Target Lessons About Trailblazers

Inspire students with lessons about people who shaped history while helping them practice key comprehension skills with CommonLit’s Target Lessons.

At CommonLit, we are always thinking about new ways to support students and teachers, which is why we are excited to present our Target Lessons about Trailblazers!

CommonLit Library with Target Lessons page highlighted
You can find Target Lessons by choosing the “Target Lessons” filter under “Content Type.”

Target Lessons are easy-to-use, highly engaging lessons that teach students key comprehension skills. They include scaffolded Pre-Reading, During Reading, and Post-Reading activities to build students’ engagement and knowledge as they move through the lesson. Check out our primer on Target Lessons here:

Target Lessons are based on high-interest topics that are sure to get your students excited. In this blog post, we’ll look at Target Lessons about Trailblazers. As students learn about people who invented and inspired, they will practice key comprehension skills, including identifying and analyzing Main Idea, Connecting Ideas, and Point of View.

Main Idea

Frida Kahlo (6th Grade)

In this Target Lesson, students will read about the life and achievements of Frida Kahlo, a renowned Mexican painter. As students read, they will identify the main idea of each section to build their understanding of the intersections between Kahlo’s identity and art.

The Harlem Renaissance (8th Grade)

In the 1920s, Harlem experienced an artistic and cultural boom that became known as the Harlem Renaissance. In this exciting lesson, students will learn about the development of the Harlem Renaissance and its impact on the Civil Rights Movement while identifying the main idea of each section.

Toaday's Target section of "The Harlem Renaissance" Target Lesson
Each Target Lesson clearly states “Today’s Target” so students know what skill they will focus on while they read.

Connecting Ideas

A Touch of Genius (5th Grade)

In this Target Lesson, students will learn about Native American artist Michael Naranjo. As students read, they will examine the events and figures that inspired Naranjo’s sculptures.

Reading and Questions section of "A Touch of Genius" Target Lesson
As students read, they will answer scaffolded comprehension questions to gain mastery of the target skill. 

Jesse Owens (7th Grade)

Olympian Jesse Owens fought against discrimination to become one of the greatest track athletes of all time. In this lesson, students will explore how racism affected Owens and how he inspired countless others.

Lin-Manuel Miranda (8th Grade)

Students may be familiar with the Broadway hit Hamilton, but may not know much about Lin-Manuel Miranda, the man behind the musical. In this inspirational lesson, students will learn about Miranda’s rise to fame and practice identifying how events throughout Miranda’s life influenced his new approach to theater.

Point of View

Serena Williams’ Catsuit Controversy Evokes the Battle Over Women’s Wearing Shorts (9th Grade)

Even though Serena Williams is one of the most decorated athletes in history, some people have chosen to focus on her outfits rather than her accomplishments. In this lesson, students will explore the historical controversy surrounding women’s athletic clothing choices while analyzing the author’s point of view about female tennis players being judged for what they wear.

Assessment section of Target Lesson
All Target Lessons include Assessment Questions so teachers get formative data about key comprehension skills.

Next Steps

Looking for more engaging lessons to build knowledge and skills? Explore our library of Target Lessons here, featuring high-interest topics like Courageous Women, Teens We Can Learn From, and more!