I love celebrating black history month with my class. This year, I am teaching a new grade level for the first time. I want to do something new, and I found myself needing some new black history month activities. So I turned to the internet, and found some wonderful fresh activities for black history month. I thought I’d combine all of the wonderful ideas I discovered into one post. Enjoy!
Why Celebrate Black History Month?
Black history is a part of American history, so ideally it should be studied all year long. That being said, February is the birth month of two people critical to black history – Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglass (it is true that Frederick Douglass did not know his official birth date – since birth dates of slaves were not recorded. February 14th, however, is his accepted birthdate). It’s nice to set apart one month of the year to focus on the history and accomplishments of African Americans.
How Do I Choose Who To Study During Black History Month?
You only need to introduce one or two individuals during your in class studies. I always like introducing an age appropriate project for my students to complete. Ideally you will allow your students to choose who they want to learn more about. There are accomplished African Americans in every field that you can imagine. Your students will surprise you with who they will choose to study. Each year, I learn about a new accomplished African American from the projects that my students complete.
I have Students At All Levels. How Do I Differentiate So All of My Students Can Complete a Research Project?
There are a multitude of ways to do this. Brenda Kovich, from Enjoy Teaching has the perfect 1-2-3 method for differentiating a research biography project. It is perfect for black history month, and a fresh activity.
How Can I Introduce Technology into My Black History Month studies?
Two Boys and a Dad answers this question beautifully with a fresh activity for black history month using Google Maps of all things! A Timely Google Maps about Dr. King’s Inspiring Life delves into using the app Google Maps to create a Google Map with your class. His product on Dr. King is a freebie, so be sure and snap it up!
What if I Live in An Area Without Many African Americans?
Teaching students about diversity is still important. I have had the privilege of living in several parts of the United States, as well as abroad. One thing that I’ve learned is that diversity is something that should be celebrated. The racial makeup of your class should not matter. It is important that you teach your students to value and appreciate people who look differently than they do. It is important to read literature that shows different ways of life. It is also important that you do not simply tell a single story about a particular race or culture. Find books that show different perspectives. Sally from Elementary Matters has a wonderful post about Celebrating Our Differences.
Am I The Right Person To Be Teaching Black History?
I get it. Teaching black history can make you feel uncomfortable, especially if you yourself were not taught black history growing up. Here are some tips to overcome fears when teaching black history. Like I said earlier black history is American history. It is a subject that all teachers should teach, and all students should learn. Diversity matters, and yes – that includes our teaching methods for covering various topics. Happy teaching!