TeachersFirst's Black History Resources
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.
View our entire collection of tagged resources for Black History.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomShare 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.
Grades5 to 9
In the ClassroomTake 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.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomBe 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.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomShare 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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare 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!
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomShare 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.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse 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!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomExplore 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.
Grades7 to 12
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In the ClassroomUse 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.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomThe 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!
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomThe 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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomOf 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.
Grades5 to 8
In the ClassroomFollow 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.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce 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.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomView 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.
GradesK to 12
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