This post originally appeared on the blog Social Studies Success.

Do something different for Black History Month this year. Create a Prop Box Play on the contributions of different African Americans in U.S. History. My students love bringing history to life with plays and skits – and a Prop Box Play adds the structure you need for group work to actually work!
 
 
Follow these easy steps for your Prop Box Play:
 
Set up your prop box. This is an easy step! Run around your house and throw different items in a box! I have used leftover tissue paper from Christmas, ribbon, yarn from an old project, and some ugly scarfs that I never wear. Of course, you will need the standard classroom supplies such as glue, a stapler and markers. Just give your kids plenty of materials and opportunities to be creative.
 
 
Create your groups. You will need to create groups of four for your students. I hardly ever let my students choose their groups – too many opportunities for distraction! Each student in the group will have a different role DirectorScriptwriterHistorical Consultant or Prop Master. These are clearly defined roles and they allow you to monitor the group’s progress.
 

Choose your topics and set up your folders
. Each folder will need to include the step by step instructions for a Prop Box Play, a checkoff sheet, a rubric, and a reading passage. I used Black History Month passages from The Sweetest Thing on TpT. To add a little extra spice, I printed up Black History Month Clip Art from Drawings with John – beautiful! 
Do something different for Black History Month this year. Create a Prop Box Play on the contributions of different African Americans in U.S. History. My students love bringing history to life with plays and skits, and a Prop Box Play adds the structure you need for group work to actually work!
Setting up folders before the activity will allow your students to focus on what is important.

Give your students TIME! 
They will need to research their topics, create their script and props, and rehearse their play.
 
 
Do something different for Black History Month this year. Create a Prop Box Play on the contributions of different African Americans in U.S. History. My students love bringing history to life with plays and skits, and a Prop Box Play adds the structure you need for group work to actually work!
Look at all of the creative ideas this group had for props!
 

Do something different for Black History Month this year. Create a Prop Box Play on the contributions of different African Americans in U.S. History. My students love bringing history to life with plays and skits, and a Prop Box Play adds the structure you need for group work to actually work!
Sojourner Truth’s children! So cute!
Do something different for Black History Month this year. Create a Prop Box Play on the contributions of different African Americans in U.S. History. My students love bringing history to life with plays and skits, and a Prop Box Play adds the structure you need for group work to actually work!
Research time!


ENJOY your kids’ creativity! This is your opportunity to let your kids shine – consider videotaping their performance to show parents or other students. Use a rubric for easy grading and feedback to each group.

Do something different for Black History Month this year. Create a Prop Box Play on the contributions of different African Americans in U.S. History. My students love bringing history to life with plays and skits, and a Prop Box Play adds the structure you need for group work to actually work!
Prop Box Play on Jackie Robinson.
Do something different for Black History Month this year. Create a Prop Box Play on the contributions of different African Americans in U.S. History. My students love bringing history to life with plays and skits, and a Prop Box Play adds the structure you need for group work to actually work!
Prop Box Play on Sojourner Truth.
Do something different for Black History Month this year. Create a Prop Box Play on the contributions of different African Americans in U.S. History. My students love bringing history to life with plays and skits, and a Prop Box Play adds the structure you need for group work to actually work!
My favorite of the day – Prop Box Play on George Washington Carver.

Thank you so much to the teachers in Alief ISD who allowed me to use their pictures for my blog! I really enjoyed my day in our training! If you try a Prop Box Play Let me know how they worked for you. For more engaging activities for Black History Month, try my Black History Month Lap Book. Your students will research and create a Lap Book featuring different leaders in Black History. 

Social Studies Success: Teacher-Author on TpT

I have been serving in the education field for over 25 years. I started teaching in 1993 as a 7th and 8th grade history teacher. After 13 years in the classroom, I transitioned into the role of an instructional coach based on a high school campus. This window into other teachers’ classrooms motivated my inner calling to improve Social Studies instruction. I realized how important front line education is to changing the way students react to and learn from the important life lessons Social Studies has to share. After working as a central office Social Studies Coordinator, I created Social Studies Success. I provide professional development, consulting services, and resources to Social Studies teachers. Social media has intensified my efforts to share best practices by allowing me to share ideas and teaching strategies around the globe. I want every child to understand the importance of Social Studies in their life – and every teacher to have the tools to reach them.