- Black History Month is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans and black people, generally, who have impacted the country and world. Here are a few ideas for teachers who wish to incorporate the teaching of Black History in their classrooms during the month of February.
- Bulletin boards can depict themes and are useful as a teaching tool. Create a bulletin board in the classroom about famous African Americans and their accomplishments.This board can be interactive if students match each person with his accomplishments or if students fill out an information sheet based on the material displayed on the bulletin board. You also can change the board each week. For example, one week can be focused on those African Americans who helped end slavery. Other themes can include Civil Rights leaders, poets and writers, artists and musicians, and inventors and scientists.
- Have students perform an Internet scavenger hunt to find information about famous African Americans. The scavenger hunt can be created by the teacher or can be one that has already been generated. For example, educationworld.com provides scavenger hunts for different grades on the subject of Black History.
Research Reports and Multimedia Projects
- Assign each student a famous African American and ask her to write a research report or essay about that person. Alternatively, you can allow students to present information on their subjects in their own format--which can include a poster board or mural, a PowerPoint presentation, a skit or a multimedia project that includes music, film or photography. Give students a rubric that includes what you want them to cover--for example, each subject's major accomplishment, what lead up to the accomplishment, information regarding the subject's personal life, significance of the subject's accomplishment, and so forth.
Literature by or About African Americans
- Literature is a great way to explore African American history. For elementary school teachers, a variety of picture books can be read aloud or used for instruction. Middle school teachers can have students read "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry," and high school teachers can have students read any number of books, including "Go Tell It on The Mountain," "Kindred," "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and "Fences," as well as many other short stories, novels and plays. The links below provide additional ideas for celebrating Black History Month.