TeachersFirst's Black History Resources

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Black History Month, held in February in the United States, is a celebration of the many achievements of African-Americans. Although it started in the United States it is now celebrated throughout the world and not limited to the month of February. This curated collection includes teaching ideas, biographies, interactive sites, research materials, and more to learn about the pivotal roles that African-Americans have had in history and continue to have today. Find inspiration and resources to share with students related to historical time periods, famous figures, and much more.

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Celebrating Black History Month - Collection - Poetry Foundation

Grades
7 to 12
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For Black History Month, the Poetry Foundation has put together this excellent collection of poems, articles, and podcasts that will help you discover African American history and culture....more
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For Black History Month, the Poetry Foundation has put together this excellent collection of poems, articles, and podcasts that will help you discover African American history and culture. Find poems and podcasts from Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Rita Dove, Gwendolyn Brooks, and many others. Also, discover Educational Resources that include biographies, poem guides, and Articles for Teachers.

tag(s): african american (106), biographies (91), black history (73), podcasts (60), poetry (222)

In the Classroom

Share several poems with students and then have them create similar poet and poem podcasts. Start your own classroom collection to be shared digitally on your website. Exchange the physical whiteboard or chalkboard by creating a digital, collaborative board using a tool such as Lino, reviewed here, for the collection ideas. Enhance learning and augment classroom technology use by using a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here, for students to present their poems to their classmates. Post the podcasts to your class website for students and parents to enjoy at home.

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Reading Trek: Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad - TeachersFirst

Grades
5 to 9
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TeachersFirst Reading Treks create a virtual field trip of resources about a piece of literature or text using the My Maps feature of Google Maps. This Reading Trek provides inspiration...more
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TeachersFirst Reading Treks create a virtual field trip of resources about a piece of literature or text using the My Maps feature of Google Maps. This Reading Trek provides inspiration and suggestions for using the trade book Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. Use our robust Instructional Guide with students in grades 5-9. Content correlates to Common Core Standards, ISTE Student Standards, and National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies. Find the entire selection of Reading Treks here.

tag(s): black history (73), civil rights (130), civil war (150), commoncore (90), underground railroad (12)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many suggested classroom uses for this resource found on the Instructional Guide (PDF). Consider using the historical information and primary sources from the book to have students create timelines of the important events during a period in Tubman's life. Find a variety of free online timeline creation tools located here. Using the map and locales, trace and then calculate distances for some of Tubman's rescues, missions, and places she lived. Use Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create and share custom maps.
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Virtual Learning Journey: Civil Rights Movement - Georgia Public Broadcasting & Georgia Department of Education

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5 to 12
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Transport learners back to the time of the Civil Rights Movement through a virtual learning experience. Listen to firsthand accounts, watch 14 videos, and explore many primary source...more
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Transport learners back to the time of the Civil Rights Movement through a virtual learning experience. Listen to firsthand accounts, watch 14 videos, and explore many primary source documents found along the learning path. The journey explores seven themes and topics based on the Civil Rights Movement. As students travel the path, this site offers the option to clip and save information to their device for later use. Download the User Guide for complete information on how to use the site, suggestions discussion questions, and extension activities.

tag(s): 1960s (30), black history (73), civil rights (130), martin luther king (35)

In the Classroom

Be sure to include this virtual learning experience as part of civil rights lessons and Black History Month activities. Include a link to the experience on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. As students travel along the learning path, replace pen and paper and engage them by asking students to use an online note taking tool like Webnote, reviewed here, to write down their thoughts and questions they may have. As students learn about Civil Rights events, have them enhance their learning by asking them to step back in time and create podcasts from this time. Use Podcast Generator, reviewed here, a free tool for creating and sharing podcasts. Extend learning by challenging students find an image from the Civil Rights movement and create an annotated image using ThingLink, reviewed here. Thinglink offers tools allows you to annotate an image with links to videos, text, websites, and more.
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National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection Stories - National Museum of African American History and Culture

Grades
4 to 12
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These Collection Stories look at the personal feelings and interpretation of the objects staff members have cataloged in the Museum. These stunning short stories focus on items from...more
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These Collection Stories look at the personal feelings and interpretation of the objects staff members have cataloged in the Museum. These stunning short stories focus on items from historical events and famous people. One example is Dress for the Occasion; view the first day of school dress worn by Carlotta Walls as she entered Little Rock Central High School in 1957 as part of the Little Rock Nine's integration efforts. Other stories take a look at Muhammed Ali, Carl Lewis, The Wiz: The Supersoul Musical 'Wizard of Oz,' and the watches that survived a brutal assassination of an NAACP leader and his wife (Moments Captured in Time).

tag(s): african american (106), black history (73), cross cultural understanding (146)

In the Classroom

Share stories from this collection to provide a personal look at events from African-American history in the United States. Use stories as an example, and ask students to find additional artifacts from the National Museum and research to discover the story behind the item. Have younger students use Kiddle, reviewed here, a kid-friendly search engine to find documents about their particular object. Younger students could bring an item from their home to tell the story of its history. For either of these ideas, enhance student learning by encouraging them to create online books for sharing the stories using a tool such as Ourboox, reviewed here. Ask students to find local residents with knowledge of historical events to come talk to your class about the "behind the scenes" story, or set up a Skype call with an African-American leader. Use these stories for informational reading in your Language Arts classroom, and as a wonderful resource to use for covering the informational reading standards required with the CCSS.

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Civil Rights History Project - National Museum of African American History and Culture

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6 to 12
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The Civil Rights History Project provides the personal stories of Civil Rights activists from the 1950's and 1960's through video interviews. Each interview also includes a written...more
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The Civil Rights History Project provides the personal stories of Civil Rights activists from the 1950's and 1960's through video interviews. Each interview also includes a written transcript for download. Each interviewee is a member of The Freedom Movement and discusses their early life as an African-American and how it led to their role in the Civil Rights movement.

tag(s): 1960s (30), african american (106), black history (73), civil rights (130), interviews (13), video (271), women (102)

In the Classroom

Share these videos on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector as part of any Civil Rights unit. Include a link to the interviews on your class web page. After watching a video, have students research more about the events discussed. Engage students by replacing pen and paper and having them write blog entries of what they are learning using a blogging tool such as Penzu, reviewed here. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Take this a step further by modifying and enhancing learning and challenging students to create an interactive timeline using Timeglider, reviewed here, about the events in the life of one of the activists. Alternatively, challenge students to create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to share stories and events from the Civil Rights Movement. Students can add text, images, and location stops!

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Civil Rights Movement Interactive Map - NewseumEd

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8 to 12
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This interactive map includes links to newspaper coverage of civil rights stories from around the nation beginning with 1954 through 1965. Choose any year to view several front pages...more
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This interactive map includes links to newspaper coverage of civil rights stories from around the nation beginning with 1954 through 1965. Choose any year to view several front pages with coverage of major events. Read each front page by clicking "view larger image." For additional information on similar topics, scroll to the bottom of the page to find links to more artifacts.

tag(s): black history (73), civil rights (130), newspapers (99)

In the Classroom

Share a link to this site on your class website and allow students to explore on their own. Discuss their findings and interpretations of media coverage of civil rights events in class. Replace pen and paper and use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast media coverage in two different cities. Enhance learning by asking students to investigate newspapers from additional locations, then create a presentation sharing their findings using Presentious, reviewed here.

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Making a Change: The First Amendment and the Civil Rights Movement - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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Explore how the First Amendment influenced the Civil Rights Movement through this collection of resources from Newseum. The collection includes three teaching units with topics of Historical...more
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Explore how the First Amendment influenced the Civil Rights Movement through this collection of resources from Newseum. The collection includes three teaching units with topics of Historical Connections, Media Literacy, and Civics & Citizenship. In addition, an interactive timeline beginning in 1791 demonstrates the Civil Rights journey. A Google Civil Rights map includes links to important American newspapers and their coverage of civil rights events and leaders. Be sure to sign up for your free NewseumED account for complete access to all materials.

tag(s): black history (73), civil rights (130), constitution (93), journalism (69), newspapers (99)

In the Classroom

Use any or all of the units and interactives with any Civil Rights lessons; this site isn't just for Black History Month! Share with journalism students as they explore the role of the press in shaping and telling the story of a nation. Have small groups or pairs of students enhance their learning by making a multimedia presentation exploring the First Amendment and the role of the press using a tool such as Sway, reviewed here. With the web-based Sway, you can include text, images, and video. To illustrate different press coverage around the nation, have students modify their learning by creating maps using Animaps, reviewed here; students can add text, images, and location stops!
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Black History Month Resources - PBS

Grades
K to 12
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current...more
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current events. Scroll through the page to view topics and grade level suggestions. Content ranges from a history of discrimination through current events such as debating race through the Trayvon Martin shooting. Some lessons also contain Common Core correlations.

tag(s): black history (73), civil rights (130), martin luther king (35), racism (17), video (271)

In the Classroom

Explore this site for many different lessons and resources to use during Black History Month and throughout the year. Use lessons found here to differentiate for students of different levels. Be sure to check out the Discrimination - fair or unfair? lesson plan that is designed specifically for students who have difficulty with verbal and written expression.
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History on the Net - Heather Wheeler

Grades
7 to 12
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History on the Net contains a wide variety of resources for a broad range of history topics. Begin a search by exploring history topics or by searching resources such as ...more
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History on the Net contains a wide variety of resources for a broad range of history topics. Begin a search by exploring history topics or by searching resources such as online lessons or worksheets. Explore the Titanic, World War I, Vikings, Mayans, and so much more! Look through a large selection of reference materials: dictionaries, timelines, and more. History on the Net is a great starting point when looking for lessons and materials for teaching history across the ages!
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tag(s): african american (106), aztecs (10), battles (18), black history (73), britain (35), civil rights (130), cold war (31), egypt (61), elizabethan (16), greeks (33), mayans (14), myths and legends (25), native americans (83), olympics (52), romans (37), victorian (20), vikings (12), worksheets (64), world war 1 (58), world war 2 (144)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. This site is a perfect addition to use with President's Day activities, when learning about the Olympics, or as part of a Black History Month lesson. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class. Enhance students' learning by having them use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, a passenger on the Titanic, a famous scientist, or another person learned about on this site. Have students modify their learning by creating an interactive, multimedia infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here.
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Visualizing Emancipation - The University of Richmond

Grades
9 to 12
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Visualizing Emancipation is a map based resource that presents the date and place of hundreds of discrete events, documents, and artifacts across the period 1861-1865 all of which relate...more
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Visualizing Emancipation is a map based resource that presents the date and place of hundreds of discrete events, documents, and artifacts across the period 1861-1865 all of which relate to the end of slavery. View the map chronologically, zoom in to look at a smaller geographic area, sort the data points by theme or by source type, and discover a more nuanced understanding of how the U.S. ended legal slavery. There are grade leveled lesson plans tied to Common Core Standards, as well as Featured events that are particularly important in telling the story of emancipation. Students might be forgiven for believing that slavery ended in the United States the day the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. The truth is, of course, much more complicated.

tag(s): black history (73), civil rights (130), civil war (150), constitution (93), emancipation proclamation (10), slavery (68)

In the Classroom

The interactive map is well suited for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Each event or document is categorized by theme, and has its own unique URL that can be shared with students as they do their own research. It's also possible to download a large spread sheet of the events as a list rather than as a map. If it's geographically relevant, consider using your own community as an example and research local events related to emancipation. Consider a discussion of how significant legal changes in the United States occur within the context of cultural change. Does legal change result in immediate cultural change? Why or why not? What happens when legal change is imposed on those who do not agree? Enhance learning by having students share their thoughts by creating an online collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here, with quick start - no membership required!

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Created Equal - National Endowment for the Humanities

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9 to 12
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Four documentary films related to the Civil Rights Movement, available to stream either in part or in their entirety, form the centerpiece of this effort from the National Endowment...more
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Four documentary films related to the Civil Rights Movement, available to stream either in part or in their entirety, form the centerpiece of this effort from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The films cover time periods beginning with the Abolitionist Movement and continuing through the Freedom Marches and the turbulent 1960s. Explore the meaning of freedom and equality in the United States with relevance still today. There are teacher resources, lesson plans, and suggestions for aligning lessons to the Common Core.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), black history (73), civil rights (130), civil war (150), emancipation proclamation (10), segregation (16)

In the Classroom

The documentaries, or the excerpts presented, are all available to stream from the site. While they may be too lengthy to show in their entirety during one class period, they have also been divided into clips according to themes. For example, Equality is part of the full video about Law and the Strategy of Nonviolence. This makes them more adaptable for classroom use. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector, or flip your class using EdPuzzle, reviewed here, and have students watch clips at home and come back to class ready to discuss. EdPuzzle is a great way to take sections of videos and add your own voice or add questions within the video. Alternatively, you could use VideoAnt, reviewed here, to enhance student learning with students asking questions about the parts where they need clarification. The issues raised by these Created Equal documentaries may be easily incorporated into lessons related to the Civil Rights Movement, modern U.S. history, Black History Month, or civics and government. Use these videos as conversation starters in the classroom.
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The HistoryMakers - The HistoryMakers

Grades
6 to 12
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The HistoryMakers offers an incredibly rich and deep collection of biographies and oral histories of 2000 African Americans who have made history in their respective fields. The database...more
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The HistoryMakers offers an incredibly rich and deep collection of biographies and oral histories of 2000 African Americans who have made history in their respective fields. The database allows you to search across 15 fields, for example, for "Artmakers," "Educationmakers," or "Sciencemakers." Special Collections curate additional groups of HistoryMakers such as Negro Baseball Players. The Advanced Search tool allows a search by birthplace, occupation, and even something like favorite food. Each entry includes a photograph, a brief biography, some fun facts about the person; some entries also include a video clip of the oral history interview collected as a part of this project. The collection goes far beyond the usual luminaries. There are musicians, scientists, politicians, athletes, artists, doctors, scientists, and more, many of whom are little known and whose lives can seem more accessible than those who are famous. The HistoryMakers desires to be a resource for biographies of people from all walks of life whose accomplishments can inspire and inform. Access to the full video archives requires a membership fee, but there is plenty of content here at no cost.

tag(s): african american (106), artists (79), biographies (91), black history (73), business (57), heroes (22), medicine (65), politics (106), scientists (71), sports (102)

In the Classroom

Of course The HistoryMakers is ideal as a resource for projects for Black History Month, but this collection goes far beyond the usual luminaries who are often featured during February. Use the Advanced Search feature to compile a list of HistoryMakers from your home state or who attended a nearby school or college. Who among these 2000 has the same favorite color as you do? Who also loves ice cream? Students will find ways to relate directly to many of these HistoryMakers. Include this resource when investigating famous scientists, musicians, etc. in classes other than social studies and at times OTHER than Black History Month! Transform learning by having students create an interactive, multimedia infographic about a HistoryMaker using a tool such as Easel.ly, reviewed here.
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Ruby Bridges: Connecting Lives - Scholastic

Grades
5 to 8
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Find a complete two-part lesson plan for middle school lessons on Ruby Bridges. Read about Ruby Bridges in selected texts and write about your reactions in a double-entry journal. Another...more
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Find a complete two-part lesson plan for middle school lessons on Ruby Bridges. Read about Ruby Bridges in selected texts and write about your reactions in a double-entry journal. Another activity entails designing and building a suspension bridge, connecting the strength of the bridge with Ruby's personal strength. An interesting interview with Ruby Bridges is the highlight of the lessons.

tag(s): african american (106), black history (73), civil rights (130), racism (17)

In the Classroom

Follow the directions to have your class build suspension bridges, individually or in pairs. Have students create an online book of images and captions about Ruby Bridges using Pixabay, reviewed here, for the images and Book Creator, reviewed here, to make the book. This activity could be an alternative to the hand written double entry journal. Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeGlider, reviewed here, to create an interactive timeline with event spans that can overlap each other and create a greater understanding of how events can influence other events in Ruby Bridges' life.
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Nelson Mandela - Facts - Nobel Media

Grades
3 to 12
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Explore information and facts about the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, straight from the Nobel Prize website. In addition to basic biographical information, view videos...more
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Explore information and facts about the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, straight from the Nobel Prize website. In addition to basic biographical information, view videos of Mandela's Nobel lecture, a bibliography of his writings, a photo gallery and much more. The question and answer portion of the site contains basic information useful for even the youngest students, while older students may enjoy exploring the wall to find comments shared by the site's readers.

tag(s): 1960s (30), 1970s (12), 1980s (9), 20th century (52), biographies (91), black history (73), civil rights (130), heroes (22), south africa (13)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. This site is perfect to include with Black History Month activities or in a unit on Civil Rights leaders. Have students create a simple infographic with words used to describe Mandela sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare South Africa at the time of Mandela's arrest to current South Africa. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Mandela during his time in prison or after his release.

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Enslaved Africans - Our Truth - International Slavery Museum, Liverpool England

Grades
7 to 12
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Follow the stories of four African slaves as they were taken on board a transatlantic slave ship in 1780. Begin as you meet your guides from four different tribes. Choose ...more
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Follow the stories of four African slaves as they were taken on board a transatlantic slave ship in 1780. Begin as you meet your guides from four different tribes. Choose a story teller to start. Each guide begins by telling the story of their family life and cultural information. Click on underlined terms to view more information or find the definition to a vocabulary word.

tag(s): africa (164), black history (73), cross cultural understanding (146), slavery (68)

In the Classroom

View this site together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. It would be an interesting counterpoint if your class is reading Paula Fox's The Slave Dancer, even though the time frame is not identical. Allow students to explore on their own. Engage students by challenging cooperative groups to read a specific "journey." Then have them blog about what was the biggest surprise in the story? What did they already know about slavery? Use a blogging tool such as Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. Enhance student learning by having groups use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of slavery voyages. They can even include audio "stories" and pictures.

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The Brown Bookshelf - Paula Chase-Hyman

Grades
K to 12
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The Brown Bookshelf features literature for young readers written by and featuring people of color. View archives going back to 2007 to find book reviews, author's chats, and some videos...more
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The Brown Bookshelf features literature for young readers written by and featuring people of color. View archives going back to 2007 to find book reviews, author's chats, and some videos that accompany books featured on the site. A flagship feature of the site is the 28 Days Later portion. Each day during Black History Month features a different author. It is a month-long showcase of the best in Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult novels written and illustrated by African Americans to help parents, teachers, librarians and booksellers recommend good reads. Archives are available beginning with the 2008 campaign.
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tag(s): african american (106), black history (73), book lists (128), civil rights (130), literature (263), preK (280)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use throughout the year, not just during Black History Month. Create a link on classroom computers for students to explore and find books for reading. Share this link on your class website or blog for students to use at home. Showcase books found on this site for classroom read alouds. Librarians will find this site helpful for creating displays in their library or for presentations in classrooms. Enhance student learning by having students create commercials for books found on this site using a tool like Powtoon, reviewed here, or Biteable, reviewed here, and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.

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Negro Leagues Baseball Museum - Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas State University

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
    
This site has strong content focused on the historical importance of the Negro Leagues Baseball teams. It also has a very rich assortment of lesson plans for teaching about the ...more
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This site has strong content focused on the historical importance of the Negro Leagues Baseball teams. It also has a very rich assortment of lesson plans for teaching about the Negro Leagues. There is an introductory video for a good overview of the Leagues themselves, the offerings of the NLB Museum, and a searchable archive of photographs and multimedia resources that can be used either in conjunction with the lesson plans (which include national standards benchmarks), or independently.

tag(s): baseball (37), black history (73), civil rights (130), sports (102)

In the Classroom

This is a great resource for "hooking" students who are interested in sports into the study of the Civil Rights Movement or modern US History. Consider including the resources here in your recognition of Black History Month as well. Share the introductory video on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Ask cooperative learning groups to explore a specific part of this site and create a paper poster or modify student learning by challenging them to use a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or enhance learning using PicLits, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade - Emory University

Grades
6 to 12
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This comprehensive site on the African Slave Trade is robust enough for those doing serious research, and accessible enough for those who want an overview and supporting materials for...more
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This comprehensive site on the African Slave Trade is robust enough for those doing serious research, and accessible enough for those who want an overview and supporting materials for a classroom survey. There are lesson plans, an interactive map, links to resources, an image bank, and large, searchable and downloadable data bases of African names, ships used in the slave trade and their voyages, tables of data focused on the number of slaves involved, and timelines.

tag(s): africa (164), black history (73), slavery (68)

In the Classroom

If you are teaching a course that covers the African slave trade, this site will be invaluable. Take some time to browse the interactive maps and timelines, look through the lesson plans, and find images that can be used to supplement reading and discussion. Discover the glossary of terms that could be used for vocabulary work, the tables of information useful for teaching data analysis, and the African name database for genealogy research. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research a specific section of this site and create multimedia presentations. Try Thinglink, reviewed here, to enhance or extend student learning. This site allows you to narrate a picture. Enhance student learning by asking students to upload a copyright-safe photo, and then narrate as if it were a news report using Headline Generator, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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