Up in the Air

The Story of Bessie Coleman

From the Series Trailblazer Biographies

  • Interest Level: Grade 5 - Grade 9
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

When she was growing up in Waxahachie, Texas, in the early 1900s, young Bessie Coleman had to do without a lot of things. Because she was black, she went to inferior schools. Because her mother worked to support the family, Bessie often had to stay at home to watch her younger sisters. But Bessie Coleman always knew she would make something of her life. In 1920 she became the first African-American woman to fly an airplane. Struggling against prejudice and lack of funds, Coleman built a career as a barn-storming pilot in the 1920s. Although she did not live to realize her dream of opening a school for black aviators, she was—by her example—a source of inspiration to generations of flyers, dreamers, and achievers to come.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 5 - Grade 9
Reading Level Grade 6
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Publication Date 2009-08-01
Reading Counts! Level 6.8
BISACS JNF007120, JNF007050, JNF051010
Dewey 629.13'092
Graphics 1-color illustrations
Lexile 950
Guided Reading Level W
Features Afterword, Bibliography/further reading, Index, Primary source quotations/images, Source notes, Table of contents, and Teaching Guides

Author: Philip S. Hart

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

Trailblazer Biographies

Struggling to overcome adversity to accomplish their goals, the men and women featured in these inspiring biographies blazed a trail through history. Fulfills sixth grade social sciences, social studies, and history curriculum needs. View available downloads →