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20 Middle School Activities for Black History Month

September 14, 2023 //  by  Brittany Collens

Black History Month is an important time to learn about significant historical events in African American Culture. Just like learning about The Revolution, it’s important for kids to learn about The Civil War, Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and so on. But keeping kids engaged can be difficult. That’s why these 20 educational middle school activities for Black History month are worth including in your curriculum.

1. Crossword Puzzles

Starting with crossword searches is a simple way to learn events, people, and popular vocabulary. You should include key events such as protests, and important people, and their definitions next to the word bank. This way, they can learn what they mean instead of just the words.

Learn More: Jinxy Kids

2. Black History Month Collages

Simply going over history isn’t the best way to grab your student’s attention! A fun way to teach black history month is to ask your them to make a collage to celebrate themselves! Encourage them to build a collage version of themselves then add in statements about what makes them special. All that’s left is to display them proudly in your classroom!

Learn More: Creativity School

3. Write About Inspiring African Americans

Writing about Black History Month helps your class retain information. Ask your class who (living or dead) they would hang out for a day and why. Have the students read and share their ideas out loud so everyone can learn about the person of choice.

Learn More: Woo! Jr

4. BHM Movie with a Game

Watching movies like “Hidden Figures” and “March On!” are great for kids to absorb. You can send them home to watch it. Or you can approach it with more fun to ensure they engage. Write a list of recurring words. Put a check for every time they hear the word. The right answers get a prize.

Learn More: 20th Century Studious Family

5. Write a News Column on X Event

Let the kids be journalists and report on the events that happened during the Civil War. The battle of Fort Sumter and the Battle of Belmont are two of many. It also can be something smaller that played an important role but is not talked about as much.

Learn More: American Battlefield Trust

6. Case Study on 44th President Barack Obama

Progress is being made today with examples of African Americans reaching new heights in our Oval Office. Doing a case study on our 44th President Barack Obama or our current Vice President Kamala Harris, helps us keep Black History alive. Here they can report on these two important individuals.

Learn More: The Case Solutions

7. Field Trip to Civil Rights Museum

Many states in our country have Civil Rights Museums. If you are unable to access them in person, many larger museums across America are still offering virtual tours and online exhibits for visitors.

Learn More: National Museum of African American History and Culture

8. Poem on X Topic Assigned

Poetry is a great way for students to express themselves on certain events or topics. Black History Month. This is a great way for teachers to understand their emotions and walk through powerful conversations that may be difficult to understand. Give them an event to read about first.

Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers

9. Make a Short Play

acting-coach-directing-an-improv-exercise-with-her-students-in-a-picture-id1348130723?k=20&m=1348130723&s=612x612&w=0&h=TwEljwjsFCbjOiXgFqJQ5Q9M__ZskV5EFu4X1cECvGk=

Young kids love to stay active. Allow your students to go through a court case and reenact a trial that is age suitable. This is one of the top experiences to engage them creatively while also guiding them through events like Texas v. White or Dred Scott v, Sandford.

Learn More: Ohio History Central

10. Black History Month Perceiver Concert

african-american-woman-playing-guitar-in-web-browser-window-online-vector-id1304133984?k=20&m=1304133984&s=612x612&w=0&h=L_UB78Z5r6Ha7nEps60EkSWArN_nb96cNnfB4rvrhnI=

Every year the Chicago Children’s Choir performs its Perceiver concert during Black History Month. This can be virtually streamed and is a great chance for your kids to register with other kids while enjoying music. It allows you to bring different medius to your curriculum and reach different kinds of learners.

Learn More: Chicago Children’s Choir

11. Kevin Hart’s Guide to BHM?

Kevin Hart brings the fun. His Guide to Black History Month can be incredibly educational for kids. Many reported that after watching that kids actually learn new faces and events that maybe they have yet to learn about in school for Black History Month.

Learn More: Decider

12. Recite Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream Speech

Reciting Martin Luther Kind’s “I Have a Dream Speech” is critical to your lesson for your kids. Spend some time analyzing it and asking the kids to write, talk, or draw what their interpretation of this speech means to them.

Learn More: Tulsa World

13. Learn About Famous Scientists

George Washington Carver, Niel deGrasse Tyson, and Mae C. Jemison are just a few Black inventors and scientists that have impacted the world today. Teach your kiddos about these amazing people and the exciting discoveries that they made. You could even try to recreate some of the experiments for the kids!

Learn More: Kidzeum

14. Make a Timeline of BHM

It’s one of the more common activities to give to middle schoolers, but making a timeline makes it easy to understand where and when important events and moments occurred. Afterward, you can hang everyone’s timeline up so the kids can use it as a resource.

Learn More: 1+1+1=1

15. Set Up Reading Clubs

Instead of making the class read one book, choose a few books. Have your kids number their priorities and split them into groups. Chapter quizzes can be included to ensure learning. More importantly, they can have a weekly set of questions for group discussion.

Learn More: Adrienne Teachers

16. The Underground Rail Road

Middle school kids still have a lot of obsession with construction trucks and trains. The Underground Railroad is a fantastic lesson to teach. That’s why the interactive Underground Railroad Project is a fantastic activity for your class to make their own choices as they learn.

Learn More: National Geographic

17. Engage With Other Schools

On February 3rd, the National Council of Teachers of English organizes a read-in event. They take different texts and books to work with their classes while providing a toolkit and additional resources to the teachers. This adds a lot of variety to your book collection dedicated to Black History Month.

Learn More: National Council of Teachers of English

18. Start a Treasure Map

Plant articles, photos, and clues all over the school with each one leading to the final treasure. Give teams of two a clipboard to fill in the answer according to the slot. This can take a little planning to connect the dots.

19. Guess Who Card Game

Games are a great way to keep kids involved. Playing Guess Who is a great activity where one student can read the description of someone important to the lesson. The other kid guesses. If they are right they keep it and reverse roles.

Learn More: Totschooling

20. Start With Quote of the Day

Starting with a quote of the day sets the tone for the day’s activities. It can inspire kids to ask questions and understand the meaning behind such quotes. It can be a great transition into “I Have a Dream” and many other significant events.

Learn More: It’s All About You Boo

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Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

By Med Kharbach, PhD | Last Update: February 12, 2024

Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

As educators and parents, we have a powerful opportunity during Black History Month (and the whole the year) to deepen middle school students’ understanding of African American history, culture, and contributions. It’s a time to move beyond the basics and engage young learners with activities that challenge, inspire, and educate.

Black History Month activities for middle school students should not only highlight the significant achievements and struggles of African Americans but also foster an environment of empathy, respect, and curiosity. From interactive timelines that chronicle the vast sweep of Black history to living museums that bring historical figures to life, the goal is to create a rich mosaic of learning experiences.

This post is dedicated to providing a variety of activities designed to engage middle school students in meaningful exploration of Black history, ensuring they gain a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of its importance.

Related: Black History Resources for Teachers

Let’s some practical Black History Month activities for middle schoolers:

1. Decorate Class

Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

Encouraging middle school students to take part in decorating the classroom with a Black History Month theme can turn the learning environment into an interactive museum. Invite them to create posters of significant figures and events, or timelines that highlight key moments in Black history.

Incorporating art projects related to African American culture—such as quilts representing the Underground Railroad or collages inspired by the Harlem Renaissance—can make history tangible and engaging. This activity not only beautifies the space but also instills a sense of ownership and pride in the students’ learning environment.

2. Explore Martin Luther King, Jr., Roadways

Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

Utilize the concept of Martin Luther King, Jr., roadways as a springboard for discussion and exploration. Middle school students can research why numerous cities across the United States (and the world) have streets named after Dr. King. This can lead into a geography lesson mapping these locations and a history lesson discussing the significance of Dr. King’s contributions to civil rights. Students can present their findings through presentations or creative projects, such as creating their own street design inspired by Dr. King’s ideals.

3. Dive into Black History Month Books

Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

Compile a reading list of books that reflect the Black experience through fiction and non-fiction suitable for middle schoolers. Books like “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson or “The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963” by Christopher Paul Curtis can offer perspectives that resonate with middle school students.

Organize book discussions, literature circles, or creative book reports that allow students to explore themes, characters, and historical contexts. Encouraging students to express what they’ve learned through creative writing or projects can deepen their engagement and understanding.

4. Celebrate Black History Month Music

Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

Introduce students to the rich legacy of African American music, from spirituals and blues to jazz, hip-hop, and beyond. Discuss the historical context of each genre and its influence on American culture and the civil rights movement. Students can create presentations on their favorite artists or songs, exploring the messages and stories behind the music. Organizing a music appreciation day where students share these findings and listen to a curated playlist can be a powerful way to experience history through sound.

Related: Best TED Talks on Black History Month

5. Visualize the Journey

Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

An interactive timeline project can help middle school students grasp the broad scope of Black history in an engaging way. Using digital timeline makers or a physical space in the classroom, students can collaborate to create a timeline that includes major milestones, figures, and events from African American history.

This could include everything from the arrival of enslaved Africans in North America to contemporary achievements in science, politics, and the arts. Encouraging students to research and present their sections of the timeline fosters teamwork and deepens their understanding of the interconnectedness of history.

6. Create a Black History Month Living Museum

Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

Transform your classroom or school library into a living museum where students embody historical figures, presenting their stories and achievements. Students can research their chosen figure, create costumes, and prepare short speeches or presentations. This interactive approach not only helps students delve deeply into their characters’ lives but also allows them to actively engage with their peers’ learning, making history both personal and communal.

7. Celebrate African American Artists

Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

Organize an art project where students study African American artists, such as Jacob Lawrence, Faith Ringgold, or Jean-Michel Basquiat, and create their own artwork inspired by these artists’ styles and themes. Host an art gallery event where students can display their creations, discuss the inspiration behind their work, and learn about the contributions of Black artists to American culture and history.

8. Celebrate Black History Poetry

Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

Introduce students to the power of poetry and spoken word as tools for expression and social change within the African American community. After exploring works by poets like Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and contemporary voices like Amanda Gorman, students can write their own poems. Organize a poetry slam or reading event where students can perform their works, celebrating their voices and the tradition of storytelling in Black culture.

9. Understand Struggle and Strategy

Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

Create an interactive simulation of the Civil Rights Movement, where students can learn about the tactics, struggles, and successes of the movement. This could include role-playing significant events, such as sit-ins, boycotts, and marches, allowing students to explore the challenges faced and the courage displayed by those who fought for equality. This activity fosters empathy and a deeper understanding of the civil rights struggle.

10. Highlight African Americans’ Contributions to Science and Technology

Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

Encourage students to research and present on African American scientists and inventors whose innovations have made significant impacts. From George Washington Carver to modern-day innovators like Mae Jemison, students can create exhibits or digital presentations showcasing these figures’ lives, work, and contributions to their fields. This fair not only educates but also inspires students in STEM fields.

11. Organize African American Literature Circle

Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

Form literature circles focused on African American authors, allowing students to select and read novels, short stories, or autobiographies. Through guided discussions, students can explore themes, historical contexts, and the authors’ messages, gaining insights into the Black experience. This activity encourages reading comprehension, critical thinking, and empathy by engaging directly with the authors’ voices and narratives.

Related: Black History Month Activities for High School Students

Final thoughts

Incorporating the suggested Black History Month activities for middle school students into your curriculum or family learning activities can transform how young learners perceive history. By moving beyond traditional teaching methods and embracing more interactive, creative, and personal approaches to learning about African American history, we can help students develop a deeper appreciation for the contributions and experiences of Black Americans.

These activities not only educate but also inspire middle school students to think critically about the past, present, and future. As we conclude Black History Month, let’s carry forward the lessons learned and continue to celebrate and honor the rich, diverse history of African Americans throughout the year.

black history lesson plans middle school

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black history lesson plans middle school

Meet Med Kharbach, PhD

Dr. Med Kharbach is an influential voice in the global educational technology landscape, with an extensive background in educational studies and a decade-long experience as a K-12 teacher. Holding a Ph.D. from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Canada, he brings a unique perspective to the educational world by integrating his profound academic knowledge with his hands-on teaching experience. Dr. Kharbach's academic pursuits encompass curriculum studies, discourse analysis, language learning/teaching, language and identity, emerging literacies, educational technology, and research methodologies. His work has been presented at numerous national and international conferences and published in various esteemed academic journals.

black history lesson plans middle school

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Black History Month Resource Guide for Educators and Families

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black history lesson plans middle school

At Center for Racial Justice in Education, we believe that the histories, futures, stories, and voices of Black people should be centered, honored, and uplifted in school curricula every day. We also acknowledge the importance, relevance and origins of Black History Month. In 1926, Carter D. Woodson and the ASALH (Association for the Study of African American Life and History) launched “Negro History Week” to promote the studying of African American history as a discipline and to celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans.  Today, we still see the absence of Black history and experience in our textbooks, required readings, STEM, and overall curriculum of our educational system.

As we enter February, the Center for Racial Justice in Education is providing resources to be used beyond the scope of this one-month. Unless Black history is taught throughout the year, it perpetuates an “othering” of Black Lives and Black students, and is also a manifestation of anti-Blackness.  Ensuring the ongoing integration of Black history and experiences throughout all curriculum is imperative as educators continue to uplift every student and reinforce that Black lives matter everyday.

How Do We Celebrate Black History Month? Lesson Plans and Curriculum Resources for Educators:

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  • Black History Month resources for the Classroom -PBS
  • Black History Month – Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
  • Creative Resources for Teachers Celebrating Black History Month -Education Week
  • Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching – A Resource Guide for Classrooms and Communities
  • Discuss Black History All Year Long – Learning for Justice
  • 50 Resources for Black History Month – KQED Education
  • Black History Month – Library of Congress, et al.
  • Black History Month Resources – Archives.gov
  • National Endowment for the Humanities – African American History and Culture in the United States
  • National Park Service – Black History Month
  • Reading Resources – National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Black History Month Lessons & Resources – National Education Association
  • Black History Month Resources – ReadingRockets.org
  • 6 Teaching Tools for Black History Month – Edutopia
  • Black Lives Matter in Schools Resources – D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice
  • Black Lives Matter in Education-Week of Action Getting Started Packet – Black Lives Matter in NYC Schools
  • Black Lives Matter at School-Resources – Ed Justice
  • Resources for Educators: Elementary and Early Childhood – Teaching for Change
  • Classroom Flyers, Posters, and Visuals – BLM Educators Group
  • Resources for Educators: Middle and High School – Teaching for Change
  • BLM National Curriculum Folder – NyCoRE
  • Black Lives Matter in Schools Booklists – Social Justice Books
  • 28 Days of Black History Month (newsletter) – Anti-Racism Daily

Do We Need Black History Month? The Underrepresentation and Miseducation of Black Stories, Experiences, and Histories in Schools:

  • The History Behind Black History Month – Learning for Justice
  • Five Things Not to Do During Black History Month – Zaretta Hammond
  • Mining the Jewel of Black History Month – Emily Chiariello
  • Black History Month Is Over. Now What? – Dena Simmons
  • It’s Black History Month. Look in the Mirror. – The NY Times
  • Black History Month Isn’t Racist, It’s a Form of Reparations – Jenn M. Jackson
  • Teaching Hard History – Learning for Justice
  • ‘Black Season’ at My White Middle School – Baratunde Thurston
  • Black history is bigger than slavery. We should teach kids accordingly – The Guardian
  • What Kids Are Really Learning About Slavery – Melinda D. Anderson
  • Why we still need Black History Month in the US – Aljazeera
  • 4 Reasons why it’s critical to teach black history – sheknows.com
  • America Is Losing the Real Meaning of Black History Month – TIME
  • We Teach Racism, Sexism and Discrimination in Schools – HuffPost
  • Black History Month Has Ended. Here’s What Experts Think the Black Future Will Look Like – TIME

Why Teach Black Lives Matter in Schools? (Think Pieces):

Image of a book cover. Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice. Book — Non-fiction. Edited by Denisha Jones and Jesse Hagopian. 2020.

  • Why Teaching Black Lives Matter Matters | Part I – Learning for Justice
  • Bringing Black Lives Matter Into the Classroom | Part II – Learning for Justice
  • How One Elementary School Sparked A Citywide Movement To Make Black Students Lives Matter – Rethinking Schools
  • Teaching #BlackLivesMatter – Teaching for Change
  • Black Students’ Lives Matter – Rethinking Schools
  • From MLK to #BlackLivesMatter: A Throughline for Young Students – Learning for Justice
  • How to talk to young children about the Black Lives Matter Guiding Principles – Lalena Garcia
  • A District Profile | Black Lives Matter at School – Learning for Justice
  • How Black Lives Matter Is Changing What Students Learn During Black History Month – TIME

Where Are Afro-Latinos Represented in School Curricula?

  • Diaspora Blackness in the Caribbean: A Radical Resource – Medium
  • Afro-Latino: A deeply rooted identity among U.S. Hispanics – Pew Research Center
  • Anti-Blackness in Latinx Countries is the Result of Deliberate Cultural Policy – Racebaitr
  • Let’s talk about phenotype and global Blackness – Black Youth Project
  • This Is What It Means To Be Afro-Latino – HuffPost
  • Black history month is a token tribute, but Afro-Latinos don’t even have that – The Guardian
  • The question of Blackness: How conversations about Bruno Mars and Cardi B miss the mark – Black Youth Project
  • Uncovering Anti-Blackness in Casual Conversation: Young Hollywood’s Words to Amara La Negra – Latino Rebels
  • The Black History of Latinos – Latino Rebels
  • Afro-Latinas Embrace Their Heritage During Black History Month – NBC News

How Do We Center Black Women and Black Girls in Our Schools?

  • Celebrate Women This Black History Month – Learning for Justice
  • Don’t Forget About Black Girls – Learning for Justice
  • The Black Girl Pushout – Melinda D. Anderson
  • The Biased Policies That Are Pushing Black Girls Out of School – Dayna Evans
  • Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, OverPoliced, and Underprotected – Kimberle Crenshaw with Priscilla Ocen and Jyoti Nanda
  • From Preschool to Prison: The Criminalization of Black Girls – Mackenzie Chakara
  • Getting Black Trans Women’s Needs Met: An Interview With Phoebe VanCleefe – Huff Post
  • #SAYHERNAME: Towards a Gender Inclusive Movement for Black Lives – Brittney Cooper
  • Murders of trans women highlight the intersection of racial and gender-based violence – Women’s Media Center
  • Centering Black Women, Girls, Gender Nonconforming People, and Fem(me)’s in Campaigns for Expanded Sanctuary and Freedom Cities  – Andrea J. Ritchie and Monique W. Morris, Ed.D
  • Rediscovering the Black Girl Magic in literature that was snuffed out of my childhood – Black Youth Project
  • Say Her Name: What It Means to Center Black Women’s Experiences of Police Violence – Andrea J. Ritchie

How Do We Center Black LGBTQ Experiences?

black history lesson plans middle school

  • Supporting Black LGBTQ Students – GLSEN
  • 100+ LGBTQ Black Women You Should Know: The Epic Black History Month – Marie Lynn Bernard
  • Trans Women of Color Collective: Shifting the Narrative – Trans Women of Color Collective
  • What it’s like being Black and queer in school – Shantal Otchere
  • Black LGBTQ History: Teachers Must Do a Better Job – Learning for Justice
  • Black Gay History and the Fight Against AIDS – Dan Royles
  • Redesigned pride flag recognizes LGBT people of color -CNN
  • Growing Up Gay in Black America: An Exploration of the Coming Out Process of Queer African American Youth – DeMarquis Clarke

As a Parent, What Are Ways I Can Engage My Family in Black History Month?:

  • 5 ways to celebrate Black History Month with your family – ChicagoNow.com
  • 8 Black History Month Books and Resources for Kids – JusticeJonesie
  • Top 15 children’s books for black history month – Family Education
  • How to talk to your child about Black History Month (A script) – Mama Knows it All
  • Black Children and Black History: The Importance Of Teaching Our Kids the Complexity Of Us – My Brown Baby
Center for Racial Justice in Education

Wishing you and your family peace, prosperity, and good health during the Year of the Dragon!

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Students, make your voice heard this Black History Month with our museum. Join us in exploring stories of African Americans in the Arts throughout February, with a special focus on art as a platform for social justice around five weekly focus areas: literature and poetry, performing art, visual art, music and digital art.

  • Week 1, Feb. 1-4: Literature and Poetry
  • Week 2, Feb. 5-11: Performing Arts
  • Week 3, Feb. 12-18: Visual Arts
  • Week 4, Feb. 19-25: Music
  • Week 5, Feb. 26-29: Digital Arts

Social justice has historically created visual and literary arts to capture the spirit and platforms of resistance, and to share those messages to audiences outside of mainstream ways. Art as a platform for social justice is found throughout African American history   .

Resources for the Classroom or Home

NMAAHC Smithsonian Learning Labs All Grades Learning Lab from the Smithsonian Institution is a free, interactive platform for learners and educators. Users can explore well-known and lesser-known moments of history through millions of authentic, digital resources, create content with online tools, and share in the Smithsonian's expansive community of knowledge and learning​.

Grade K-2 and Up

  • Black Women Artists
  • Music & Sound: Instruments in the NMAAHC Collection

Grade 3 and Up

  • Essential Historian Skills: Art As A Platform For Social Justice
  • Essential Historian Skills: Taking the Stage
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Madam C.J. Walker
  • Jackie Robinson
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.

Grade 6 and Up

  • In Full Color: The Black Arts Movement of the 1960s-70s
  • Read Between the Brushstrokes: Unite
  • Read Between the Brushstrokes: Walking
  • African American Historians of the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
  • The New Negro Movement and the Harlem Renaissance
  • The Science of Sound: Acoustic Activities Inspired by Dr. James West
  • The Corona's Cooling Power
  • A Celebration of African Americans at NASA

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NMAAHC Pathways    Grade 3 and Up and Great for Families and Groups    Use these self-guided tour experiences to explore the NMAAHC.

  • Art in Community
  • But Is This Art? 

Essential Historian Skills    Grade 6 and Up    Some of the answers of the past are locked in primary sources. Practice becoming a historian by questioning primary sources in our History Galleries.

  • Artist in Context: Phillis Wheatley 
  • Artist in Context: Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • Art in Context: The Black Arts Movement

My NMAAHC Journal    Grade 3 and Up    Students find artifacts and stories centered on the arts in our Culture Galleries. Practice ways to think like a historian and how to question gallery objects.

  • Exploring the Arts! 

NMAAHC Highlights    Grade 3 and Up    A quick guide of three not-to-miss objects and stories throughout the NMAAHC that highlight the connection between art and social justice.

  • Art as Platform for Social Justice 

Programs at the Museum and Online

Virtual art workshop: gel plate printing.

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Explore More! in STEM: Flying High with the Triple Nickles

This is a *free* event!

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Explore More! in STEM: To the Moon and Beyond!

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North Star: A Digital Journey of African American History

Explore African American history through digital activities on the Smithsonian Learning Lab platform. The activities, or collections, have gathered objects, stories, videos and thinking questions all in one place.

Black History Month Digital Toolkit

Join us in uplifting the humanity, innovation and vision of African American artists throughout February.

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Black History Month: Lesson Plans and Resources for the Classroom

February 01, 2021

Updated February 1, 2022

Black history is American history, and February is an opportunity to introduce classroom discussions and reflections about how Black Americans have shaped our nation. In celebration of Black History Month, we are sharing resources from iCivics, as well as partner organizations to support learning and conversations in the classroom.

Five iCivics Resources to Use This Month

The road to civil rights lesson plan.

Discover the people, groups, and events behind the Civil Rights Movement. Learn about means of non-violent protest, opposition to the movement, and identify how it took all three branches of the federal government to effect change. Protest posters, fictional diary entries, and a map of the movement's major events develop a greater understanding of the struggle for civil rights.

Brown v. Board of Education Mini-Lesson

This mini-lesson covers the basics of the Supreme Court’s decision that overturned “separate but equal” in public schools. Students learn about segregation and “equality under the law.” 

Little Rock: Executive Order 10730 DBQuest

When President Eisenhower authorized troops under federal authority to desegregate Little Rock Central High School in 1957, he became the first president since Reconstruction to use federal forces to help enforce equal rights for African Americans. Using the example of Executive Order 10730, students will explore how executive orders can be used to enforce the law. The story of integrating Little Rock Central High School doesn’t start or stop with Eisenhower’s executive order. Dive into the downloadable teaching resources to share more of the history with your students through the use of primary source documents. 

VIDEO: Ethel Payne: First Lady of the Black Press

More inclusive coverage of national and world events is due, in part, to Ethel Payne, the second Black woman to become a member of the White House Press Corps. In her position, she asked leaders tough questions and wrote hard-hitting news stories. Her persistence brought civil rights issues to a national audience and put Black people’s experiences on the front page.

Resources Page

Find all of our animated videos, lessons, and DBQuests for teaching Black history all month (and all year) long conveniently located together on a resources page.

Go to the Page

Resources From Our Partners

Black history is more than teaching about the civic strategy and achievements of the Civil Rights Movement. As we work to expand our resources to better integrate the contributions as well as social, political, and historical contexts of Black Americans in civics, we invite you to check out these collections from a few of our partners:

  • A Do’s and Don’ts guide from Learning for Justice on how to teach Black History Month
  • Nearpod’s collection of Black History Month lesson plans and activities
  • Penguin Young Readers has a new middle-grade history program, Who HQ For You, that is offering educators and families monthly thematic activities for Black History Month .
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Learning With the ‘Black History, Continued’ Series

In this extended lesson plan, students will use this special Times series to deepen, expand and challenge their understanding of Black life, culture and history in America.

black history lesson plans middle school

By Jeremy Engle

Lesson Overview

Featured Series: “ Black History, Continued ”

“Black History, Continued” is a series from The New York Times that explores pivotal moments and transformative figures in Black culture, from Black gardeners who found refuge in the soil to an overlooked Harlem Renaissance sculptor. “We believe the story part of Black History is vital because, like elements in a periodic table, each story is a building block of possibility,” Veronica Chambers, the Narrative Projects editor, writes.

In this lesson, you will explore the “Black History, Continued” series and reflect on the importance of celebrating overlooked or underappreciated aspects of the American experience. We also invite you to make personal connections with what you have read, pitch new ideas to the series creators and share what you have learned with others.

I. Start Here: How Have You Learned About Black History?

Part 1: Share your thoughts and experiences.

What have you been taught about Black history in school? Do you feel that it is a subject that has been taught accurately and thoroughly?

How well do you think teachers, museums or textbooks have taught you Black history? Give them a grade on a scale from A (excellent) to F (very poor). Then, explain why you gave them that grade.

How have you learned about Black history outside school — from your family or your community, or through your own exploration and curiosity?

What topics, themes, traditions and stories related to Black history are missing, overlooked or underappreciated? What topics would you like to explore in more depth, either in school or on your own? Why? (You will return to these ideas later in this lesson plan.)

Part 2: Learn about the history of Black History Month.

In “ How Negro History Week Became Black History Month and Why It Matters Now ,” Veronica Chambers and Jamiel Law tell the story of how Black History Month came to be:

Black History Month has been celebrated in the United States for close to 100 years. But what is it, exactly, and how did it begin? In the years after Reconstruction, campaigning for the importance of Black history and doing the scholarly work of creating the canon was a cornerstone of civil rights work for leaders like Carter G. Woodson. Martha Jones, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor, explained: “These are men [like Woodson] who were trained formally and credentialed in the ways that all intellectuals and thought leaders of the early 20th century were trained at Harvard and places like that. But in order to make the argument, in order to make the claim about Black genius, about Black excellence, you have to build the space in which to do that. There is no room.” This is how they built the room.

Read the article in its entirety and then respond to the following prompts in writing or with a partner:

What did you learn about the origins and meaning of Black History Month? What was most surprising and memorable?

Black History Month is not just about ensuring the study of Black history; it is also intended to be a celebration of the achievements and accomplishments of Black Americans. Do you feel that the month has helped accomplish that goal?

An argument that some people make about history months in general, whether celebrating Black people, women or Native Americans, is that they confine the history of a historically marginalized group to a single month, when instead these histories should be fully integrated into education all year long. What do you think? Do history months succeed in promoting a complex and important history that otherwise has been neglected? Or are they ever counterproductive? Why?

Share your thoughts on parts one and two of this section by joining a conversation with other teenagers in the comments section of our related Student Opinion question .

II. Explore a Lesson of the Day

The Learning Network has created lesson plans for five of the articles in the “Black History, Continued” series, each with a warm-up, critical-thinking questions and going-further activities. The activities and questions are designed to help you understand the article, contextualize it within current and historical events and connect it to your own life.

Choose one of the five articles below and the lesson that accompanies it and follow along with the prompts and questions included. Afterward, you might share what you learned with the class as a jigsaw activity .

III. Choose Another Piece in the ‘Black History, Continued’ Series to Read or Watch

There are many other compelling pieces in the “Black History, Continued” series that are not included in the five Lessons of the Day we listed above. There are stories looking at the record number of Black women running America’s biggest cities ; how a Black reporter exposed a lie about the atom bomb ; Black foragers finding freedom in the natural world ; contestants competing to be crowned Miss Juneteenth ; the joys of Black hair ; and, how Black nerds are redefining culture .

Choose another article from the collection or watch a video from the project’s YouTube Playlist . Then, respond to the following prompts in writing or through discussion with a partner:

Which article or video did you choose and why?

What did the piece make you think or feel? What personal connections can you make to the subject matter?

What was most memorable, surprising, provocative or affecting?

How did the images or visuals help tell the story?

How does the new article or video deepen or challenge your understanding of Black history?

What further questions does it raise?

IV. Pitch the Next Story in the Series

Dodai Stewart, the deputy editor for Narrative Projects, writes :

Black history is not a static and stately historical record but a living narrative that’s still unfolding, with many more stories to tell.

Make a pitch to the editors of the “Black History, Continued” series: What topics, themes, traditions or stories in Black history would you like the series to tell next? What do you think is still missing, overlooked or misrepresented?

Your elevator pitch should include the following: What’s your idea? How would it fit and further the series’s goals of exploring “pivotal moments and transformative figures in Black culture” and “how the past shapes the present and the future”? Why would this subject be engaging or enlightening to Times readers? What is your own personal connection to the subject? Why do you think it’s overlooked, misunderstood or ignored? How does it lend itself to rich visual and written storytelling?

To help you find compelling and overlooked stories, past and present, you might begin by searching The Times’s Race/Related Topics page or by exploring these outside resources:

National Archives: Black History Resources

The National Museum of African American History and Culture: Searchable Museum

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture digital projects

V. Reflect on the Meaning and Lessons of ‘Black History, Continued’

What are the big takeaways from the series for you? How has it changed how you see Black history — and American history as a whole? How successful is the series in reaching its goals? Choose one or more of the prompts below in writing or in discussion with a partner:

What are your reactions to the articles you read and the series as a whole? What does it make you think and feel? How does the series affect how you think about Black history?

Shelton Johnson, a park ranger featured in one of the articles in the series, said : “A storyteller is a healer and a good story has always been good medicine. The right story at the right time can heal the world.” Do you agree? What is the power of storytelling and the stories explored in the series? How have the words, images and stories in this series affected, touched, enlightened or moved you? Which moments and details stand out and why?

How do the subjects, themes and stories explored in “Black History, Continued” relate to your own life and experiences, and those of your family and community? What wisdom, inspiration and life lessons can you draw?

How Black history is taught in schools is still a battleground today. For example, a new Texas law forbids teaching that “slavery and racism are anything other than deviations from, betrayals of, or failures to live up to, the authentic founding principles of the United States.” A recent Florida rule bans the teaching of the 1619 Project in public schools. Published in 2019 by The New York Times Magazine, the 1619 Project “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States‘ national narrative.” And to date, more than 20 states — including New Hampshire, Michigan and Arkansas — have introduced regulations that restrict teaching about race and racism. What do you think of these efforts to restrict how schools teach about Black history, race and racism?

In “ How Negro History Week Became Black History Month and Why It Matters Now ,” Veronica Chambers concludes:

Why does Black History Month in particular, and the study of Black history overall, still matter so much? “There’s no question that history is and continues to be a battleground. The origin stories that we tell matter a great deal for where we set the bar and how we set the bar going forward,” noted Professor Jones, of Johns Hopkins. “So when you talk about people like Carter G. Woodson, these are men who knew that if you don’t rewrite the history of Africans and people of African descent, if you don’t rewrite the history of the United States through the lens of Black history, if you don’t make that record and if you don’t make that case, there are [false] stories that will expand and go toward rationalizing and perpetuating racism, exclusion, marginalization and more.”

What’s your reaction to the quote? After having engaged with the series, why do you think that the ways in which Black history is written, learned and taught matter so much? Do you agree that “if you don’t rewrite the history of the United States through the lens of Black history,” false stories will continue and contribute to “rationalizing and perpetuating racism, exclusion, marginalization”?

VI. Creatively Share What You Have Learned

Now it’s your turn to engage and enlighten others: Share one thing you found moving or meaningful from the “Black History, Continued” series with your class, school or community.

Depending on which Lesson of the Day you chose, you might have already created something as a Going Further activity, such as a gallery exhibit about Black Americans who are rangers for the National Park Service or a visual artwork to represent your community, identity or place.

In addition, here are a few other creative ideas and resources to help you come up with a suitable and effective format:

Write and illustrate a children’s book or comic book : You can hand-draw or paint your original story or use a free book-making app like MyStorybook , BookBildr or Storybird . There are many free, easy-to-use comic book apps, such as MakeBeliefsComix and Pixton .

Design a one-pager : Using illustrations, quotes from the articles, key words and names of people, design a visually compelling summary of one aspect of Black history you learned.

Make an Instagram Swipe-Through Guide : You can create an Instagram post using a website like Canva . You can look at some of the examples from this article, “ Swipe-Through Activist Guides Are the New Zines ,” to see how young activists are using Instagram to educate and create change.

Create a public service announcement : Using still photographs from the series, or from your own research, along with text, narration and music, record and edit a P.S.A. to inform others. Scholastic provides some useful tips and a sample P.S.A. storyboard .

You might consider some of the following questions as you create your work to inform others: Who is your audience? Teenagers, young children, adults or families? What’s the most effective way to tell the story? What information would you include? What storytelling techniques would you want to incorporate? How would you balance imparting factual knowledge with good storytelling? What messages would you want readers or listeners to come away with?

When you are finished, share your project with your class, school or community.

Want more Lessons of the Day? You can find them all here .

Jeremy Engle joined The Learning Network as a staff editor in 2018 after spending more than 20 years as a classroom humanities and documentary-making teacher, professional developer and curriculum designer working with students and teachers across the country. More about Jeremy Engle

A Guide to Black History Month

The monthlong celebration honors how african americans have shaped the united states through both triumphs and trauma..

Carter G. Woodson’s house, the birthplace of Black History Month, was a hub of scholarship, bringing together generations of intellectuals, writers and activists .

Wondering how Black History Month  came to be? Learn about the history of this celebration .

Dig deeper with the 1619 Project , an initiative by The Times Magazine that aims to reframe America’s history by placing the consequences of slavery at the very center of the nation’s narrative.

Expand your knowledge with Black History, Continued , our project devoted to pivotal moments and transformative figures in Black history.

Explore Black love in all its forms and expressions with this collection of heart-warming stories .

Celebrate the contributions of Black authors to literature by diving into the works of Octavia Butler  and Toni Morrison .

Over the years, many important African American landmarks have disappeared or fallen into disrepair. Here are eight historical sites  that are being preserved.

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14 Fun Black History Month Activities for Elementary and Middle School Students

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Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, takes place every February to honor the accomplishments of Black people in the United States and the important roles they have played in the past and the present. We've designed activities that give students the opportunity to dive into history and learn about the people and events that have shaped our nation.

Black History Month Ideas for School

Encourage students to engage in crafts, teach them about significant figures in Black history, and celebrate with your class using these Black History Month activities for elementary and middle school.

1. Review the Timeline of the Civil Rights Movement

As the civil rights movement progressed over several decades, many key events helped to shape the outcome. For this activity, you should first hold a discussion with your students about the definitions of civil rights and social movements .

Explain that civil rights are written and unwritten rights provided to anyone who is a U.S. citizen or who belongs to a civil society. A movement includes activities undertaken by a group of people to achieve change. Then, distribute the  timeline activity and have your students fill in details about nine key events of the civil rights movement based on their research. Once complete, your students should cut out each event; place them in chronological order; and glue, paste, or tape them to a piece of paper. Encourage them to add a title to their timeline before sharing it with the class.

black history lesson plans middle school

2. Pen a Persuasive Essay

Many Black people have made valuable contributions to the world throughout history. Have students write a persuasive essay convincing the U.S. Postal Service to create a new stamp honoring an influential Black person. They should explain their choice and the impact the person has had on the world.

Maybe they want to focus on the historic election of Kamala Harris as U.S. Vice President, Katherine Johnson's contribution to science and space exploration, or Stevie Wonder's legacy in music. Have students read their essays to one another or submit them for extra credit. Here are steps to teaching students how to write an effective persuasive argument .

This is also an opportunity to have students participate in their government! The U.S. Postal Service welcomes suggestions for stamp subjects that "celebrate the American experience." Check out the USPS website for the criteria for selecting a stamp subject and the process for submitting a proposal. 

3. Write about Black History

With these Black History Month writing prompts from fourth-grade teacher Perry Hollins, you can introduce your students to Black innovators of the past and present. Your students can then tie these figures' experiences to their own lives. For each prompt, students explore the life of a Black innovator, reflect on a quote from the individual, and then tackle a writing prompt. The prompts each focus on a particular writing style, such as narrative, informative, or persuasive.

4. Do a Crossword Puzzle on Civil Rights

Have your students test their knowledge of Black history with this downloadable crossword puzzle , including an answer key for teachers. Topics covered include slavery in the United States, civil rights protests, key figures, and relevant holidays. This is particularly well suited for students in Grades 4–8.

black history lesson plans middle school

5. Create an Encyclopedia of Black Leaders

Students can create a biographical encyclopedia with one or two paragraphs each about Black leaders who contributed to the civil rights movement. Alternatively, students can focus on any Black leader in the U.S. throughout history. They can choose three to five leaders whom they feel had the greatest impact on U.S. history and explain why those individuals' accomplishments deserve to be recognized.

Then, students can dive into the role that each figure played in history, what events they influenced, and their legacy. This is a good chance to teach students about finding credible sources online, creating a bibliography, and improving their writing. Your students can exchange their final Black History Month projects and provide peer feedback, or share them with the entire class.

6. Explore Famous Black Scientists in History

If you're looking to explore famous Black scientists in history , you can download these posters , hang them in your classroom or distribute them to your students. This activity can take a lot of different forms. You may simply have a classroom discussion about the legacies of each of these scientists, or you can encourage your students to dig further and create their own list of famous Black scientists. Students might even focus on influential Black innovators in specific scientific fields, such as chemistry or mathematics. Your students can write about these individuals' lives, accomplishments, and continued legacy today, and perhaps create their own posters to hang on a bulletin board.

7. Conduct Experiments Inspired by the Works of Black Scientists 

Get hands on and further explore the extraordinary works of famous Black scientists, inventors, and mathematicians by conducting experiments inspired by their work. Find a collection of Black History Month science activities and experiments that touch on earth and space sciences, agriculture, biology, and more, so students can study space like Dr. Mae Jemison, or nurture plants like George Washington Carver.

8. Test Students' Knowledge with Our Black History Month Quiz

Have students explore Black history with this short multiple choice quiz . A teacher answer key is also included. You can have students hand this in for a grade, or have them work in teams and see which group answers the most questions correctly.

black history lesson plans middle school

9. Complete a Word Search 

Download this word search for students that includes the names of influential figures, key events, and terms related to Black history. Once students find all the words listed, have them write a short description or definition of each term. The specifics are up to you as to what they need to include in their writing.

black history lesson plans middle school

10. Read Books about Black History

There are many books you can read about Black history that highlight both the triumphant and tragic journeys of Black people in the United States. One example is The Undefeated , written by poet Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. The book won the 2020 Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. Alexander won a Newbery Honor for the book as well. The beautifully crafted book of poetry doesn't hold back on illustrating the cruelties Africans faced on their journey to and arrival in the U.S., but it's presented in a way that's easy for kids to digest and understand. The book showcases themes such as determination, self-actualization, and perseverance, and covers the horrors of slavery, the triumphs of the civil rights movement, and the actions of influential Black figures.

Undefeated ff06837211ce696e7f44dac5701aa057 ff06837211ce696e7f44dac5701aa057

If you're looking to teach students about the impact of the Chicago Race Riots on history, consider these two literary texts  recommended by HMH's archivist, Susan Steinway.

11. Showcase Black History in Your School’s Halls

Work with your school’s leadership team to organize a school-wide Black History Month door decorating or bulletin board decorating contest. Each class can showcase significant moments, figures, and accomplishments in Black history, for example the Harlem Renaissance, the Tuskegee Airmen, or the work of the Freedom Riders. Find inspiration for Black History Month bulletin board ideas and Black History Month classroom door decoration ideas on Shaped .

12. Create a Quote Gallery with Words from Notable Black Figures

Display quotes from notable Black figures in your classroom and engage students in a quote gallery walk. On chart paper, write or print quotes from famous Black leaders or notable figures. Use these Black History Month quotes for students for the gallery walk. Alongside the quote, include the person’s name, title, and brief biography. Post the quotes around the room. Place students in small groups and have them explore each quote. As groups stop at a quote, ask students to discuss with each other what the quote means to them. Then have them use a marker to jot down their thoughts and reflections on the chart paper. Afterwards, lead a class discussion about the powerful words the class just read. Extend this activity by having students choose their favorite quote displayed and complete a quote discussion chart .

black history lesson plans middle school

13. Host a Poetry Reading and Recite Poems from Black Poets

Study the works of famous Black poets, like Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes, and teach students the art of performing poetry by hosting a class poetry reading. Show students videos of Black poets reciting their works, so students can learn about the change of tone, inflection, and body language when poems are read aloud. Then have students choose a poem penned by a Black author that they will share during the class poetry reading. Give students the time to practice reciting their poems aloud in small groups. On the day of the event, you can convert your classroom into a poetry café. If possible, invite caregivers or guardians to watch the performances. After their reading, students can share fun facts about the poet, why they chose the poem they did, and what resonated with them.

14. Transform Your Classroom into a Black History Museum

Bring the museum into your classroom with this Black History Month activity. Ask students to research notable Black figures or key events in Black history. Students will then create posters based on their research. Display students’ work throughout the classroom, organizing the posters into exhibits, such as science, history, art, and literature, to transform your classroom into a Black history museum. If possible, chose a date and invite other classes and guardians or caregivers to a museum showing of your class’s Black history exhibits. Students can present the information on their posters to guests as museum guides and educators.

Share Your Black History Month Projects and Activities

Have any fun Black History Month activity ideas for school? Share them with us at [email protected].

We hope these Black history month activities for elementary and middle school students provide you with plenty of ideas for honoring the achievements of Black people and shed light on the triumphs and tragedies that they have faced in the United States. By doing so, we can create a world that prioritizes equality and freedom for all.

For more ways to celebrate Black History Month with your students, check out:

  • 8 Black History Month Writing Prompts
  • 5 Teaching Tools to Honor Black History Month in the Classroom
  • Black History Month: Teaching Historical Triumphs and Tragedies
  • Ann Petry: Honoring the Author's Legacy During Black History Month
  • A Rosa Parks Lesson Plan: Teaching About Her Legacy

Discover more lesson plans and classroom resources o n Shaped .

Meet the demands of today’s classrooms with HMH instructional coaching .

This blog, originally published in 2020, has been updated for 2024.

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Black History Month Activities & Resources

Black History Month Classroom Activities

February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month. Help your students learn about and celebrate the important Black contributions to the American and global story with our cross-curricular lesson plans, worksheets, projects, quizzes, and activities below.

Why Do We Teach Black History Month?

As with any number of topics, approaches to teaching Black history have evolved and changed over the years. While it's roots go back to the early 20th century, Black History Month as a national observance was created as a way to focus attention on the contributions of Black Americans that had been overlooked, marginalized, and outright ignored as part of conventional American history lessons. As President Ford said when announcing the month-long observance in 1976, “In celebrating Black History Month, we can seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

For the most part, this led to a fairly "traditional" look at Black historical figures in the classroom - with a heavy emphasis on inspirational people and stories, but little context around the "hard history," as Black educator Rann Miller calls it, of the Black experience. "I was told of Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass. I heard very little of Malcolm X, the FBI’s campaign against civil rights leaders...I was taught about the marches and firehoses in Alabama, but I had to teach myself about the acts of terrorism committed against Black people in Rosewood, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Wilmington, North Carolina," says Miller in a widely-read and influential essay .

Over the past several years, as high-profile events like the murder of George Floyd have forced a reckoning look at systemic racism and inequality in the United States, the teaching of Black history has become more contextual and less personality-driven. It's still important to highlight the considerable achievements of Black Americans for students - but many teachers are also using Black History Month to "explore the impact of racism in the Black experience," as Miller puts it. 

What to Teach for Black History Month

These TeacherVision resources were commissioned or curated to give teachers a wide selection of approaches to integrating Black History Month into existing curriculum. You'll find lesson plans, student choice activities, printables, videos, and more for all of the major curriculum areas - Social Studies, Reading, Math, and Science. 

Choice Boards and Projects

  • Black History Month Project - Black Pioneers in Medicine
  • Black History Month Choice Board for Middle School

Educational Videos & Activities

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Videos & Activities
  • Slavery & The Civil War Videos & Activities

Technology Resources

  • African Storytellers
  • African-American Heroes
  • Hour of Code: Code a Slideshow for Black History Month

Black History Worksheets for Grades K-5

  • Black History Month Profile: Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron
  • Black History Month Profile: Young Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman
  • Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad
  • Cultures Day Project Ideas
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • "I Have a Dream" Little Book
  • Jackie Robinson Biography & Activities

Black History Worksheets for Grades 6-8

  • Black History Month Profiles: Great African American Poets from Across the Generations
  • The Underground Railroad Matching Activity
  • The Life and Accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Fever 1793 Teacher's Guide
  • I Have a Dream
  • The Harlem Renaissance Activities
  • Sarah Boone Coloring Page

Black History Worksheets for Grades 9-12

  • Black Lives Matter E-Book: A Movement for Racial Justice
  • Billie Holiday's Song "Strange Fruit"
  • Defining Jazz Music
  • Visualizing Jazz Scenes of the Harlem Renaissance
  • Jazz and Math: Improvisation Permutations
  • Jazz and Math: Rhythmic Innovations
  • African-American Gospel Music
  • Black History Word Search

Black History Month Lesson Plans for Grades K-5

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil Rights Leader
  • Triangular Trade in the Atlantic Ocean
  • Write a Letter to Jesse Owens
  • Activities for African Folk Tales
  • Percussion Performance and Culture
  • Influencing Others in Our World

Black History Month Lesson Plans for Grades 6-8

  • The Underground Railroad
  • The Struggle Against Segregation
  • Jackie Robinson and Civil Rights
  • Interactive Timeline
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Receives the Nobel Peace Prize

Black History Resources

  • African Folk Tales: Background Information
  • A Raisin in the Sun
  • Maniac Magee Literature Guide
  • Jackie Robinson Coloring Page
  • Rosa Parks Coloring Page
  • Civil Rights Movement Playlist

EDITOR'S COLLECTIONS

  • Top 10 Children's Books for Black History Month
  • Top 10 Martin Luther King Activities
  • 20 Black History Month Activities
  • Kwanzaa Activities (Grades K-8)
  • Coloring Book of African-Americans Slideshow
  • Civil Rights Quiz
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Quiz
  • ABC Order -- Famous Black Americans
  • Kwanzaa Facts Quiz
  • Black History Month Quiz
  • Kwanzaa Word Problems
  • Coretta Scott King Award Winners
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower's Little Rock Response
  • Martin Luther King Jr.'s Life
  • Assassinations and Attempts in U.S. Since 1865
  • Amendments to the Constitution of the United States
  • Amendments to the Constitution: Voting
  • Harriet Tubman Biography

Music & Drama Activities

  • A Jazz Talk Show
  • Learning through The Duke
  • Exhibit Scoring Guide
  • Assessment of Learning Through "The Duke" Lesson

Language Arts Activities

  • In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
  • Historical Fiction Reading Warm-Up: Rosa Parks
  • Harriet Tubman Writing Activity
  • Juneteenth - African Americans Word search

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Black History Month

black history lesson plans middle school

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black history lesson plans middle school

  • describe the Children’s March, its purpose, methods, and outcome;
  • identify the responsibilities, values, and interests of those involved in the march;
  • evaluate the decision to involve children in the march.

Materials Needed

  • Student lesson: “How Should One Choose among Competing Responsibilities, Values, and Interests?”
  • Teacher’s guide: “How Should One Choose among Competing Responsibilities, Values, and Interests?”
  • Teacher resource: The Children’s Crusade of the Birmingham Civil Rights Campaign
  • “Ballad of Birmingham,” by Dudley Randall, 1965
  • The Children’s Crusade of the Birmingham Civil Rights Campaign (Handout 1)
  • Video: Janice Kelsey’s Story - [Chapter 1] [Chapter 2]
  • Note-Taking Guide: Janice Kelsey’s Story (Handout 2)
  • Responsibilities, Values, and Interests Chart (Handout 3)

Before the Lesson   Review or teach “How Should One Choose among Competing Responsibilities, Values, and Interests?”   Lesson Procedure   1. Beginning the lesson . Read Dudley Randall’s “Ballad of Birmingham.” Use the poem to pique students’ interest in the events behind the poem. Ask students whether the poem leaves them wondering about anything described or alluded to in the poem. Ask them if they can connect the poem to anything they have heard or learned about in the past.   2. Reading about it. As a class, read the Children’s Crusade of the Birmingham Civil Rights Campaign (Handout 1). Ask students to make connections between Handout 1 and the poem, “Ballad of Birmingham.”   3. Video viewing . Introduce the video, Janice Kelsey’s Story, by telling students that Kelsey was a foot soldier in the Children’s Crusade. Have students watch and listen actively using the Note-Taking Guide: Janice Kelsey’s Story (Handout 2).  

  • Discuss students’ reactions to Kelsey’s story.
  • Discuss the outcome of the Children’s Crusade and what made this strategy successful in Birmingham.

4. Group work . Have students work in small groups to identify the responsibilities, values, and interests of the people listed below. Use the Responsibilities, Values, and Interests Chart (Handout 3). Each group can select one of the bullet points below and present its findings to the class. As an alternative, each member of a group can pretend to be of one of the people listed below and act out their response with other members of their small group.  

  • A parent whose son or daughter wants to participate in the march
  • A student who wants to participate in the march
  • Martin Luther King Jr. and James Bevel, who organized the march
  • A teacher whose students walked out of class to march
  • A Birmingham store owner

Discuss students’ findings and the decision to involve children in the civil rights movement.   5. Concluding the lesson . Discuss with the class the ways in which children today make a difference in their communities.    Correlations to the SVPDP Curricula     Foundations of Democracy , middle school level         Authority:                 Unit 1, Lesson 3                                          Unit 2, Lessons 6 and 7         Privacy:                    Unit 4, Lesson 9         Responsibility :         Unit 3, Lessons 6 and 7                                          Unit 4, Lesson 11         Justice:                     Unit 1, Lesson 1                                          Unit 2, Lesson 2                                          Unit 3, Lessons 6 and 7                                          Unit 4, Lessons 11 and 12   Foundations of Democracy , high school level         Authority:                  Unit 1, Lesson 2                                          Unit 3, Lessons 6 and 7         Privacy:                    Unit 4, Lesson 9         Responsibility:          Unit 3, Lessons 6 and 7                                          Unit 4, Lesson 11         Justice:                     Unit 1, Lesson 1                                           Unit 2, Lesson 3                                           Unit 3, Lessons 6 and 7                                           Unit 4, Lessons 10 and 11       We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution , Level 2 (middle school)         Unit 1, concepts from Lesson 3         Unit 5, Lessons 23, 25, 26         Unit 6, Lessons 29 and 30   We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution , Level 3 (high school)         Unit 1, Lesson 2         Unit 5, Lesson 27         Unit 6, Lessons 33, 34, and 35   Project Citizen , Level 1 (middle school)         What Is Public Policy and Who Makes It?   Project Citizen , Level 2 (high school)         Chapter 1: Introduction to Project Citizen         Chapter 2: An Introduction to Public Policy         Chapter 4: Why Is Citizen Participation Important to Democracy?    

  • describe the characteristics of nonviolence;
  • discuss the costs and benefits of using nonviolence.

  Materials Needed

  • Student Say-So (Handout 1) —two copies per student
  •  KWL Chart on Nonviolence (Handout 2)
  •  Poster paper and markers for the KWL chart and for recording students’ ideas during discussion
  •  Characteristics, Costs, and Benefits Chart (Handout 3)
  •   “Heed Their Rising Voices,” New York Times , March 29, 1960
  •   “Rosa Parks,” by Rita Dove, The Time 100 , June 14, 1999
  •   An excerpt from Walking with the Wind , by John Lewis
  •   “‘School’ Prepares Negroes for Mass Return to Buses,” December 15, 1956
  •   “Notes from a Nonviolent Training Session,” by Bruce Hartford, 1963
Lesson Procedure   1. Beginning the lesson. Begin the lesson by asking students to respond individually to the statements contained in the Student Say-So (Handout 1). Students respond to the statements with - Agree (A), Disagree (D), or Unsure (U). They should complete the same handout after the lesson and discuss if/how their ideas have changed.    2. KWL chart on nonviolence . Complete the KWL Chart on Nonviolence (Handout 2) with students to activate prior knowledge and engage students in the lesson. Use the K column to record what students already know, or think they know, about nonviolence. Use the W column to record what they want to know. At the end of the lesson, complete the L column with facts the students have learned. This will also be the point in the lesson at which you invite students to make any necessary corrections to the K column as a result of their new learning.     3. Reading about it . Divide students into small groups. Assign each group one of the sources listed below. Ask the students to become “experts” on the source by reading and taking notes. Tell the students that at the end of the allotted time, they will present a summary of their source to the class. This summary should include specific examples from their source that demonstrate the characteristics, costs, and benefits of nonviolence. Review these terms with your class, if necessary. The Characteristics, Costs, and Benefits Chart (Handout 3) can be used to help students take notes.
  •  Heed Their Rising Voices,” New York Times , March 29, 1960: https://www.archives.gov/ exhibits/documented-rights/ exhibit/section4/detail/heed- rising-voices.html
  •  “Rosa Parks,” by Rita Dove, The Time 100 , June 14, 1999: http://www.yachtingnet.com/ time/time100/heroes/profile/ parks01.html
  • An except from Walking with the Wind , by John Lewis: http://www.tolerance.org/ activity/commitment- nonviolence-leadership-john-l
  • “‘School’ Prepares Negroes for Mass Return to Buses,” December 15, 1956: http://www.montgomeryboycott. com/article_561215_schools.htm
  • “Notes from a Nonviolent Training Session,” by Bruce Hartford, 1963: http://www.crmvet.org/info/ nv1.htm

4. Whole-class discussion . Use the quotation below to stimulate the class discussion:

“Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue [so] that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth.   —Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

  Questions to guide discussion:

  • According to this quotation, what is the goal of nonviolence?
  • Why is nonviolence effective in achieving this goal?
  • What have you learned today that demonstrates King’s point? Give specific examples from your reading.

5. Concluding the lesson .

  • Complete and correct the KWL Chart on Nonviolence (Handout 2).
  • Give students a fresh copy of the Student Say-So (Handout 1). Discuss to see if their attitudes toward nonviolence have changed.

Supplemental Activity: Write a Letter   Remind students that Malcolm X, at one time, did not believe that nonviolence was the best way to gain rights for African Americans. In 1964, he wrote, “Concerning nonviolence: it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.” Write a letter from Martin Luther King Jr. to Malcolm X persuading him that nonviolence is the best way to seek justice for African Americans. Include the characteristics of nonviolence, why it is effective, and other reasons why it should be used. Address concerns that Malcolm X might have had about using this method.   Correlations to the SVPDP Curricula   Foundations of Democracy , middle school level         Authority:              Unit 1, Lessons 1 and 3                                       Unit 2, Lessons 6 and 7                                       Unit 3, Lesson 8         Privacy:                 Unit 1, Lessons 1, 2, and 3                                       Unit 4, Lessons 9, 10, 11, and 12        Responsibility:        Unit 1, Lesson 2                                                                                  Unit 3, Lessons 6, 7, and 8          Justice:                 Unit 1, Lesson 1                                       Unit 2, Lesson 2                                       Unit 3, Lessons 6 and 7                                       Unit 4, Lessons 11 and 12       Foundations of Democracy , high school level          Authority:              Unit 1, Lessons 1 and 2                                       Unit 2, Lessons 6 and 7                                       Unit 3, Lesson 8         Privacy:                 Unit 1, Lessons 1, 2, and 3                                       Unit 4, Lessons 9 and 10         Responsibility:       Unit 1, Lesson 3                                       Unit 3, Lessons 5 and 6         Justice:                  Unit 1, Lesson 1                                       Unit 2, Lesson 3                                       Unit 3, Lessons 6 and 7                                       Unit 4, Lessons 10 and 11   We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution , Level 2 (middle school)         Unit 1, concepts from Lesson 3         Unit 5, Lessons 23, 25, and 26         Unit 6, Lessons 29 and 30     We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution , Level 3 (high school)         Unit 1, Lesson 2         Unit 5, Lesson 27         Unit 6, Lessons 33, 34, and 35     Project Citizen , Level 1 (middle school)         What Is Public Policy and Who Makes It?     Project Citizen , Level 2 (high school)         Chapter 1: Introduction to Project Citizen         Chapter 2: An Introduction to Public Policy         Chapter 4: Why Is Citizen Participation Important to Democracy?  

  • identify some of the major historical proponents of nonviolence;
  • distinguish between the adherence to nonviolent philosophies (“philosophical nonviolence”) and the strategic application of nonviolent tactics (“tactical nonviolence”);
  • describe various nonviolent tactics and the challenges that they present in their implementation;
  • develop, present, and defend strategies aimed at bringing about change through nonviolence.

Materials Needed 1. Teacher Concept Paper: Nonviolent Resistance to Oppression 2. Five background information sheets on proponents of nonviolence

  • Henry David Thoreau (Handout 1)
  • Susan B. Anthony (Handout 2)
  • Mohandas K. Gandhi (Handout 3)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. (Handout 4)
  • Cesar Chavez (Handout 5)

3. Copy for each student of Hypotheticals: Change through Strategic Nonviolent Action (Handout 6) 4. Articles on facts underlying hypothetical situations:

  • Hypothetical 1: Based on Bob Jones University
  • Hypothetical 2: Based on Shoal Creek Country Club
  • Hypothetical 3: Based on John Pickle Co. in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Hypothetical 4: Based on an article in USA TODAY

Lesson Procedure 1. Beginning the lesson . Ask students to share their understanding of nonviolence as a historical concept and as it practically applies to their everyday lives. Write the terms philosophy , tactics , and strategy on the board and have students free associate these with the concept of nonviolence. Write down the results of the free association on the board and leave it there for the duration of the lesson. Introduce the lesson topic and review the purpose of the lesson with students. 2. Studying historical proponents of nonviolence . Divide the class into pairs and distribute to each pair one background sheet on one of the following major proponents of nonviolence: Henry David Thoreau (Handout 1), Susan B. Anthony (Handout 2), Mohandas K. Gandhi (Handout 3), Martin Luther King Jr. (Handout 4), and Cesar Chavez (Handout 5). Each pair of students will focus on only one proponent. You might pause here to define proponent. Ask each set of paired students to draw a table composed of three columns on a blank sheet of paper, with the columns labeled: (1) Who am I? (2) What did I believe? (3) How did I act on my beliefs? After reading the background information, the students should write notes in each column that respond to the question being posed about their assigned proponent. After students have completed the columns, call on each pair to report highlights of their notes to the class. Use these to create a master table on the board for each of the proponents. Please note that more than one pair of students can be assigned the same proponent. Teacher may then call on pairs who worked on the same proponent at the same time. 3. Defining philosophy v. tactics . Return to the free association between philosophy , tactics , strategy , and nonviolence . Ask the entire class to categorize the quotes and actions in the background sheets as reflecting either philosophical or tactical nonviolence. Guide the class as it comes up with working definitions of philosophical nonviolence and tactical nonviolence . What is the difference between the two? Are the two indivisible? Why does it matter whether something gets labeled as philosophical or tactical? Does a nonviolence strategy require both? Please note that useful background information for teachers may be found in the Teacher Concept Paper: Nonviolent Resistance to Oppression. 4. Tackling change hypotheticals . Distribute the hypothetical situation sheet to students, and then divide the class into four groups, assigning one of the four hypothetical situations to each group. Explain that each hypothetical situation sheet describes a situation that the students, as a group, will seek to reform. Ask students to work in their groups to develop a nonviolent strategy that reflects their own nonviolence philosophy (if any) and includes specific nonviolent tactics to bring about the desired reforms. The strategy and a clear statement of its objectives should be prepared for presentation to the class. Visual aids may be used to complement the presentation. Ask each group to present its hypothetical situation and its proposed strategy of nonviolent action aimed at reform. The other groups should offer constructive critiques of the student group proposals following the presentation. Time permitting, presenting groups may respond to the critiques of their proposals. 5. Concluding the lesson . To conclude the lesson, distribute articles describing the factual situations that served as the basis for the hypotheticals. Lead students in a discussion comparing the hypothetical situations to the actual facts and examine the types of nonviolent tactics actually used and their effectiveness. 6. Assessment . Assign students to search for articles about a current situation that they would like to change. Ask the students to write one-page memos addressed to their fellow students summarizing the situation and then presenting a nonviolent campaign aimed at reforming the situation. In their memo, students may also predict the reaction to their proposed campaign and how best to anticipate and address that response.

  • use primary source documents to make observations and take notes
  • correct possible misconceptions about events on the day Rosa Parks was arrested
  • apply what they have learned about the Fourteenth Amendment
  • evaluate the actions of the three key players (Rosa Parks, the bus driver, and the arresting officer) on the day of Rosa Parks’s arrest, based on the standards set by the Municipal City Code of 1955 and the Fourteenth Amendment
  • Montgomery City Code (five to ten copies)
  • Diagram of the bus (five to ten copies)
  • Arrest Report, page 1 (five to ten copies)
  • Arrest Report, page 2 (five to ten copies)
  • Student Journal: The Arrest Records of Rosa Parks (one copy for each student)
  • “Teaching with Documents: An Act of Courage, The Arrest Records of Rosa Parks” (one copy for each student)
  • A copy of the Fourteenth Amendment

Before the Lesson Review this guide and all materials provided. Set up four stations around the room. At Station One, place several copies of the Montgomery City Code; at Station Two, place several copies of the diagram of the bus; at Station Three, place several copies of the first page of the police report; and at Station Four, place several copies of page two of the police report (students will likely need help deciphering the handwriting on this page). For large classes, set up two sets of four stations, or complete this lesson in the school library, where you may have more room to move around. For SVPDP teachers: Read or review We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution , Level 1, Lesson 19, or Level 2, Lesson 26. Lesson Procedure 1. Beginning the lesson . Ask students to share aloud everything they know about Rosa Parks. Write their answers on a chalkboard or chart paper. This should be done fairly quickly and conducted similar to a brainstorm activity, where there are no right or wrong answers. Simply list the responses, and then set them aside to return to later in the lesson. 2. Working with primary source documents . Tell students that they will examine the experience of Rosa Parks on the day she refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white. Explain to students that they will be looking at copies of the actual papers pertaining to her arrest. Help students differentiate between primary and secondary source documents. Give each student a journal and ask them to go to each of the four stations to look at the documents and write about what they see, answering the questions provided. (They do not need to go to the stations in order. Students may disperse to view the documents individually, or you might choose to have them visit the various stations in assigned groups.) 3. Sharing their findings . After students have visited all four stations and returned to their seats with their journals completed, distribute copies of “Teaching with Documents: An Act of Courage, The Arrest Records of Rosa Parks.” Read the first paragraph of “Teaching with Documents,” then have students look at their answers from Station One.

  • What does Section 10 require bus drivers to do? (Answer: Keep the races separate on the bus.)
  • What kind of authority does Section 11 of the Montgomery City Code give bus drivers? (Answer: The same authority as police officers.)
  • How is the bus driver supposed to use his authority according to Section 11? (Answer: The bus driver is supposed to use his authority to keep the races separate.)

Read the second paragraph of “Teaching with Documents,” and direct students’ attention to the diagram of the bus. Show students the first ten seats that were designated as the white section of the bus. Point out that Rosa Parks was not in the white section of the bus. Ask the following questions:

  • Which rule in the Montgomery City Code that you just read support Rosa Parks’s position that she should not have to move? (Answer: She wasn’t in the white section; the races were still separate.)
  • What language in the Montgomery City Code supports the bus driver’s position? (Answer: The bus driver has the authority of a police officer. It is unlawful for “any passenger to refuse or fail to take a seat among those assigned to the race he belongs.”)

Read the third paragraph of “Teaching with Documents.” Remind students that Rosa Parks was charged with “refusing to obey orders of bus driver,” which was against the city code at the time. Remind them that there was a higher law, however: the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the highest law in the land. Ask students to review or apply what they have learned about the Fourteenth Amendment to this situation.

  • How was Rosa Parks’s arrest seemingly a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment? Was there a good and fair reason for her not to sit anywhere she liked on the bus?
  • Why were states able to have laws upholding segregation when the Constitution said that people were entitled to “equal protection under the law?”
  • Rosa Parks’s mother asked her, “Did they beat you?” How does her question demonstrate that the Fourteenth Amendment was not being upheld in Montgomery, Alabama?
  • From what you have learned from this account and others, does it seem like “separate” was ever “equal”? Give examples.

Read the fourth paragraph of “Teaching with Documents.” Emphasize to students that Mrs. Parks was very active in the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Tell them she is often portrayed as someone who was “just tired,” but in reality she was someone who had struggled against segregation for a long time. Look at page one of the police report from Rosa Parks’s arrest.

  • What did the bus driver say was the problem? (Answer: A black woman was sitting in the white section of the bus and would not move to the back.) Ask: Is that a true statement? Was Rosa Parks seated in the white section of the bus?
  • Which city code was Rosa Parks charged with violating? (Answer: Section 11: Powers of persons in charge of vehicle; passengers to obey directions.)
  • What date was this report written? (Answer: December 1, 1955)

Ask the following questions:

  • Is it always wrong to disobey laws and rules?
  • What are some consequences of disobeying laws and rules?

Explain that Rosa Parks and others in the civil rights movement disobeyed rules and laws and accepted the consequences as a way to demonstrate that the laws were unjust and wrong. By responding nonviolently to mistreatment, they were powerful in their efforts to bring about change. Look at page two of the police report from Rosa Parks’s arrest.

  • What does it list as the charges against Rosa Parks? (Answer: Refusing to obey orders of a bus driver.)
  • What is listed as Rosa Parks’ nationality? (Answer: Negro)
  • Nationality refers to the country in which one is born or of which one has become a citizen. Rosa Parks was born in America. Why do you think the police did not list her nationality as “American”? (Answers will vary.)
  • Does it seem from this report that African Americans in Montgomery were viewed as full-fledged American citizens? What would have been listed under “Nationality” if the police officer had viewed Rosa Parks as an American citizen?
  • How might being considered noncitizens affect the way African Americans were treated by police officers and other officials?
  • The Montgomery City Code says that equalbut separate accommodations must be provided for whites and “negroes.” Thinking about Rosa Parks’s experience, were equal accommodations provided?
  • What is the danger in saying things are equal when they are not?
  • What we have learned . Look back at the list the students developed at the beginning of the class, and ask them the following:
  • How much of their list was accurate?
  • What was inaccurate or perhaps a misconception?
  • What have they learned about Rosa Parks or the events of that day?
  • What is the value of working with primary source documents?

Help students understand how Rosa Parks’s arrest began the Montgomery Bus Boycott and led to Parks being known as the “mother of the modern civil rights movement.” Remind students that the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) declared that separate but equal educational facilities are unconstitutional—the decision pertained only to schools—and that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally ended segregation in public places. Correlations to SVPDP Curricula

Foundations of Democracy , Elementary School Level

      Authority:             Unit 1, Lessons 1 and 3

                                  Unit 2, Lessons 7 and 9

                                  Unit 4, Lesson 11

      Justice:                Unit 1, Lesson 1

                                  Unit 2, Lessons 2 and 3

                                  Unit 3, Lessons 5 and 6

                                  Unit 4, Lessons 9 & 10

      Responsibility:     Unit 1, Lesson 1

                                  Unit 2, Lessons 3 and 4

                                  Unit 3, Lessons 6 and 7

Foundations of Democracy , Middle School Level

      Authority:             Unit 1, Lessons 1 and 3

                                  Unit 3, Lesson 6

                                  Unit 4, Lessons 8 and 9

                                  Unit 5, Lessons 12 and 14

      Responsibility:     Unit 1 Lessons 1 and 2

                                  Unit 2, Lesson 4

                                  Unit 3, Lesson 5

                                  Unit 2, Lesson 3

                                  Unit 3, Lessons 7 and 8

                                  Unit 4, Lessons 10, 11, and 12

We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution

      Level 1 (Elementary)        Lesson 19

      Level 2 (Middle School)   Lesson 26

Project Citizen , Level 1

      “What is Public Policy and Who Makes It?” This lesson was developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, the contents of this lesson do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government. ©2012. Center for Civic Education. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely reproduce and use this lesson for nonprofit, classroom use only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies.

• Unit 1, Lessons 1 and 3 • Unit 2, Lessons 7 and 9 • Unit 4, Lesson 11
• Unit 1, Lesson 1 • Unit 2, Lessons 2 and 3 • Unit 3, Lessons 5 and 6 • Unit 4, Lessons 9 and 10

• Responsibility

• Unit 1, Lesson 1 • Unit 2, Lessons 3 and 4 • Unit 3, Lessons 6 and 7

Foundations of Democracy , Middle School Level • Authority

• Unit 1, Lessons 1 and 3 • Unit 3, Lesson 6 • Unit 4, Lessons 8 and 9 • Unit 5, Lessons 12 and 14
• Unit 1 Lessons 1 and 2 • Unit 2, Lesson 4 • Unit 3, Lesson 5
• Unit 1, Lesson 1 • Unit 2, Lesson 3 • Unit 3, Lessons 7 and 8 • Unit 4, Lessons 10, 11, and 12

• We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution

• Level 2 (Middle school), Lessons 26 and 29 • Level 3 (High school), Lessons 17 and 19

This lesson was developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, the contents do of this lesson do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government. © 2011, Center for Civic Education. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely reproduce and use this lesson for nonprofit, classroom use only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies.

[1] Patrick, John J. "Civic Education for Constitutional Democracy: An International Perspective. ERIC Digest." ERICDigests.Org - Providing Full-text Access to ERIC Digests . ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education Bloomington IN., 00 Dec. 1995. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. <http://www.ericdigests.org/1996-3/civic.htm>.

We the People

Center for Civic Education

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  Phone: (818) 591-9321

  Email: [email protected]

  Media Inquiries: [email protected]

  Website: www.civiced.org

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black history lesson plans middle school

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Black History Lesson Plans For Middle School Students

Lesson plans and multimedia resources curated for middle school students..

black history lesson plans middle school

Students Watch the following Black History Month Films Reflecting on the Fight for Civil Rights.

black history lesson plans middle school

The March for Freedom 1963

Nonviolent civil disobedience based on Christian beliefs started long before the 1963 peaceful protest, March for Freedom on Washington D.C. PASSWORD: 2march4freedom1963

black history lesson plans middle school

William D Matthews: A Cure for Rebellion

This documentary tells the story of William D. Matthews, , abolitionist, and Civil War veteran, who assisted African-Americans escaping from slavery using the Underground Railroad, and led troops to victory, as the first African-American officer, in the Civil War.

Black History Film Discussion Questions

1. What were the contributions of A. Phillip Randolph, Bayard Rustin and A.J. Muste to the Civil Rights Movement? 

2. What effect did the March for Freedom in 1963 have on the rights of individuals? What still needs to be done to ensure equal rights for all?  

3. William D. Mathews is an example of an unsung hero who fought for freedom. Who are other unsung heroes who have fought or are fighting for equal rights and freedom from discrimination? Consider sharing their story with MY HERO.

4. The students from Seaman High School produced the film honoring William D. Mathews. Students are encouraged to use this as an example of how to honor their hero through audio and images in film.

Black History Month | Featured Hero: John Lewis

black history lesson plans middle school

Citizenship

A film about John Lewis on citizenship and character: "To be a good citizen is to obey the rules...the laws. Unless those laws conflict with your conscience.

black history lesson plans middle school

Congressman John Lewis, Portrait by Robert Shetterly, AWTT.org

John Lewis was involved in the Civil Rights Movement as a young man and then later became a member the House of Representatives from the state of Georgia.

Congressman John Lewis Discussion Questions

1. In the film Citizenship, Congressman John Lewis states when the laws conflict with our conscience, we have an obligation to disobey the laws. Do you agree or disagree with Lewis?

2. Were the civil rights activists of the 1960s successful in changing the laws by breaking the laws? 

3. What character traits do you think a good citizen possesses?

4. As a student, what tools do you have in your power to affect laws in your country?

The following films, which were recognized at the MY HERO International Film Festival, are by young emerging African American student filmmakers.

black history lesson plans middle school

Racism Must Stop

black history lesson plans middle school

Heroes Wanted

black history lesson plans middle school

Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson has been recognized across the globe for the work that he has done to address poverty and racial inequality.

black history lesson plans middle school

An expressionistic account of a devastating historical event by emerging filmmaker Gabrielle Gorman.

Emerging Filmmakers Discussion Questions

1. How do these films look back at history and also tell us about the African American experience today?

2. How do each filmmaker's personal beliefs and individual styles influence the content of each film? 

3. How does racism still exist today? 

Amanda Gorman made history as America's First Youth Poet Laureate and read her poem "The Hill We Climb" at Joe Biden's Presidential Inauguration.

Learn more about Amanda Gorman by reading this story by Shannon Luders-Manuel.

Listen to Amanda Gorman reciting "The Hill We Climb".

black history lesson plans middle school

Amanda Gorman: The Poet Who Healed a Nation

black history lesson plans middle school

The Hill We Climb by Poet Hero Amanda Gorman

Audio of The Hill We Climb "For there was always light. If only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it." 

Black Lives Matter: Students learn about the Black Lives Matter Movement through art. 

black history lesson plans middle school

George Floyd

black history lesson plans middle school

Portrait of Breonna Taylor

black history lesson plans middle school

Breonna Taylor

black history lesson plans middle school

Ahmaud Arbery

Historian carter woodson - known as the father of black history month.

The historian Carter Woodson is known as the "Father of Black History Month." In 1926, he established Negro History Week. He chose the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Half a century later, this observance evolved into Black History Month, which we celebrate the entire month of February.

black history lesson plans middle school

Carter G. Woodson

Carter Woodson, "Father of Black History Month," founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History because the contributions of African Americans "were overlooked and ignored.

black history lesson plans middle school

From Slavery to Speeches: Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass understood the power of stories. He wrote several autobiographies through his life, from slavery to statesman. He was a powerful advocate for the Abolitionist and Suffragist movement, and famous orator and writer.

Carter Woodson started the Association for the Study of African American Life and History because he felt the contributions of African Americans were "overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them."

In light of Woodson's quote, why do you think Frederick Douglass wrote multiple autobiographies? What might have happened if he did not write down his life story?

W.E.B. Dubois and Katherine Johnson

Students read the stories about W.E.B. Dubois and Katherine Johnson and watch the middle school-produced film, Katherine Johnson, the Human-Computer . Then consider the discussion questions . 

black history lesson plans middle school

W.E.B. Dubois

Martin Luther King, Jr. said "history cannot ignore W.E.B. Dubois." Dubois was a leading 20th century writer and scholar who laid the intellectual foundations of African American literature and civil rights movement.

black history lesson plans middle school

Katherine Johnson

Her story was hidden for decades: Katherine Johnson plotted multiple flight courses for NASA, including the Apollo 11 spacecraft, the first spaceship to reach the moon. This story is available in text with audio.

black history lesson plans middle school

Katherine Johnson: The Human Computer

W.e.b. dubois and katherine johnson discussion questions.

1. Woodson thought the contributions of African Americans were overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who used them. How does Woodson's quote relate to the story of Katherine Johnson, and the title of the movie about her, Hidden Figures ?

2. Martin Luther King, Jr. said "history cannot ignore W.E.B. Dubois." Based on your reading of the story, what do you think King meant by his statement? Why is what he said true or not true? 

3. What can we do today to  keep stories from being overlooked, ignored or suppressed? 

Additional stories of black heroes in history across disciplines

black history lesson plans middle school

Constance Baker Motley

black history lesson plans middle school

Martin Luther King, Jr.

black history lesson plans middle school

The Word Revolutionist: James Baldwin

black history lesson plans middle school

Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Peter Norman

My hero black history month resources to enrich learning.

Click on the following thumbnails for curated stories, art and films on Civil Rights Heroes and World Leaders; Heroes in Art, Music & Literature; Sports Heroes; and Science Heroes, as we celebrate Black History Month.

black history lesson plans middle school

Black History Month | Civil Rights Heroes and World Leaders

MY HERO Celebrates Black History Month. Be Inspired by African American Civil Rights Heroes and World Leaders.

black history lesson plans middle school

Black History Month | Heroes in Music, Art, and Literature

MY HERO Celebrates Black History Month. Learn about Heroes in Music, Art, and Literature

black history lesson plans middle school

Black History Month | Heroes in Sports

MY HERO Celebrates Black History Month. Get inspired by African American Heroes in Sports.

black history lesson plans middle school

Black History Month | Heroes in the Sciences

MY HERO Celebrates Black History with this feature on African American Heroes in the Sciences

Black Lives Matter - Voices for Hope and Change Resource Showcase

black history lesson plans middle school

Learning Outcomes

As students recognize the contributions of individuals to the abolition of slavery and civil rights movement, they will develop critical thinking skills. Students will identity civil rights leaders who inspire them. Students are encouraged to stand up for their rights and the rights of others, both in their community and globally.  

Links to more Black History Month resources.

black history lesson plans middle school

15 great movies for kids and families for Black History Month

From USA Today: celebrate Black History Month by watching these movies that depict the lives of African-American heroes and the ongoing quest for greater human decency.

black history lesson plans middle school

Timeline of Black History from Infoplease

Mission: "Infoplease is a reference and learning site, combining the contents of an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas and several almanacs loaded with statistics, facts, and historical records. The content is written and edited by professional editors, and the site has received numerous awards and accolades since launch. Parents, teachers and librarians turn to Infoplease for information on an array of topics, including current events, pop culture, science, government and history. "

black history lesson plans middle school

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened Sept. 24, 2016, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Occupying a prominent 5-acre location next to the Washington Monument, the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history.

black history lesson plans middle school

Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum

Mission: "(1) To preserve, present, and interpret African American history and to engage a broad and diverse audience through these activities. (2) To promote an understanding among various groups that comprise the St. Petersburg community to enhance our ability as a society to respect, value diversity, and foster equal rights and social justice."

black history lesson plans middle school

Official Website | African American History Month

A joint tribute from The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

black history lesson plans middle school

PBS - 10 Little Known Black History Facts

America’s Largest Classroom As America’s largest classroom, PBS is available to all of America’s children – including those who can’t attend preschool – and offers educational media that help prepare children for success in school. PBS is committed to bringing the power of media into the classroom - helping educators to engage students in new and different ways.  

black history lesson plans middle school

Even More MY HERO Resources to Use in the Classroom

How to use MY HERO's Create Program to Publish Stories, Art, Film and Audio for Students

Tutorial for students: Publish written stories, film, original artwork and audio in MY HERO's multimedia library.

black history lesson plans middle school

Organizer created on 1/17/2023 12:26:48 PM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 2/2/2023 12:43:58 PM by Laura Nietzer

  • Grades 6-12
  • School Leaders

Black History Month for Kids: Google Slides, Resources, and More!

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40 Black History Month Activities for February and Beyond

Celebrate and inspire with these Black history lesson ideas.

Examples of Black History Month activities including creating a history museum and discovering archaeological monuments

We know that Black history is American history and needs to be embedded into your classroom experiences year-round. At the same time, Black History Month provides the necessary opportunity to dig deeper with students. Every February, we can support students as they learn more, discover cultural impacts, and follow social movements from the past to the present day. These Black History Month lessons and activities cannot be isolated or one-off classroom experiences. Think of how you can connect these topics to what you’re already doing and make it authentic. And most important, do not just focus on oppression: Focus on the joy too!

Since 1928, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History has provided a theme for Black History Month. In 2024, the theme is African Americans and the Arts .

1. Learn the basics about Black History Month

Watch an introductory video about Black History Month. Then ask students to write their questions about Black history and use those to curate your resources and lessons for the month.

2. Re-create civil rights freedom posters

Recreate Civil Rights Posters for black history month

The Civil Rights Movement Veterans site offers powerful examples of freedom movement posters, as does the Civil Rights Digital Library . Review them with your students, and then have them get into groups and create their own to share.

3. Explore Black history through primary sources from the National Archives

people playing basketball black history month

Primary sources are great discussion starters to talk about Black experiences. Choose from thousands of resources , including this 1970s photo series of Chicago.

4. Learn about famous Black artists

5 African-American Artists Who Inspire My Students' Creativity

Future Jacob Lawrences and Elizabeth Catletts will appreciate learning more about artists and expanding their own talents. Plus, check out these other Black artists .

5. Watch a Black History Month video

Get more specific information or do a deep dive into an area of Black history with a video about civil rights, slavery, accomplished Black Americans, and more.

Check out this list of Black history videos for students in every grade level.

Collage of video stills from videos for Black History Month

6. Learn about Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter group protesting

The Black Lives Matter site explains the group’s history while books like Dear Martin and  The Hate U Give explore the movement from a fictional perspective.

7. Learn about the inventor of the traffic light

Garrett Morgan invented the traffic light and patented the three-position traffic signal. Teach students about his achievements as an example of how Black Americans impact our everyday experiences. Watch a video about Morgan and talk about what inspired his invention and how being an African American impacted him as an inventor.

Buy it: Garrett Morgan Activity Pack at Amazon

8. Create a newsletter or magazine with content from Black authors

Have your students generate their own newsletter or literacy magazine to distribute to parents. Include poems and short stories by Black authors, as well as student-generated writings and images that center on Black History Month.

9. Read a Black History Month poem

To enhance our conversations this month, we’ve put together this list of powerful Black History Month poems for kids of all ages.

10. Listen to young poet Amanda Gorman

cover of Change Sings

Amanda Gorman is another accomplished Black American and a great introduction to Black poetry. Watch the poem she read at Barack Obama’s inauguration, read her book Change Sings , and learn about her at Poets.org.

Buy it: Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem at Amazon

11. Turn your classroom (or school!) into a history museum

student being simone biles for a school project for black history month

Have your students choose a notable Black pioneer they’d like to know more about, such as voting rights and women’s rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, dancer Alvin Ailey, or Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest full-time national parks ranger . Then, host a living museum right in your classroom.

12. Decorate your classroom door for Black History Month

Turn your classroom door into an educational experience. Check out how these teachers decorated their classroom doors in amazing ways to showcase Black History Month, and review this video with ideas.

13. Read books with Black characters in honor of Marley Dias

Marley Dias lying atop books with Black female characters

Dias is a young activist who started the #1000blackgirlbooks campaign as a sixth grader. She has compiled an excellent guide to books with Black girl characters . Check out WeAreTeachers’ list of books with Black protagonists as well.

14. Learn the story of the Henrietta Marie

henrietta marie underwater memorial for black history month activity

The Henrietta Marie was a slave ship that sunk off the coast of Florida. Learn about the ship, its journey, and the underwater memorial that honors African slaves. Get more information about the Henrietta Marie at National Geographic.

15. Experience the I Have a Dream speech from multiple perspectives

a place to land cover

Read A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation by Barry Wittenstein. Then, watch the I Have a Dream Speech online, and explore resources about the speech at National Geographic . Engage students in discussing why this speech is so important in American history and why it continues to resonate today.

Buy it: A Place to Land at Amazon

16. Meet Oprah

Oprah Winfrey is a name every student knows, learn more about this influential Black American in this interview:

17. Read Black History Month books

Example of Black History Month books, including Young, Gifted and Black and The Undefeated.

If you’re looking for more reading activities, these picture books help celebrate Black History Month and educate your students on how these influential Black people helped shape history.

18. Learn the art of stepping

Black Women stepping

Stepping is a form of dancing in which the body itself is used to create unique rhythms and sounds. The website Step Afrika!  has videos and information about the history of stepping.

19. Take a virtual field trip to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Black and white photo from the Emmett Till Project

The digital collections of the Schomburg Center, located in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, feature some amazing online exhibits, interviews, and podcasts.

20. Virtually visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Photo of Black women from the Smithsonian collection

You can browse the collection online by topic, date, or place.

21. Host a poetry reading featuring works by Black poets

Have students choose a poem by a Black poet to learn and recite for the class. Choose a student to serve as the emcee, write up a program, and set the tone with dimmed lights and jazz music played between performances. The Poetry Foundation has excellent resources that can help get you started.

Here’s inspiration with Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise:

22. Check out online Black history exhibits

Online classroom exhibits for Black History Month

Educating yourself and your students with these shows is one more way to understand Black history and the current moment.

23. Dive into Georgia Stories: Black History Collection on PBS

As a state, Georgia played a huge role in the 2020 presidential election, and its Black history dates back to the earliest days of slavery in the colony.

24. Discuss implicit bias, systemic racism, and social justice

Classroom lessons on Race, Racism, and Police Violence

Start a much-needed discussion around implicit bias and systemic racism with these resources that can empower students to fight for justice in our society.

25. Read and discuss Freedom in Congo Square

Freedom in Congo Square book for Black History lessons

The award-winning picture book Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie is a nonfiction children’s book that describes the tyranny of slavery to help young readers understand how jubilant Sundays were for slaves.

Buy it: Freedom in Congo Square at Amazon

26. Watch Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History

Netflix website screenshot for Kevin Hart's Guide to Black History

Kevin Hart highlights the fascinating contributions of Black history’s unsung heroes in this entertaining—and educational—comedy special.

27. Recognize Black visionaries

African American Visionaries classroom poster

This great poster featuring activists, artists, authors, and revolutionaries will highlight Black changemakers in your classroom. Use companion activities to deepen understanding by researching several of the visionaries and asking students to write a story or create their own poster about what they’ve learned.

28. Review a timeline of Black history

Black History month timeline

Why is Black History Month in February? How long ago was it founded, and who started it? Find the answers to these questions and learn more with this timeline .

29. Explore the music of Black artists

The history of African American music lesson plans for classroom

This lesson traces the long history of how Black artists have used music as a vehicle for communicating beliefs, aspirations, observations, joy, despair, resistance, and more across U.S. history.

30. Sample Black-founded snack brands

Examples of a variety of black-founded snack foods

Honor Black History Month with delicious snacks from Black-founded brands delivered to your classroom—5% of proceeds are donated to the Equal Justice Initiative and one meal is donated to Feeding America for every box delivered.

31. Understand the role of Black women in NASA’s history

hidden figures movie poster

How much do your students know about Black contributions to space exploration? Rent the film Hidden Figures and watch with your students to remember, honor, and share the incredible accomplishments of three Black women working on NASA’s space flight program. Before watching the movie, research the liberties the film took in telling the story and discuss with your students the function of the choices. Did the filmmakers make the right choices?

Watch it: Hidden Figures at Amazon

32. Support local Black-owned businesses

Research your city’s Black-owned businesses and see if you can purchase a sample of their products, invite some of the entrepreneurs to speak to your class, or book a field trip!

33. Stream Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices on Netflix

illustrations of a diverse range of family structures and their kids with the title Bookmarks written across the front.

“ Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices is a live-action collection of 12 five-minute episodes featuring prominent Black celebrities and artists reading children’s books from Black authors that highlight the Black experience.”

34. Celebrate the “Black Lives Matter at School” movement

black lives matter at school banner

“Black Lives Matter at School” is a national coalition organized for racial justice in education. It encourages all educators, students, parents, unions, and community organizations to join an annual week of action during the first week of February each year.​ For a variety of Black History Month activities, visit their website to learn more about their campaign .

35. Watch a historic moment

barack and michelle obama at the inauguration

When Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009, it was a monumental day for Black History. Watch his inauguration and discuss what this meant for American history.

36. Analyze Hair Love

You can approach the book Hair Love by Matthew Cherry in a few ways. Talk about the importance of representation in picture books and media, have students share their connections with the story, or analyze the book as a story about modern Black families.

Buy it: Hair Love at Amazon

37. Study the Underground Railroad

before she was harriet cover

Examine the Underground Railroad using various sources, like the picture book biography Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome. National Geographic has a collection of resources about the Underground Railroad . And you can take a virtual tour of the Harriet Tubman museum.

Buy it: Before She Was Harriet at Amazon

38. Research Juneteenth

African americans during a juneteenth celebration for black history month activities

Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the freedom of enslaved people. Learn about Juneteenth , how it came about, and what it means to Black Americans with these National Geographic resources.

39. Listen to musician Rhiannon Giddens

As she was trying to understand and make sense of violence against Black Americans in 2020, folk musician Rhiannon Giddens wrote and released the song “Build a House.” The song came out on the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth. The song, which was made into a picture book, captures 400 years of Black history in a lyrical and thoughtful way. Use Giddens’ book either to introduce or wrap up a month on Black history.

Read an essay about the song , and watch the video.

Buy it: Build a House at Amazon

40. Study the pivotal court case Loving v. Virginia

Mildred and Richard Loving from the Loving v Virginia case

Loving v. Virginia, decided in 1967, made marriage between people of different races legal. Learn about the Loving decision and why it’s important at National Geographic.

Plus, get inspiration from these Black History Month bulletin boards for your classroom .

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Celebrate the art, poetry, music, inventions, and contributions of Black Americans with these Black History Month activities.

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Black History Month ELA Activities & Resources

black history month ela activities and resources

Looking for ways to acknowledge Black History Month in the ELA classroom? Look no further. This post covers various poems, short stories, and engaging activities that are perfect for celebrating black voices in literature this month and beyond.

With February being Black History Month, it’s the perfect time to showcase the black voices of the past and present in the ELA classroom. While I encourage you to extend the representation of black authors across the school year, Black History Month provides a springboard for meaningful and relevant discussions around race, identity, inequality, and literature in general.

There are many ways to incorporate Black History Month in the ELA classroom, between reading influential works of literature, researching to influence people, and holding meaningful discussions. To help you celebrate Black History Month in your ELA classroom, I’ve put together a list of poems, short stories, and activities you can teach this month and beyond.

Poems to Teach During Black History Month

Poetry might be one of my favorite ways to celebrate black voices in the ELA classroom during Black History Month. Not only do these poems highlight black voices, but they also make for engaging discussions, critical thinking, and enlightening analysis. Regardless of how you choose to incorporate these poems into your classroom, one thing cannot be denied: while the poems below are short, the messages they carry run deep.

1. “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes

At its core, this poem is about resilience and hope, despite the difficulties life throws your way. Hughes beautifully employs an extended metaphor about climbing a set of stairs, contrasting the staircase climbed by whites versus people of color. While the message of resilience is certainly universal, the poem serves as a well-crafted representation of determination and survival in the face of American racism in the 1920s.

After reading the poem, it’s always fun to ask students to write a parent-to-child poem to their hypothetical future child. What would be the advice and encouragement they would give?

2. “I, Too” by Langston Hughes

“I, Too” is another beautifully crafted poem by Hughes that explores themes of racism and the American identity. The poem, told through the eyes of a black man, details the realities of finding one’s American identity as a black man during the Harlem Renaissance. However, the power of the poem lies in its prideful tone as the speaker of the poem stands by the fact that, despite racial inequalities, he is part of America.

This poem is a great segue into a discussion about whether or not the words and themes still resonate with minorities in America today.

i too by langston hughes poetry analysis

3. “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou

Angelou crafts a poignant yet inspirational message with her poem, “Still I Rise.” This is a poem about resilience, self-respect, and self-love. “Still I Rise” tells a story of loving oneself despite the judgment, hate, and oppression from others. It’s a story of not letting life’s hardships determine one’s worth or success. Have students analyze how the repetition of the phrase “still I rise” throughout the poem emphasizes the poem’s overall message.

With its references to historical and current challenges faced by the black community, this poem is a great discussion starter around the black identity in America as well as self-acceptance and determination. 

4. “For My People” by Margaret Walker

Walker’s poem is a beautiful tale of love and heartache, hardships and triumphs, and challenges and resilience. She skillfully explores these paradoxes throughout the piece, crafting a message of both tragic truth and hopes for the future. Have students unpack the references Walker makes throughout her poem, discussing how they come together to tell a powerful and thought-provoking history of African Americans.

Students can analyze the structure and strong diction Walker employed through her poem and how it balances a sense of racial injustice while building toward her message of hope, resilience, and freedom.

5. The Laws of Motion by Nikki Giovanni

Introduce Giovanni’s “The Laws of Motion” by asking students if they can recall Newton’s Laws of Motion.  Not only does this call upon student’s prior knowledge, but it opens the doors for some really powerful discussions after reading Giovanni’s poem as students connect the dots between Newton’s scientific findings and the poem’s underlying message: just like the Laws of Motion are constantly impacting everyday life, so are the realities of racism, discrimination, and stereotypes of people of color.

Students can unpack the implications this poem has regarding racism, identity, and humanity in general.

6. American History by Michael S. Harper

Michael S. Harper’s “American History” is the perfect example of how few words can say much. While the entire poem is just 39 words, it packs a powerful punch. First published in 1970, the poem is rooted in reference to a 1960s church bombing in Birmingham that killed four young girls. Have students look up the incident to strengthen their understanding of Harper’s allusion used to call out the injustices and tragedies faced by black people throughout history.

The poem ends with a powerful question, “Can’t find what you can’t see, can you?” to call out the continued ignorance of the American people around the realities of racism in both the past and present, giving students plenty to talk about.

7. “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman

At just 22 years old, Gorman’s youthful inspiration resonates with younger generations as she calls for hope, resilience, and unity. I recommend showing a video of Gorman reading her poem at the 2021 Inauguration to achieve full effect. I love asking students to unpack Gorman’s final lines:  “For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” What are the implications of these final words on our students? On society as a whole?

This poem makes for a powerful and inspiring  modern-day connection to many of the other poems on the list, including “Mother to Son,” “Still I Rise,” and “For My People.”

Short Stories to Teach During Black History Month

Short stories are another powerful learning tool for exposing students to a variety of voices and perspectives. They make for great mentor texts when teaching literary devices or conducting close readings . Additionally, they are the perfect short texts to pair with longer novel studies. Discover some of my favorite short stories by black authors to teach during Black History Month and beyond in the list below.

1. “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston’s story is a strong example of characterization, specifically the development of protagonist Delia’s character, which ultimately leads to her sense of victory following the story’s plot-twist end.

2. “Main Street” by Jacqueline Woodson

While race isn’t a glaring focus of the story, Woodson does a beautiful job candidly weaving in instances of racial prejudices throughout this story, providing a springboard for deeper discussion.

3. Everyday Use” by Alice Walker

This story is an excellent way for students to explore internal and external conflict while discussing the prominent themes of individual identity and cultural, societal, and familial norms and expectations. It’s also a great example of first-person narration.

4. “Thank You, M’am” by Langston Hughes

In addition to having wonderful characterization, this story is a short, yet powerful piece about the power of kindness and empathy and the implications of stereotypes and passing judgment on others.

thank you maam escape room

5.  “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid

.This story is the perfect opportunity to guide students toward a meaningful discussion around expectations and the influence and control parents can have over their children’s identities. As you can imagine, students have a lot to say about this matter. 

6. “So What Are You, Anyway?” by Lawrence Hill

Students must read between the lines to understand the message and growing tension in Lawrence Hill’s “So What Are You, Anyway?” Thanks to Hill’s strong use of indirect characterizations, this is the perfect piece for students to practice making inferences.

7. “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara

Students always find this story highly relatable as they recall their own experiences of realizing the harsh realities of the world in which we live. Furthermore, this story is the perfect springboard for discussions around social, racial, and financial inequality.

8. “Recitatif” by Toni Morrison

In addition to unpacking the relationship between the two main characters, students will love the challenge of deciding which character is which race, opening the doors for discussion about race relations and stereotypes.

Engaging Activities for Black History Month in the ELA Classroom

Incorporating Black History Month in the ELA classroom should go beyond reading black voices. There are tons of ways to immerse your students on a deeper level, engaging them in various activities that promote deeper insight and inspire further critical thought.

Here are some of my favorite activities for Black History Month:

  • Black History Month One-pager : Have students research important African American figures in literature or history in general and compile a concise and creative one-pager report. Alternatively, you can assign a one-pager project to accompany any of the short stories or poems mentioned in this post. Use these one-pager templates for hassle-free planning.
  • Blackout Poetry: Assigning a blackout poetry project is a great way to get students thinking deeply about the power words hold to relay themes, emotions, and experiences. Have students create blackout poetry using pages from the works of black authors to summarize a specific concept or theme, or even to express their own identities.
  • Black History Month Bulletin Board: This digital interactive bulletin board is the perfect activity to engage students with Black History Month. This project gets students to research, analyze, synthesize, and make connections as they explore important figures who have changed the course of race relations and social justice in America.
  • Literary Device Scavenger Hunt: A scavenger hunt is an engaging activity for getting students to interact with the work of black authors while reviewing the impact literary devices can have on a piece of literature. Set up various stations with an array of excerpts, short stories, and poems by black authors and send students on a scavenger hunt to find examples of a list of literary devices.
  • Quote of the Day: Kicking off class with a quote of the day is a simple yet engaging way to start the day. For the month of February, focus on using quotes by influential black figures as an effective way to acknowledge their contributions to literature, history, science, and society as a whole. These quotes provide a low barrier to entry for engaging classroom discussions and help set the tone for the rest of the class period.

A Final Word on Teaching During Black History Month

Teaching during Black history month is so much more than talking about the Civil Rights Movement. We can’t stop at discussing key figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Ruby Bridges. Instead, Black History Month is the perfect opportunity to showcase diversity even within Black voices in literature.

I hope this post inspires you and helps you shake things up when teaching Black voices during Black History Month and beyond.

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black history lesson plans middle school

7 Free Lesson Plans to Teach Black History All Year Long

Classkick Blog

Classkick Blog

by Briana Kelly

Black History Month may be ending, but the importance of teaching it isn’t. We think celebrating Black History should happen all year long, not just one month! African American history is a huge part of American history. Everyone benefits from knowing about the struggles and contributions of Black leaders throughout history.

Classkick is always striving to help teachers, and one of our company-wide core values is Work Toward Justice. That’s why we created this curated collection of 7 incredible new, FREE lessons for Black History Month and beyond! Teach an inspiring reading, music, ELA, or social studies lesson — with only a few seconds of prep time. Best of all, Classkick lessons work equally well in both the physical classroom and the online classroom.

To help you pick the best lessons for your classroom, Classkick Customer Implementation Specialist Bri Kelly shares more about each one. As always, you can copy these lesson plans to your Classkick account with a single click to modify them as much as you want. Now, join Bri for a closer look at these free assignments:

Meet Black authors and activists and scientists (oh my!)

Influential Black Americans (Grade Level: Primary or Elementary)

Introduce your classroom to influential Black Americans throughout history and the impact of their contributions. They’ll also have a chance to appreciate the power of names by using Classkick’s audio tool to practice the names of each Black History Month star. At the end of the assignment, we left space for students to reflect on Black leaders within their community. Inspire pride and greatness in the whole class with this uplifting free lesson!

Special thanks to The Tutu Teacher for creating the PDF this free social studies lesson is based on!

TIP: the voice recording tool is a great way to store examples of students saying their names, especially during your first few weeks together.

Teach features of nonfiction texts with Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Nonfiction Text Features (Upper Elementary Grade Level)

Martin Luther King, Jr. may be the most famous leader of the Civil Rights Movement. But how much do your students really know about him? This pre-differentiated lesson plan will help your students learn more about Dr. King’s legacy and impact, both on African American history and the world as we know it. Students will learn more about MLK Jr. through nonfiction texts, photos, and captions. Teachers can check for understanding by having the class create their own captions for photos and timelines.

We love this lesson because it shows how easy Classkick makes differentiation, scaffolding, and personalized learning. Struggling students can drag manipulatives off hints to scaffold themselves. Early finishers and curious minds can extend their learning with videos about MLK Jr. at the end of the assignment.

TIP: Create “hint boxes” to allow students to self-scaffold throughout assignments.

Dive into history and find out what Juneteenth is all about

Juneteenth Article + Questions (Grade Level: Middle or High School)

Less than a year ago, Juneteenth finally became recognized as a federal holiday. This assignment provides middle and high schoolers with the context and details behind this exciting and important day. Throughout this interactive lesson, secondary students will learn why and how Juneteenth became a day to celebrate freedom for formerly enslaved Black Americans. Use Classkick’s multiple choice feature to check for understanding, then edit everyone’s slide at once to clarify any points of confusion.

TIP: Auto-grade formative assessments instantly by assigning points to each multiple choice question.

Make a new friend and attend a story time about Black inventors

Have You Thanked An Inventor Today? (Grade Level: Primary or Elementary)

Take your class to a virtual story time with this exciting lesson! Join a young friend on an adventure to learn more about different inventions that he uses throughout the day, all of which were invented by African Americans. Multiple choice questions ensure comprehension, and voice prompts give students a chance to verbally discuss their favorite inventions. And just to make sure this is the best story time ever, we included a fun word search to wrap up the lesson!

TIP: Links outside of YouTube + Vimeo videos will open in a new tab.

Monitor reading progress with Jackie Robinson, the first Black baseball player

Jackie Robinson Reading Journal (Grade level: Upper Elementary)

This assignment is perfect for upper elementary students — especially those who LOVE sports but aren’t so sure about reading. Students can build reading fluency with Classkick’s recording tool as they read about one of the greatest baseball players of all time. This is a great way to effortlessly gather running records and reading fluency data while your class enjoys an engaging text. We didn’t forget about comprehension, though. This lesson also provides plenty of opportunities for students to practice writing about what they’ve learned, including sentence summaries and favorite facts.

TIP: Consider recording your own read-aloud and then having students create their own for either the same text or a different one, depending on reading ability and scaffolding needs.

Engage students with music by Black artists

Just Like Music (An Ode to Black Musical Artists) (Middle + Early High School)

Black artists have influenced music for decades. Some of the ways may even surprise teachers! Whether you teach music or not, strike the right chord with your classroom with this relaxing lesson on Black musicians.

This assignment highlights some of the most popular Black musical artists in recent history. Students in grades 6–10 will have the opportunity to share what Black History means to them while learning about the true roots of African American music. After using manipulatives and line tools to link musicians, songs, genres, and definitions, everyone will reflect on their favorite Black artists and the influence their music has had on students’ lives.

TIP: Tap into students’ creativity and have them write their own song. Copy student work to a portfolio when they’re done!

Teach SEL and ELA with Nina Simone

Nina Simone Poem Analysis (Middle School)

This assignment supports both SEL and ELA standards while introducing middle-schoolers to the power of poetry. Use this lesson to create a space for students to evaluate how they feel after reading the lyrics to I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free, as performed by Nina Simone herself. Open-ended questions help students find the beauty of subjective analysis of poetry and lyrics. Next, dig deep into critical thinking skills with a big discussion question: what does it truly mean to be free?

TIP: take this lesson to the top of Bloom’s taxonomy by having students create their own poetry. Enable workshopping with Classkick’s Peer Helpers feature, which keeps each poet anonymous. You can even turn on anonymity for the whole class and share your screen with students to show everyone’s amazing work!

BONUS TIP: Incorporate speaking standards by having students use the recording tool while reading their poems aloud at home.

Teachers, do you plan on teaching Black History beyond February? If so, which of these free lessons do you think will engage students the most? Be sure to tell us which ones are your favorite (and why) so we can keep making more. And don’t forget to follow our blog and social media accounts — we’re already working on our next curated collection of free lesson plans for you! (Because who doesn’t want a free lesson plan?)

Classkick Blog

Written by Classkick Blog

Classkick is a digital notebook app making effective teaching easier. Give more feedback in less time. Automate the busy work so you can do the important work.

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The Black History That Moves Us: A Resource List for Educators

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Beyond February: Teaching Black History Any Day, Every Day, and All Year Long, K–3 (book)

This guide by Dawnavyn James (who also contributed to this resource list) supports elementary educators in their Black history instruction. Because Black history is often taught during February, this book dives into ways that Black history can be taught throughout the school year.

The book includes examples from the classroom and additional resources for educators to use in their classrooms. There are templates for educators, frequently asked questions about elementary Black history instruction, and strategies for reading Black-history-centered picture books.

012024 op BHM King Cover Art 1

Beyond February gives examples of what Black history can look like in social studies, literacy, math, and science instruction and weaves in personal stories of the author’s experience teaching Black history in elementary classrooms.

Black Lives Matter at School, edited by Denisha Jones & Jesse Hagopian (book)

This text chronicles National Black Lives Matter at School , a movement that began in Seattle in 2016, through interviews, essays, poems, lessons, and depictions of campaigns.

The book includes writings from leading voices in anti-racist education like Bettina Love and Wayne Au but also highlights the work of teachers, community and union activists, and, most importantly, the students who have built this national movement through a variety of activities, events, and its annual week of action in February. (This year, the week of action will occur Feb. 5-9.)

Part activist guide, part autobiographical account, it reveals the struggles and challenges to institutional racism in schools by focusing on the movement’s four key demands: 1) ending zero-tolerance discipline practices, 2) mandating Black history and ethnic-studies classes, 3) hiring more Black teachers, and 4) funding counselors, not police officers, for schools.

“ Coded Bias ” (documentary)

This Netflix documentary was created by MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini to expose the racial bias, sexism, and flaws of artificial intelligence, facial-recognition technology, and software algorithms. This documentary encourages educators to more closely analyze the role of technology, specifically generative artificial intelligence, and to advocate ethical and inclusive technology.

Included are stories of algorithmic discrimination related to policing, surveillance, hiring practices, technology, and housing. Each story gives viewers an in-depth exploration of how data and algorithms can reinforce existing inequalities and harm marginalized communities.

Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness by Simone Browne (book)

This book examines the intersection of surveillance and race. Browne delves into the history of surveillance technologies and practices, highlighting how Black bodies have been surveilled, controlled, and commodified throughout history, from the era of slavery to modern surveillance technologies.

Dark Matters informs us of the history, strategy, planning, and technologies behind the creation of the slave ship. When it comes to teaching slavery in the United States, we can no longer shy away from the brutal truth of transporting, branding, owning, selling, and tracking Black bodies across land and sea.

“ High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America ” (docuseries)

This Netflix docuseries centers not just on the richness of African American cuisine but also on the richness of Black history. Food journalist Stephen Satterfield and culinary historian Jessica B. Harris trace the origins of different dishes and highlight the history of Black people, their culture, and a variety of cooking techniques and recipes.

“High on the Hog” can be used by educators and families alike to educate children and themselves about the people and places that cultivate the culture and meals that nourish the souls of Black people.

Through the two seasons of this docuseries, viewers get to hear stories of resistance and agency, meet historical and modern chefs, and learn innovative recipes.

Histematics (video)

Histematics, a concept created by former Philadelphia public school teacher Akil Parker, is a combination of history and mathematics. Parker offers a unique approach when encouraging pre- and in-service teachers to combine subjects, specifically history and mathematics. Through the concept of Histematics, he has been able to attract and engage the attention of many as his theory of mathematics education continues to evolve.

Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery (online archive)

After the Civil War, finding family members was a priority for formerly enslaved people. Launched in 2017 as a collaboration between Villanova University’s graduate history program and Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Last Seen is an extensive collection of primary-source ads from across the country placed by family members searching to reconnect with loved ones. The ads reveal the perseverance, hope, and problem-solving of the Black community during and after Reconstruction.

The ads can be searched by location, specific term, and name, and a variety of filters can be used to narrow down results. An interactive global map indicates the locations where ads were placed or appeared. Last Seen also includes several lesson plans for elementary through high school on how to use the primary sources to learn about the domestic slave trade, the lives of the enslaved, resistance, and family separation.

Teaching White Supremacy by Donald Yacovone (book)

This 2022 book chronicles the deliberate creation of a white supremacist narrative that has been pervasive in our country’s educational system, especially in K-12 textbooks and curriculum . Yacovone explores how ideologies of white supremacy have deep roots in education starting with the nation’s inception and continuing to the present day and have become a major part of our collective national identity.

For teachers, this resource provides an argument to teach diverse perspectives and to critique what (and most importantly who) is considered an American. In these divisive times, this book provides important historical context to current attacks on teachers, books, and school boards teaching about race, racism, and white supremacy in the classroom.

Suggested Instagram Pages:

  • @iamblacklit : a Black, woman-owned bookstore featuring all-Black authors
  • @HBCUprepschool : a Black-owned shop with books and other instructional and learning materials created for children by founder Claudia Walker
  • @justice4blackgirls : a Black, women-owned platform to amplify voices of Black girls and women

Explore the Collection

Read more from historians and educators celebrating the history and progression of Black history education. In this special Opinion collection, explore the history of the discipline and find resources for teachers today.

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Musicians to celebrate, books to read, songs, games, and lesson ideas.

Black History Month in the Music Room

  • Classroom Ideas

Musicians to celebrate, books to read, songs, games, and lesson ideas.

Teaching lessons themed around Black History Month can be a great way to celebrate and reflect. In this blog post I wanted to talk about several ways that you can make authentic connections and include Black History Month in your classroom.  I’ll discuss black musicians to celebrate, literature to incorporate, and lesson ideas for songs and games that you can play.

Black Musicians to Celebrate

One easy way to incorporate Black History Month in the classroom is to take time to learn about influential black musicians. There aren’t many black composers that we know of in the Baroque, Classical, or Romantic musical periods but the last few hundred years are bursting with examples of black musicians who have been innovators in their fields and changed music as we know it.  Here are a few examples that I try and highlight every year.

Scott Joplin was a self-taught musician who left home at the age of 16 to try and make it big as a professional musician. Joplin became famous for a type of music called “Ragtime.”  His pieces “Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer” are two of the most famous rags of all time.

This poster is part of a set called Legends of Jazz on TPT http://bit.ly/LegendsJazz

Miles Davis was a jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named him “one of the key figures in the development of jazz.” The music that Davis created and performed with his musical groups helped to shape jazz music variations including bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, and jazz fusion.

Duke Ellington was a composer, pianist, and bandleader of jazz orchestras (big band). Ellington was a pivotal figure in the development of jazz and many believe that he helped to change the perception of jazz from something very basic into a true art form. Ellington collaborated with countless musicians and created over 1,500 compositions in all styles and forms.

Bessie Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s and earned herself the title “The Empress of the Blues.” She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and, along with Louis Armstrong, a major influence on other jazz vocalists.

This poster is part of a set called Celebrating 25 Black Musicians on TPT http://bit.ly/BHMBest

Jimi Hendrix was a musician, guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Hendrix was known for his impressive guitar playing and stage presence and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame calls him “one of the greatest instrumentalists in the history of rock music.”

Whitney Houston was a singer, actress, producer, and model. Houston was one of pop music’s best selling artists and was noted by Guinness World Records as the most awarded female act of all time.

Michael Jackson was a singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Jackson started out with his brothers as part of “The Jackson 5” but he went on to have a successful pop music solo career. His innovative music videos helped to break down racial barriers and transform music videos into an art form. Jackson was an amazing dancer and live performer. He created and popularized the Robot and the Moonwalk.

Leontyne Price is an opera singer who rose to international acclaim in the 1950s and 1960s and was one of the first African Americans to become a leading artist at the Metropolitan Opera. Price has been honored by the Kennedy Center, Grammy Awards, National Endowment for the Arts, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She has been honored more than any other classical singer.

This bulletin board is a GREAT way to celebrate Black Musicians during Black History Month or any time of year.

Learning Through Literature

In college I took a World Religions class and had a wonderful semester learning about cultures, traditions, and people from around the world. One of my favorite elements of the course was our required reading. My professor knew that many/all of the students in her class were born and raised in the Midwest and didn’t have much exposure to any of the world religions we would discuss in the course (except for maybe Christianity or Judaism).  So, one of the course requirements was to read novels where the main characters believed and practiced one of the world faiths we were studying. The idea was that we would immerse ourselves in a story and get personal insights from the very people who live the religion day in and day out. By reading their narratives we would learn more about the nuance and balance of each faith than we ever would by reading a textbook.

So, I’ve taken that idea and applied it to my classroom. I try to find books that feature the stories of black musicians, composers, and performers. Even if I can’t read them all in class during the month of February I put them out in a place where my students can see them and I share some with my elementary school librarian. I read at least one book to each grade and often I couple them with a guided listening lesson. Below you’ll find several examples of books that I use in my classroom!

Here’s a longer list with lots of great books to use during Black History Month!

This is a story of the first African-American prima ballerina, Janet Collins.

Songs, Games, and Lesson Ideas

There are so many different lessons and songs that you could teach during Black History Month and I’m going to take a moment to focus on two different things: Playground Game Songs and Spirituals.

Playground Game Songs

So many of the game songs, chants, and rhymes that we use in the music room each year find their origins on the playgrounds of African American children. Songs like “Draw Me a Bucket of Water,” “Shoo Turkey,” “Little Sally Walker,” “Charlie Over the Ocean,” and “All Round the Brickyard,” either originated with the African American community or were made popular and spread widely by black children all over the country.  So I teach the songs and the games and then take a moment to make students aware of the history and connections behind the song.  When we repeat those songs and play those games we join in to the tradition and honor those children who sang for years before us.

There are a variety of really wonderful resources for African American Game songs. Two books I recommend are “Step It Down” by Bessie Jones and Bess Lomax Hawes and “Juba This and Juba That” by Darlene Powell Hopson and Derek Hopson. You can also find some really wonderful resources for free on the blog Pancocojams which showcases the music, dances, language practices, and customs of African Americans and of other people of black descent throughout the world.

Teach about the backstory, vocabulary, and historical context of each Spiritual.

I know that some people hesitate to teach Spirituals because they are connected to slavery and sometimes religion (many mention God or Jesus). I haven’t yet met opposition from parents or administration when teaching Spirituals but I’m always ready just in case. I always remind kids that we learn Spirituals because they are an important part of our American heritage.  They might detail a dark part of our history, but it’s a part that we don’t want to forget lest it happen again.  On top of that, Spirituals are so important to music history as they led to the development of the Blues and Jazz and also have a place among the American hymn tradition.  Here’s a great series of resources for teaching Spirituals, their backstory, and vocabulary.

My last suggestion for incorporating Black History Month into your classroom is to be well-equipped.  Do your research with the resources you have and/or seek out the books I mentioned above.  I’ve included links to Amazon but you can also look for each book in your local or school library.  Do some searching online, ask other teachers in your district, and plan ahead.  The best lessons are the ones where you feel confident about the content and process.

Teaching Black History Month in the music room doesn’t mean that every lesson every day needs to be all about black history.  Include that listening lesson on Louis Armstrong in one grade and the book about Ella Fitzgerald in another.  Teach “Miss Mary Mack” to one class and do a unit on Spirituals in another.  You can even use these lessons to help fulfill state and national standards about connecting music to history, culture, and other subjects outside the arts.  The more you think about ways to include black history into your lessons the better your lessons will become and the more authentic the learning.

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To celebrate Black History Month in February—and the rich tradition of African American poetry all year long—browse this selection of teaching resources featuring poems by Gwendolyn Brooks , Langston Hughes , Marilyn Nelson , and Claudia Rankine , among others.

more black history month resources

On Marilyn Nelson's My Seneca Village

On marilyn nelson's poem “1905”, teach this poem: "cento between the ending and the end" by cameron awkward-rich, teach this poem: "haircut" by elizabeth alexander, teach this poem: “the bean-eaters” by gwendolyn brooks, teach this poem: “the sonnet-ballad” by gwendolyn brooks, teach this poem: "the tradition" by jericho brown, teach this poem: “country of water” by mahogany l. browne, teach this poem: “when fannie lou hamer said” by mahogany l. browne, teach this poem: “miss mary mack introduces her wings" by tyree daye, teach this poem: “a place in the country” by toi derricotte, teach this poem: “a small needful fact” by ross gay, teach this poem: “knoxville, tennessee” by nikki giovanni, teach this poem: “resignation” by nikki giovanni, a reading guide to langston hughes, teach this poem: “theme for english b” by langston hughes, teach this poem: “as i grew older” by langston hughes, teach this poem: "roman poem number thirteen" by june jordan, teach this poem: “imagine” by kamilah aisha moon, teach this poem: “making history” by marilyn nelson, incredible bridges: “from citizen, vi [on the train the woman standing]” by claudia rankine, teach this poem: "old south meeting house" by january gill o'neil, teach this poem: "black laws" by roger reeves, teach this poem: “little prayer" by danez smith, teach this poem: “declaration” by tracy k. smith, teach this poem: "violin" by nikki wallschlaeger, teach this poem: “this body ii” by renée watson, teach this poem: "on being brought from africa to america" by phillis wheatley, incredible bridges: “praise song for the day” by elizabeth alexander, the african american experience, we sing america, newsletter sign up.

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🎨 Discover Art Class Curator’s Black History Month Art Lessons Bundle! - 90% off🌟

February 21, 2019 1 Comment

Teaching the Past, Creating the Future: Black History Month Art Lessons

Inside: A collection of posts and resources with artworks by Black artists, civil rights art, African art, art projects, book suggestions, and more to teach Black History art lessons.

black history month art lessons

When students are exposed to a variety of works of art, they learn about the world and themselves. Children deserve to see the wide variety of possibilities in art, both in terms of art making and the artists behind the works. 

Black History Month is a time to discuss the history and celebrate the contributions of Black culture and individuals. These lessons should not be kept solely in the history classroom. Looking at art helps students develop empathy , flex thinking and observation skills, connect with history , get in touch with their creative side, and savor the human spirit. Black History Month offers art teachers a fantastic opportunity to feature Black artists and artworks about Black history in their classroom.

To support art teachers and ensure that they have a variety of artworks to choose from, this post is a collection of Black History Month art lessons from Art Class Curator, all of which you’ll find links to below. Most of the posts include looking questions, tips, information, and resources to help you teach the works of art.

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Free Printable Art Worksheets

black history month art lessons

The more time students spend looking at art, the easier it is for them to explore the narratives, techniques, and meanings behind the artworks. Take learning to a deeper level with a ready-to-go art lessons from the Art Appreciation Worksheet Bundle.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! 1. Pick a Black history artwork below 2. Print one of the Art Appreciation Worksheets 3. Watch with joy as your students connect with and interpret art

black history lesson plans middle school

Free Worksheets

8 Free Art Appreciation Worksheets

Includes the elements & principles.

Download 8 Free Art Appreciation Worksheets – including 2 Elements and Principles pages! Activities designed to work with almost any work of art. Help your students connect with art while having fun!

Black History Month Art Lessons

This list of Black history month art lessons is of course not a full representation of all Black artists. These are the artists we have written about to date on Art Class Curator. We will update this post as we create new resources!

Black Artists

Kehinde wiley.

Kehinde Wiley is an American artist known for his powerful portraits of African Americans. He was chosen to paint  Barack Obama’s official presidential portrait in 2018.

black history month art lessons

Kehinde Wiley Art Lesson

Wiley is best known for painting young Black people, often placing them in into versions of portraits from art history. His paintings fuse the past and present in ways that force us to confront our notions of wealth, importance, race, and gender. In this lesson, put a Wiley artwork next to the artwork is was inspired by and lead an art discussion. This Kehinde Wiley Art Lesson blog post includes discussion questions, interpretation activities, as well as classroom extensions.

Lesson : Portraits for a New Century: Kehinde Wiley Art Lesson

black history month art lessons

Betye Saar is an American artist known for her assemblage and collage artworks.

Betye Saar Art Lesson

Saar uses stereotypical and potentially-offensive material to make social commentary, which makes her work an excellent way to teach kids about the world, acceptance, and empathy. In this lesson, students discuss an assemblage Saar created around a depiction of Aunt Jemima and watch a video of the artist discussing the work. This Betye Saar Art Lesson also includes several project ideas and extensions.

Lesson : The Liberation of Aunt Jemima

black history month art lessons

Augusta Savage

Augusta Savage was an American sculptor and prominent member of the Harlem Renaissance in New York City. She opened her own studio and became an influential teacher.

Augusta Savage Art Lesson

There have been few sculptors who can capture emotion in a subject like Augusta Savage. In this Augusta Savage Art Lesson , students learn about her life, discuss some of her work, and read In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor .

Lesson : The Art of Augusta Savage Artist Biography

black history month art lessons

  • Faith Ringgold

Faith Ringgold is an award-winning American painter, writer, sculptor, and performance artist. She is best known for her narrative quilts.

Faith Ringgold Art Lesson

Ringgold started out as a painter and focused much of her art on telling the stories of the Civil Rights Movement and her experiences growing up in Harlem. On a trip to Europe in 1972, Ringgold experiences some Nepali artworks that used fabrics around the border. This inspired her to start making quilt paintings, and those are the artworks she’s become best known for. In this Faith Ringgold Art Lesson , students dive into Ringgold’s The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles and imagine what it would be like to be the fictional woman featured in the artwork. To extend the lesson, students complete a portrait project and read Dinner at Aunt Connie’s House or one of Ringgold’s other children’s books.

Lesson : Faith Ringgold’s Celebration of African American Women Artist Biography

black history month art lessons

Ed Johnetta Miller

Ed Johnetta Miller is is a renowned American fiber artist, quilter, and teacher who regularly works within her community. Her work is often inspired by color, patterns, and jazz music.

Ed Johnetta Miller Art Lesson

One of Miller’s community art projects was an improvisational quilt completed with the children and families of Yale New Haven’s Children’s Hospital.

Lesson: Community Art Project Inspired by Ed Johnetta Miller

Ed Johnetta Miller, Journey to Our Hearts Home, 2017

Get the Full Lesson!

This Lesson is in The Curated Connections Library!

Find the full lesson from this post along with hundreds of other art teaching resources and trainings in the Curated Connections Library. Click here for more information about how to join or enter your email below for a free SPARKworks lesson from the membership!

Romare Bearden

Romare Bearden was an American artist and author who created cartoons, oil paintings, and collages. He grew up in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance .

Romare Bearden Art Lesson

Featured in Multicultural Kid Blogs , this Romare Bearden Art Lesson recaps Bearden’s life, explores his art, and includes a collection of projects, books, and lessons.

Lesson : The Art of Romare Bearden

black history month art lessons

  • Henry Ossawa Tanner

Henry Ossawa Tanner was a world-renowned American artist best known for his religious artworks.

Henry Ossawa Tanner Art Lesson

This Henry Ossawa Tanner Art Lesson features several artworks from the man who was “one of the first African-American artists to achieve a reputation in both America and Europe”. Six of Tanner’s artworks are presented for use with the Charlotte Mason Picture Study Technique .

Lesson : Henry Ossawa Tanner Artist Biography

black history month art lessons

Yinka Shonibare

Yinka Shonibare is a British-Nigerian artist whose work delves into cultural identities, colonialism, and globalisation. He is best known for his sculptural installations.

Yinka Shonibare Art Lesson

The Swing  is Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s best known work and is an icon of the Rococo style. Shonibare recreated the famous artwork and gave us a lot to think about regarding race, class, and multiculturalism. In this Yinka Shonibare Art Lesson , students compare and contrast the two artworks.

Lesson : Yinka Shonibare’s The Swing : Culture & Identity in a Global Society

black history art

Prince Twins Seven-Seven

Prince Twins Seven-Seven was a Nigerian painter, musician, actor, writer, and poet. He was named a UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2005.

Prince Twins Seven-Seven Art Lesson

In this Prince Twins Seven-Seven Art Lesson , students consider his Healing of Abiko Children , watch a video of the artist discussing the artwork, and can read a book about his art and life .

Lesson : Twins Seven-Seven’s Healing of Abiko Children

black history art

Black History Month Art Projects

The internet outside of Art Class Curator has lots of great Black history month art lessons as well! Check out these links.

  • Freedom Quilts  by  Colors of my Day — Upper Elementary students create quilt squares and write poems or short stories based on the book The Patchwork Patch: A Quilt Map to Freedom .
  • Grades K-1: Art Projects for Black History Month by Scholastic — Four art projects for young elementary students inspired by famous Black individuals.
  • Historical Genre Drawing Silhouettes by Incredible @rt Department — Inspired by Kara Walker’s silhouettes, middle to high school students research a historical event and create an silhouettes based on the subject and insert their likeness into the work.
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jazz-Inspired Painting, Mind Maps, and Getting Your Work Out There by Lauren Rouatt — 3rd grade students learn about Jean-Michel Basquiat and create paintings inspired by his work.
  • Basquiat-Inspired Self-Portraits by Art Room Britt — Early elementary students look at and discuss Basquiat’s work, then create self-portraits with free-association elements.
  • Horace Pippin Imagination Drawings by Deep Space Sparkle — Upper elementary students create self-portraits based on Pippin’s work and inspired by the book, A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin .
  • Horace Pippin Lesson Plan by Trish Maunder — An art-making workshop designed for students in grades 3-6, based on Pippin’s The Domino Players .
  • Decoding Jacob Lawrence by The Art of Education — Upper elementary students analyze Lawrence’s Forward , reflect on Harriet Tubman and the institution of slavery, and create an artwork that tells an important story.
  • Jacob Lawrence’s Painted Stories by Crayola — Upper elementary students learn about Lawrence’s life, research a significant historical event, and create an artwork based on what they learn.

Children’s Books about Black Artists

This collection of highly rated children’s books about Black artists are a wonderful way to share information about the lives of Black artists with elementary students. Each book is marked with recommended student ages and a link to purchase the book.

black history lesson plans middle school

Famous Black Artists Biographies

Integrate historical and cultural knowledge into your Black History Month art lessons with in-depth biographies and short videos about famous Black artists.

  • Augusta Savage
  • Edmonia Lewis
  • Jacob Lawrence
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • James Van Der Zee
  • Lorna Simpson
  • Gwendolyn Bennett
  • E. Simms Campbell
  • Gordon Parks
  • Kara Walker
  • Civil Rights Art

Art is such a vital tool to understanding the emotions, beliefs, and ideas of people throughout history. Art gives us insights into people like no other medium can. Consider using artworks about the Civil Rights era from the collections below for your Black History Month art lessons.

  • More Civil Rights Movement Art

black history art

From native African art to modern artworks by Black artists from around the world, these pieces will get your students talking and connected to art.

African American Artists

  • Portraits for a New Century: Kehinde Wiley Art Lesson
  • The Liberation of Aunt Jemima  
  • The Art of Augusta Savage
  • Faith Ringgold’s Celebration of African American Women
  • The Art of Romare Bearden
  • Discrimination is Not Protection  by Lorna Simpson
  • Ladder for Booker T. Washington  by Martin Puryear

black history art

Black Artists from Around the World

  • Yinka Shonibare’s The Swing : Culture & Identity in a Global Society
  • Twins Seven-Seven’s Healing of Abiko Children

African Art

black history art

  • Art Around the World in 30 Days – Angola — This African Art Lesson features a sculpture from the Chokwe people of Northeastern Angola with discussion questions, a learning activity, and museum resources.
  • Art Around the World in 30 Days – Nigeria — The artwork in this African Art Lesson comes from the Court of Benin and includes discussion questions, a project idea, and several resources covering the history of the Kingdom of Benin.
  • Interpreting the Power of the Kongo Nkisi N’Kondi — A fantastic African Sculpture Art Lesson for middle schoolers to explore the meaning, function, and purpose of the Nkisi N’Kondi sculptures, complete with discussion questions, kinesthetic and drawing activities, a PowerPoint, and information on the history of these intriguing figures.
  • Art Around the World in 30 Days – Democratic Republic of the Congo — Focused on a contemporary artwork from artist Trigo Piula, this African Art Lesson ties in with the Nkisi N’Kondi Art Lesson above and includes discussion questions and a project idea.
  • Kuba Mask — This Wordless Wednesday post includes resources related to mask from the Kuba Kingdom, a pre-colonial kingdom in Central Africa.

Wordless Wednesdays for Black History Month Art Lessons

Wordless Wednesday posts on Art Class Curator offer artworks with little to no commentary. The artworks in these posts make for excellent bellringers when paired with an art appreciation worksheet or questions about art .

  • Ladder for Booker T. Washington
  • Discrimination is Not Protection

Teaching Black History Month Art Lessons

Sometimes teachers shy away from teaching about other cultures or difficult historical periods, but doing so robs our students of the opportunity to dialogue about important social issues and connect with art on a deeply personal level. The post below addresses some of these issues and why it is important to teach art from across cultures and time.

black history art

In this lesson, students learn how ethnocentric attitudes can shape how we look at art from other cultures, especially when studying non-Western art. Using three examples from the art world, high school or college students examine cultural reactions to art and how xenophobia shapes worldviews through classroom discussions and writing assignments.

Lesson: Cultural Sensitity, Xenophobia, and Ethnocentricism in Art Education

More Art Lessons

  • 5 Women Artists of Color with Learning Activities
  • 10 Intriguing Ancient Artworks from Around the World

Take Your Weekly Art Break

Want more art inspiration delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for  Your Weekly Art Break   to get our weekly emails and as a bonus for joining, get six free art art worksheets that work with almost any work of art!

black history art

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September 6, 2023 at 4:07 am

Great ideas for teaching the past, creating the future with Black History Month!

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black history lesson plans middle school

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In this free bundle of art worksheets, you receive six ready-to-use art worksheets with looking activities designed to work with almost any work of art.

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North Las Vegas middle school teacher honors Black History Month with creative passion, skill

8 News Now is highlighting the tremendous contribution of African Americans to Southern Nevada during Black History Month. In North Las Vegas, Sedway Middle School History teacher, Mr. Tom Korzon showcased his artistic skills to his students and colleagues. Mr. Korzon isn't an art teacher but loves to incorporate his creativity into his lesson plans. "It kind of started with Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January and then I realized I really enjoyed making these drawings," he shared. FULL STORY HERE: https://www.8newsnow.com/news/local-news/las-vegas-middle-school-teacher-honors-black-history-month-with-creative-passion-skill/

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The history lesson that comes to you: Tampa woman creates Black history mobile classroom

TAMPA, Fla. — Brenda Allen says for two weeks straight, she kept waking up at 2 a.m. 

What You Need To Know

Brenda allen is creating a mobile classroom from a former school bus  she wants the bus to be the forum to teach black history  allen is retrofitting the bus to create an interactive learning environment she plans to drive the bus to different venues in tampa, where she'll deliver the lessosn.

Finally, she says it became clear what the problem gnawing at her was that was leading to her sleepless nights.

“Our people are starving and dying from a lack of knowledge,” Allen said. “I must feed the people, feed the people that are starving.”

Allen, who moved to Tampa a few years ago from Los Angeles, said she talked to so many people who said they were not learning about Black history in school.

“They’re not getting the information,” Allen said. “On our Black history, African American history and our ancient history.”

Allen decided to do something about it: She bought a bus.

black history lesson plans middle school

The yellow bus she found had been used to transport kids to school in Clermont, Fla. But Allen had a different idea: she was going to turn the bus into a mobile classroom.

“It’ll be so amazing. When it travels the street, people will wonder ‘What is that? What’s going on with that vehicle?’” Allen said.

She calls it the Ma’at Sankofa African Learning Temple. ‘Ma’at’ stands for ‘truth; ’ ‘Sankofa’ means ‘go back and get it.’

Her idea of retrieving Black history involves wrapping the outside of the bus in a façade of Queen Hatshepsut, a pharaoh from Ancient Egypt. Inside, she’s envisioning a museum of pyramids and hieroglyphics on the walls of the bus. Children can learn on laptops aboard the bus or check out a library in the back.

She’s currently raising enough money to begin retrofitting the bus. That will involve taking the seats out of the bus, then creating the mobile classroom on-board.

Eventually, she hopes to take the bus around Tampa Bay teaching lessons to kids about Black history.

“Bringing our history, our knowledge, our culture, our heritage around the world,” Allen said. “That is the long-term view for Ma’at Sankofa African Learning Temple.”

black history lesson plans middle school

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Young artists head to The White House to learn about renowned migration series

by Jay Korff

Students from the Washington School for Girls attending art history workshop at the Executive Office Building near The White House to learn about the famed Migration Series by Jacob Lawrence. (Photo by Jay Korff/7News){&nbsp;}{&nbsp;}{p}{/p}

WASHINGTON (7News) — For a couple of hours on Thursday afternoon, middle school students from the Washington School for Girls were inside the Executive Office Building near The White House for a remarkable hands-on lesson about the confluence of art and history.

Members of The Phillips Collection, the esteemed art museum near Dupont Circle, guided these young artists through the acclaimed migration panels created by Jacob Lawrence depicting the early 20th-century movement of more than a million African Americans from the South to the North.

Alexandra Laroche, with The Phillips Collection, told us, “And so it’s the story of a really important moment in American history: the great migration but it’s also the story about a community that’s incredibly resilient and determined to make their way.”

Students learned about color and composition – but more importantly, how these young minds can blend talent and technique with purpose to touch lives tomorrow.

“What issues are we facing in society today? What ways can we honor and remember this important moment in history through looking at this art and creating our own panels. We’re doing that with collage today," added Laroche.

Seventh grader Mya Starks said “They did anything to survive and it was very inspiring at the moment when they migrated. They didn’t have food, no money, no idea what the future was going to look like, and it was just very inspiring.”

We also caught up with Cindy Marten, the Deputy Secretary for the Department of Education, who said, “This is my 34th year in education and I know that arts education, when done well, transforms lives. I’ve seen the impact that art can have when integrated into school.”

If you’d like to check out The Migration Series by Jacob Lawrence, just head to The Phillips Collection in Northwest D.C. If you'd like to see and learn more about Lawrence's panels click here.

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  1. History Lesson Plans

    Print Teacher-Reviewed Resources & Save Time Lesson Planning Today!

  2. Classroom resources for Black History Month

    In this lesson for middle and high school students, students analyze what "The American Dream" means and what role racial discrimination may play in failing to attain that dream. "I have a...

  3. Black History Month Lessons & Resources

    Lesson Plans & Activities LESSON PLANS Musical Harlem In this 3-5 lesson, students will learn about the Harlem Renaissance and create original jazz artwork. They will listen to audio samples, analyze elements of jazz, research musicians, and learn how jazz became a unifier between community and culture. Jazz Music, Dance, and Poetry

  4. 20 Middle School Activities for Black History Month

    But keeping kids engaged can be difficult. That's why these 20 educational middle school activities for Black History month are worth including in your curriculum. 1. Crossword Puzzles. Starting with crossword searches is a simple way to learn events, people, and popular vocabulary. You should include key events such as protests, and ...

  5. Black History Month Activities for Middle School Students

    Compile a reading list of books that reflect the Black experience through fiction and non-fiction suitable for middle schoolers. Books like "Brown Girl Dreaming" by Jacqueline Woodson or "The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963" by Christopher Paul Curtis can offer perspectives that resonate with middle school students.

  6. Black History Month Resource Guide for Educators and Families

    Lesson Plans and Curriculum Resources for Educators: The New York Public Library's #SchomburgSyllabus is an archive of new and recent educational resources relating to Black studies, movements, and experiences, organized in 27 different themes. Black History Month resources for the Classroom -PBS

  7. 13 Meaningful Black History Month Activities for Kids to Add to Your

    February may be the shortest month of the year, but it's one that you can pack with important lessons about our nation's shameful history of slavery and segregation and the triumphant stories of Black Americans who led the Civil Rights movement in a fight for a more equitable society. Not sure where to get started?

  8. PDF Teaching Activities 10 Ideas for Teaching Black History Month

    1. Have students read and discuss Black literature by exploring different genres including: fiction, non-fiction, speeches, poetry, plays, spoken word and short stories. Be sure to include the classics as well as contemporary books that include African American, Afro Caribbean and African voices. 2.

  9. Black History Month Resources

    Users can explore well-known and lesser-known moments of history through millions of authentic, digital resources, create content with online tools, and share in the Smithsonian's expansive community of knowledge and learning . Grade K-2 and Up. Black Women Artists; Activism; Music & Sound: Instruments in the NMAAHC Collection; Grade 3 and Up

  10. Black History Month Lesson Plans and Resources

    Updated February 1, 2022 Black history is American history, and February is an opportunity to introduce classroom discussions and reflections about how Black Americans have shaped our nation.

  11. Celebrating Black History With The New York Times

    1900-1950s 1947 | Dodgers Purchase Robinson, First Negro in Modern Major League Baseball 1954 | High Court Bans School Segregation; 9-to-0 Decision Grants Time to Comply 1956 | High Court Rules...

  12. Learning With the 'Black History, Continued' Series

    By Jeremy Engle Jan. 31, 2022 Lesson Overview Featured Series: "Black History, Continued" "Black History, Continued" is a series from The New York Times that explores pivotal moments and...

  13. Black History Month for Kids: Google Slides, Resources, and More

    Holidays & Seasons Black History Month for Kids: Google Slides, Resources, and More Use this month to celebrate and honor Black history, culture, and people. By We Are Teachers Staff Jan 31, 2024 February 1 marks the beginning of Black History Month in the United States.

  14. 14 Black History Month Activities for Elementary & Middle School

    1. Review the Timeline of the Civil Rights Movement As the civil rights movement progressed over several decades, many key events helped to shape the outcome. For this activity, you should first hold a discussion with your students about the definitions of civil rights and social movements.

  15. Black History Month Activities for Kids (Grades K-12)

    You'll find lesson plans, student choice activities, printables, videos, and more for all of the major curriculum areas - Social Studies, Reading, Math, and Science. Black History Month Project - Black Pioneers in Medicine Black History Month Choice Board for Middle School Educational Videos & Activities

  16. African American History: Activity Pack

    Climbing the Wall: Documenting African-American Genealogy Students learn about how the life of an enslaved person changed from the Antebellum period through Emancipation, then analyze primary...

  17. Black History Lesson Plan

    The March for Freedom 1963 Davon Johnson Nonviolent civil disobedience based on Christian beliefs started long before the 1963 peaceful protest, March for Freedom on Washington D.C. PASSWORD: 2march4freedom1963 William D Matthews: A Cure for Rebellion Taegan Loy and Trent Powell

  18. Black History Month

    Black History Month Overview Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3 Lesson 4 Lesson 5 Lesson 6 Overview The power of nonviolent actions and attitudes as a means to resist oppression and spur reforms is a recurring feature of democratic and democratizing societies.

  19. Black History Lesson Plans For Middle School Students

    The historian Carter Woodson is known as the "Father of Black History Month." In 1926, he established Negro History Week. He chose the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Half a century later, this observance evolved into Black History Month, which we celebrate the entire month of ...

  20. 40 Black History Month Activities for February and Beyond

    6. Learn about Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter/Protest via blacklivesmatter.com. The Black Lives Matter site explains the group's history while books like Dear Martin and The Hate U Give explore the movement from a fictional perspective. 7. Learn about the inventor of the traffic light.

  21. Black History Month ELA Activities & Resources

    Here are some of my favorite activities for Black History Month: Black History Month One-pager: Have students research important African American figures in literature or history in general and compile a concise and creative one-pager report. Alternatively, you can assign a one-pager project to accompany any of the short stories or poems ...

  22. 55+ Black History Month Activities and Important Lesson Plans for All Year

    Black History Month Activities for Kids #2: Watch Black History Month Movies and Documentaries. Don't discount watching movies and documentaries to supplement your black history studies. These are great for Black history activities for elementary students, middle school, and high school.

  23. 7 Free Lesson Plans to Teach Black History All Year Long

    Refresh the page, check Medium 's site status, or find something interesting to read. Black History Month may be ending, but the importance of teaching it isn't. We think celebrating Black History should happen all year long, not just one month! African American history is a huge part….

  24. The Black History That Moves Us: A Resource List for Educators

    Beyond February: Teaching Black History Any Day, Every Day, and All Year Long, K-3 (book). This guide by Dawnavyn James (who also contributed to this resource list) supports elementary educators ...

  25. Black History Month in the Music Room

    Teaching Black History Month in the music room doesn't mean that every lesson every day needs to be all about black history. Include that listening lesson on Louis Armstrong in one grade and the book about Ella Fitzgerald in another. Teach "Miss Mary Mack" to one class and do a unit on Spirituals in another.

  26. Lesson Plans for Black History Month

    We Sing America. Lesson Plans for Black History Month - To celebrate Black History Month in February—and the rich tradition of African American poetry all year long—browse this selection of teaching resources featuring poems by Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Marilyn Nelson, and Claudia Rankine, among others. more black history month ...

  27. Teaching the Past, Creating the Future: Black History Month Art Lessons

    The more time students spend looking at art, the easier it is for them to explore the narratives, techniques, and meanings behind the artworks. Take learning to a deeper level with a ready-to-go art lessons from the Art Appreciation Worksheet Bundle. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3! 1. Pick a Black history artwork below. 2.

  28. North Las Vegas middle school teacher honors Black History Month with

    8 News Now is highlighting the tremendous contribution of African Americans to Southern Nevada during Black History Month. In North Las Vegas, Sedway Middle School History teacher, Mr. Tom Korzon showcased his artistic skills to his students and colleagues. Mr. Korzon isn't an art teacher but loves to incorporate his creativity into his lesson plans. "It kind of started with Martin Luther King ...

  29. Tampa woman plans mobile classroom on bus

    The history lesson that comes to you: Tampa woman creates Black history mobile classroom By Jeff Butera Tampa UPDATED 10:42 AM ET Feb. 18, 2024 PUBLISHED 3:08 PM ET Feb. 13, 2024 PUBLISHED 3:08 PM ...

  30. Young artists head to The White House to learn about renowned ...

    Middle school students from the Washington School for Girls headed to The White House for a remarkable hands-on lesson about the confluence of art and history.