contributions of selected individuals changed the lives of Americans.

Welcome! Please click on the word "here" in the description of each famous American. After exploring the Symbaloo webmix for each person, you will be able to identify how their contributions changed the lives of Americans!

a) Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus was a famous explorer from Italy. After several attempts, he finally received money from Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain to make his first voyage from Europe in 1492, sailing on the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. He is most remembered for starting the exploration and colonization of America. Click here to learn more about this famous explorer.

"Panama and the canal" by Alfred B. Hall CC BY 2.0

b) Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was one of the founding fathers of our country. He conducted many science experiments, but he is best known for proving that lightning was a form of electricity. He also started the first fire department, the first library, and helped to write the Declaration of Independence. Click here to learn more about this famous inventor and lawmaker.

"Important Benjamin Franklin Quotes" by CityGypsy11 CC BY-NC

c) Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, also known as “Honest Abe,” was our country’s 16th President. He was first a lawyer, and became President shortly before the Civil War began. He wrote the Emancipation Proclamation, which helped to free the slaves. Click here to learn more about this famous American.

"Abraham Lincoln - head & shoulders portrait" by Believe Creative CC BY 2.0

d) George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver was an African American scientist and teacher who was born a slave in Missouri. He loved plants and enjoyed studying about them. He came up with hundreds of uses for the peanut, sweet potato, and soybean. He even started a college. Click here to learn more about this famous American scientist.

"George Washington Carver" by bluephi.net CC BY-NC-ND

e) Helen Keller

Although Helen Keller became blind and deaf at a very young age, she accomplished a lot in her life. She overcame her disabilities and learned to read, write, and talk. She graduated from college and worked hard to help other people just like herself. Click here to learn about this inspiring famous American.

"Helen Keller Smelling Roses" by Jared Enos CC BY-NC-ND

f) Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall was a lawyer who became the first African American Supreme Court Justice. He worked hard fighting for civil rights and equality for all people. He even won a landmark court case allowing schools to be integrated. Click here to learn more about this famous American.

"Thurgood Marshall, 1967" by IIP Photo Archive CC BY-NC

g) Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks was an African American woman who refused to give up her seat on a public bus. Her brave act against inequality led to a bus boycott that helped change the laws and make them fair for all people. Click here to learn more about this courageous famous American.

"Rosa Parks" by Jim Forest CC BY-NC-ND

h) Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play major league baseball. At that time in our country, there were some people who did not want black players to play in the league even though he was one of the best. Jackie Robinson ignored the feelings of those who did not like him. His actions helped open doors for many others in all sports. Click here to learn more about this brave famous American.

"Jackie Robinson" by The COM Library CC BY-NC-ND

i) Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez was a Mexican American civil rights leader. He fought to help many Latinos who were farm workers. They were being treated unfairly, and he helped to improve working conditions for them. While working in California, he founded the National Farm Workers Association. Click here to learn more about this famous American.

"Cesar Chavez Poster" by rebuildingdemocracy CC BY-NC-SA

j) Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an African American civil rights leader. He was a minister that wanted all people to be treated fairly. He led many peaceful marches and protests that helped change the laws of our country. He gave a famous speech in Washington, D.C. Click here to learn more about this famous American.

"Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr." by U.S. Embassy New Delhi CC BY-ND

Curation Team

Christina Askew

  • Cesar Chavez
  • Thurgood Marshall

Amanda Babcock

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Jackie Robinson

Leslie Dunbar

  • Helen Keller
  • Abraham Lincoln

Monica Holland

  • George Washington Carver
  • Rosa Parks

Leslie Paul

  • Christopher Columbus
  • Benjamin Franklin