January 30, 2022

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Planning a research project to help your students learn about African American history-makers? Add more tools, strategies, integration ideas, and perspectives to your teaching toolbox and share your experience by participating in this week’s Twitter chat about student research skills.
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Celebrate African American History Month

African American History Month (also known as Black History Month) is an annual observance held every February in the United States. The resources we are sharing this week focus on many African Americans who have made a difference in the world. Share their stories with your students during February or any time throughout the year. 

Grades 5-12

Meet the Man Who Created Black History Month

Meet Carter G. Woodson, a leader in African American studies. This short article provides an introduction to Carter G. Woodson and his work to bring the achievements of African Americans into textbooks (they had been primarily neglected until the 1920s).

Grades 8-12

The Sojourner Truth Project

The Sojourner Truth Project explores the different versions and background behind changes in Sojourner Truth's 1851 “Aint I a Woman?” speech. Select the link to listen to the speeches and compare the two versions by viewing the highlighted differences.

Grades 6-12

The Lowdown: The Obama Years, A Retrospective Lesson Plan

Explore the achievements and setbacks of Obama's presidency in this lesson that includes an interactive timeline of his eight years in office. The lesson plan also includes essential questions, vocabulary, and suggestions for extension activities.

Grades 6-12

Mary McLeod Bethune

Using an excerpt from an interview of Mary McLeod Bethune, this lesson guides students through an exploration of Bethune's life and a comparison to their own life experiences. Find essential questions, extension activities, and prompts.

Grades K-12

The Brown Bookshelf

The Brown Bookshelf features literature for young readers written by and featuring people of color. They also offer 28 Days Later during February, a month-long showcase of the best in picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels!

Grades K-3

Reading Treks: A Weed is a Flower - The Life of George Washington Carver

Learn about the life of George Washington Carver through this picture book biography. Born into slavery, Carver learns about the world around him and eventually goes to school. This Reading Trek offers an engaging map and instructional guide.

Grades 6-12

By Popular Demand: Jackie and other Baseball Highlights 1860s-1960s

Enjoy this collection about Jackie Robinson that includes images of the star of the show, pictures of early teams, documentation of Robinson's entry into the big leagues, and more. Click on time periods to learn more about African Americans and baseball.

Grades 3-7

Harriet Tubman: Abolition Activist

Read all about the accomplishments of Harriet Tubman through the use of two primary sources. After watching a biographical video as an introduction to Tubman, examine a photo and letter sent to her by Frederick Douglass to learn more about her life.

Grades 6-12

Famous African Americans

The people on this list have something in common, from the little-known to the famous: they have all made significant contributions to American history. Find hundreds of names (listed alphabetically) and a wealth of categories from sports to scientists.

Grades 4-8

Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights

Explore free, printable lesson plans and worksheets, an interview, a biography, and other reading material that can be easily viewed full-screen on your classroom whiteboard. The easy navigation includes links built right into the text for vocabulary.

Grades 5-8

Ruby Bridges: Connecting Lives

Read about Ruby Bridges in this cross-curricular unit that includes texts about Ruby, writing reactions in a double-entry journal, building a suspension bridge, connecting the bridge's strength with Ruby's personal strength, and an interview.

This Week at TeachersFirst

Engage in some professional learning this week with an upcoming OK2Ask virtual workshop on Tuesday, a Twitter chat on Thursday, and a related blog post. We also kindly request your input in our weekly poll. 


  OK2Ask: Tech Integration Made Easy with Animoto image

Tuesday, 2/1, 7 PM ET

OK2Ask: Tech Integration Made Easy with Animoto

Engage students and deepen content area knowledge by using Animoto to create instructional videos. Use text, audio, and video to provide additional context to instruction for your students or use student-created videos as formative assessment.

Plan for the use of Animoto in instruction »


  Twitter Chat: Research Skills Round-Up image

Thursday, 2/3, 8 PM ET

Twitter Chat: Research Skills Round-Up

Come and tweet with us using the hashtags #OK2Ask and #TeachersFirst. We will discuss the purpose of research in the classroom and share ideas for integrating student research across the curriculum during this chat.

Explore research strategies and resources for use in the classroom »


  Celebrate African American History Month! image

Infusing Technology Blog

Celebrate African American History Month!

Peruse this blog post and discover interactive activities connected to African American History. This site offers a lot, from a 360° tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture to a journey on the Underground Railroad!

Take your students on a virtual journey »


  Weekly Poll image

Share your thoughts with our community

Weekly Poll

This week or poll asks, "How do you (mostly) teach your students about African Americans who have made a difference?" Submit your reply and view the responses of other educators.

Bring African-American heroes into your lessons »

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TeachersFirst is a collection of curated, classroom-ready content and ideas — including teacher-authored reviews of thousands of web resources. Built-in guidance from seasoned professionals makes effective classroom technology use trouble-free. TeachersFirst is made available free to K12 teachers by The Source for Learning, Inc., a nonprofit that has been providing educational resources for more than 40 years.