Every February, in commemoration of Black History Month, classrooms all over the map engage in projects about notable African Americans. At TpT, you’ll find an incredible array of resources — reading units, craft projects, writing activities, and more — to help your students explore the accomplishments and impact of these influential individuals.
Here are thoughtful resources and teaching ideas for learning about and celebrating Black History Month, and for weaving diverse cultures into your classroom plan all year long:
In Jamie Sears’ 3rd grade class this month, students will be doing a lot of reading from her Black History Close Read Passages and Graphic Organizers. “I plan to incorporate some crafts with each of the heroes that we read about,” she says. “For example, on the day we read about Jackie Robinson, we’ll be making our own baseball cards!”
“[At my school],” says Barbara Evans, “… we are always mindful of creating a community of learners in which everyone feels valued, accepted, and safe. Because I’m passionate about poetry and use it daily as a vehicle for teaching content and skills, I’ve created a poetry unit called Black History Month Poetry Possibilities.” An ideal resource for elementary-aged students.
After reading about heroes from the past in her Black History Nonfiction Articles and Project, Melissa Shutler (who teaches 3rd and 4th grade) and her class enjoy a variety of interactive activities. “We assign character traits to each person and discuss their obstacles and accomplishments… At the end [of the unit], we write skits about these great men and women. What would they say to each other if they met?”
Throughout her years of teaching 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade, Green Grubs Garden Club by Mrs Hug-a-Bug has instituted some special classroom rituals to help her students feel included. “We have [maps] on the wall, and [students use] string and photos to show where [their] families are from.” Students also take turns choosing a daily greeting (often from another language) to be used at roll call.
“The Story of Ruby Bridges” is a favorite biography among students and teachers alike. Brandi Wayment, 1st grade teacher says, “I love to get [my students] thinking critically and discussing this story before we move on to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. My favorite part about positioning Ruby Bridges as a launch point is that my students start to see that even a 1st grader can make a big difference in the world.”
Carol Martinez is also enthusiastic about Ruby Bridges. She says, “…I make sure she takes center stage during Black History Month. After reading her story aloud, I have my students do the extension activities in my Ruby Bridges Mini Unit. We love Ruby!”
Mr Educator – A Social Studies Professional teaches history to students grades 6 through 9. And during Black History Month, his Who Am I: The Black History Edition (Classroom Trivia and Review Flash Cards are a hit. “We have a blast, and the kids learn a lot!”
He adds, “…My classrooms are a mixture of racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, so we frequently have deep and meaningful conversations on those things that make us different… we always end the conversation realizing that we are much more alike than anything else!”
When it comes to recognizing multiculturalism in the classroom, Catia Dias recommends making it a family affair. “…Asking parents to come and share their customs, to read about their culture… not only exposes children to differences but also allows them to make real connections. I also believe that the teacher’s own disposition towards acceptance, integration, and respect of multicultural differences is essential to creating a true multicultural classroom atmosphere. After all, we are role models.”
There are so many creative and thoughtful resources available on TpT. We encourage you to explore and find the resources that are just right for you.
More Black History Month Resources:
- Try Kadeen Whitby’s all grades freebie: Ruby Bridges, George Washington Carver BLACK HISTORY MONTH POSTER PREVIEW
- Take a look at Forever First Grade by Lindsey Brooks’ Black History Month – Student Book (Informational Text & Questions) and Posters (grades 1-3)
- Learn with the Underground Railroad Lapbook (foldable items included) (grades 3-6) from SunnyDaze
- Explore Thurgood Marshall: Adapted Biography; Special Education; Black History Month (grades 3-7) from susan berkowitz
- Find another perspective with The Double V – African-Americans’ Experiences During World War II Lesson (grades 5-12), which come to you from Students of History
More Black History Month Blog Posts:
Thank you, Teachers. Thank you for educating, encouraging, and influencing all of your students in the very best way.