Black History Month is an annual month long celebration of the achievements of black Americans. It is also a time to recognize the important role of African Americans in United States History. The topic of black history in America is interesting and engaging. This topic could be a jumping off point for many intriguing black history month activities and learning opportunities for students from preschool to high school.
Pre-school students are the perfect age to begin to teach them to honor the accomplishments of African Americans. Check out some black history month ideas to honor the month below.
Students could learn about Jackie Robinson through story books allowing a teacher to highlight the baseball great and incorporate other baseball related activities and crafts. Maybe children would be interested in creating their own classroom “Dream Quilt!” Each child can be given a blank sheet of paper and can dictate “I have a dream” statements to teachers. Children can add drawings and a quilt border can easily be put around this collaborative project.
Elementary school students can be challenged a bit more by learning about black inventors or artists. This could become the basis for a biography or presentation. Providing students opportunities to choose their topic and their product can greatly increase engagement. Believe me, they will learn so much, they will be teaching YOU about their topic! Integrate technology by challenging students to an internet scavenger hunt to find facts about famous African Americans or historical events. Reader’s Theater has some great scripts to create a dramatic presentation with your class. This is a double whammy as Reader’s Theater helps to increase reading fluency and reading comprehension as well!
Black History Month may provide an opportunity for middle schoolers to learn about literature and music written by African Americans. Poems, songs, short stories and books can provide a basis for cooperative learning, reciprocal teaching and classroom discussion. All of these methods increase reading comprehension and movement of novel information from working memory to long term memory.
High school students can analyze, compare and contrast, interpret or discuss themes related to cultural diversity, civil rights movements and racism. This allows them to gain new knowledge and apply a higher order thinking skill while learning about African Americans or topics related to Black History Month.
There are a million activities and lesson plans out there to engage students, increase achievement and honor the history of African Americans in the United States. Imagine the impact one lesson could have on students!
For more ideas, visit our Do’s and Don’ts of Teaching Black History month or check out the following resources: