black and white school class picture with Mervyn M. Dymally as teacher standing behind his students

Who was Mervyn M. Dymally?

Resource Type
Grade Level:
Social Studies
Black Americans, Activism, Communities, Geography

Whole Class Lesson

During this Who was Mervyn M. Dymally? lesson, students will learn about public educator, politician, and California State University, Los Angeles alumnus Mervyn M. Dymally (1926-2012). Students will explore who Mervyn was, where he lived and worked, and how he helped others through some of the jobs that he had by completing mapping, matching, and reading activities. Students will also be invited to share the different jobs that help people in their own communities, along with the jobs that they want to do when they grow up, through drawing and writing.


CA HSS: K.3; K.4.2; K.6.2
CA HSS: 1.2.1; 1.4.3
CA HSS: 2.2; 2.5

Teaching Tips for Different Learning Environments

Whole Class In-Person Learning:

Activate - Activate students’ prior knowledge by asking them the names of jobs that help people.

Investigate - Have students investigate by completing mapping, matching, and reading activities.

  • Read the INTRODUCTION with the whole class.
  • Read PART 1 with the whole class. Ask the whole class to point out the locations of the bodies of water and states mentioned in PART 1 on the map. Then have the students complete A-G independently.
  • Read PART 2 with the whole class. Ask the students to complete the matching activity independently or with a partner. Then have a whole class discussion about the students’ answers to the matching activity.

Relate - Have students relate by making connections to their own lives through drawing and writing.

  • Read PART 3 with the whole class. Ask the students to complete A, B, and C independently.
  • Read PART 5 with the whole class. Ask the students to complete A, B, and C independently.

Demonstrate - Have students demonstrate their learning by sharing PARTS 3 & 5 with others.

Whole Class Distance Learning:

Follow the Whole Class In-Person Learning instructions.

Educational Programs at the Autry are sponsored by:

Dean and Laura Beresford · Molly and Neal Brockmeyer · Vince and Colleen Caballero · Capital Group · David F. Eisenberg · The Georgina-Fredrick Children's Foundation · Christy McAvoy · Marleen and Bruce Rognlien · Robert E. Ronus · Brenda and Gary Ruttenberg · The Steinmetz Foundation · Virginia F. Stevenson · Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation

Land Acknowledgment

The Autry Museum of American West acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). We recognize that the Autry Museum and its campuses are located on the traditional lands of Gabrielino/Tongva peoples and we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

The Autry Museum in Griffith Park

4700 Western Heritage Way

Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462
Located northeast of downtown, across from the Los Angeles Zoo.
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