It’s hard to believe that February is just a week away! This year’s Black History Month is quickly approaching. Our goal is to help support teachers with ideas and content you can use during Black History Month. This video offers 10 great ideas for your classroom during Black History Month. You’ll need to evaluate each activity to see if it is appropriate and differentiate as needed.
Dictionary of Black Leaders
Using PowerPoint or Google Slides, assemble a list of black leaders for students to write a biography about. Students can choose which person they’d like to research and write about. You could make this a whole research paper, or just a couple of sentence summaries. Students add their biographies to the slides shared by the whole class. Students can present their information so the class learns about all the black leaders. If you teach multiple classes, you could combine all the classes into one large dictionary to maximize the number of black leaders students get to know.
Using Padlet.com, students can submit images and text to create a timeline of important historical events. This could be helpful when studying the civil rights movement, inventors, or many other topics. A timeline is a great bridge to use when discussing historical facts. This visual representation helps students understand and can help keep you on track.
Share Daily Quotes or Facts
This is a fantastic way to expand from Dr. King and Rosa Parks. They certainly are worth learning about, but there are so many other important black people our students should be learning about as well. Our goal is to help you find those stories by providing videos you can use in the classroom, so check back regularly. Sharing about them every day by having a quote of fact you discuss as a class for 5 minutes is a great place to start.
Black History Trivia
Everyone loves games! Kahoot! And Blooket are great ways to incorporate black history trivia games into your classroom. Kids love playing these games. There are also many pre-made games you can play, which cuts down on teacher prep. That’s a win-win!
Have students choose a historical figure to research and dress up as. They can perform living wax museums for other students. All the students need to do is memorize a few sentences or quotes about their historical figures. This can be really fun for the right class.
Door Decoration Contest
This is a fun idea for all the teachers! Teachers pick a historical or current figure to celebrate and decorate their door or other highly visible space. Students can vote on the best door and that teacher wins a prize. The prize can be as elaborate or simple as you like. I think this we would be awesome to see school-wide, but even just a grade or department could participate.
Decorate the School
This is a great activity for art teachers to facilitate. They can have their students pick a black leader to create a portrait using whatever technique they are learning. Then, decorate the school with the artwork. You could also do this without a designated art class. Any class could create art representing a black leader they study.
In the time of covid, having performers come to the school for an assembly may not be an option. However, there are tons of ways students can still enjoy these performances. You can use pre-recorded videos, or get in touch with groups that will perform over zoom or other video call services. You can set a time to watch as a whole school or as a classroom. You could also have students perform. This will take more effort and organizing but could be worth it.
HBCU Bulletin Board
This is a great idea for high schools! Create a display highlighting HBCUs (historically black colleges or universities). Some students may not be aware of these options. During Black History Month, it is important to prepare the next generation to make history too.
Host a Mental Health Wellness Fair
A very smart black man, Dr. James Comer, helped create social-emotional learning. We have lots of videos about this. I like this one and this one. He was one of the first people to focus on the whole child in regards to learning. It is a great time to share with students and families about mental health resources. You can also use this as an opportunity to teach about black leaders in the mental health and wellness field. You can include healthcare workers as well.
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