January 31, 2021

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Celebrate African Americans Who Have Made A Difference

Introduce your students to African American influencers of the past and present. This week, we're highlighting resources to use in your lessons as you prepare for African American History Month. Each resource teaches about one (or several) African Americans who have changed the world. 

Grades 6-12

Famous African Americans

From the little known to the very famous, these people have something in common: they have all made significant contributions to American history. Discover sports figures, musicians, actors, writers, activists, scientists, and politicians.

Grades 7-12

Celebrating Black History Month - Collection

Peruse this collection of poems, articles, and podcasts that will help you explore African American history and culture. Share poems and podcasts from Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Rita Dove, Gwendolyn Brooks, and many others.

Grades 6-12

The HistoryMakers

Share this collection of incredibly rich biographies and oral histories of 2000 African Americans who have made history in their respective fields. Each entry includes a photograph, a brief biography, and fun facts, and some include videos.

Grades 8-12

The Sojourner Truth Project

Introduce your students to Sojourner Truth and explore different versions and factors that drove changes in her 1851 "Ain't I a Woman?" speech. Watch videos of women reading the speech in contemporary Afro-Dutch dialects.

Grades 6-12

The Lowdown: The Obama Years, A Retrospective Lesson Plan

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

Grades 5-12

Meet the Man Who Created Black History Month

Meet Carter G. Woodson, a leader in African-American studies who worked to bring African-American stories into the history books in the 1920s after their long history of being primarily neglected. Bring this hero into your lessons.

Grades 6-12

Mary McLeod Bethune

Using an excerpt from an interview of Mary McLeod Bethune, this lesson guides students through an exploration of her life and comparisons to their own lives. This lesson includes essential questions, reading activities to make connections, and more.

Grades 6-12

Phyllis Wheatley

Delight your students in this interesting, short biography about Phyllis Wheatley and her poem "His Excellency General Washington." In the video, historian Alexis Coe reads the last verse and describes Wheatley's life and Washington's reaction.

Grades 5-8

Ruby Bridges: Connecting Lives

This site offers a two-part lesson plan for middle school students, including an interview with civil rights activist Ruby Bridges and an activity to build a suspension bridge, connecting the durability of the bridge to Ruby's personal strength.

Grades K-6

Reading Treks: Keep On! The Story of Matthew Henson Co-Discoverer of the North Pole

TeachersFirst's Reading Treks offer interactive Google Maps and complete instruction guides full of activities and classroom suggestions. Learn about the story of Matthew Hensen, an assistant to Admiral Peary, and their journey to the North Pole.

This Week at TeachersFirst

We invite you to come and learn with us at our Tuesday OK2Ask virtual workshop and our bi-monthly Twitter chat this Thursday. Don't miss our related blog full of classroom use ideas and African American History Month resources. And finally, we kindly ask for your input in our weekly poll. 


  OK2Ask: Tech Integration Made Easy with Nearpod image

Tuesday (2/2) at 7 PM ET

OK2Ask: Tech Integration Made Easy with Nearpod

Join us as we share ways to use Nearpod to engage your students in both virtual and face-to-face settings. During this session, we will explore the Nearpod library, customize a digital lesson, and plan for the use of Nearpod as part of instruction.

Save your spot in this engaging session »


  Twitter Chat: Tech Tools to Support Reading and Writing image

Thursday (2/4) at 8 PM ET

Twitter Chat: Tech Tools to Support Reading and Writing

Our bi-monthly Twitter chats continue this Thursday with a discussion about using tech tools to support reading and writing. Come and tweet with us about ways to use technology to empower students in ELA and strategies that support reading and writing.

Share tips for using tech tools to support students in ELA »


  Celebrate African American History Month! image

Infusing Technology Blog

Celebrate African American History Month!

Read this timely blog post to gain new perspectives and ideas about celebrating African Americans in your lessons. Students love interactive activities, and there are many in this blog post that are perfect for African American History Month.

Find inspiration for your students and lessons »


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Share your thoughts with our community

Weekly Poll

This week our poll asks: "What do you think is the most important reason to highlight famous African Americans?" Share your reply and view other educators' responses as soon as you click to submit.

Why will you share these heroes with your class? »

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TeachersFirst is a collection of curated, classroom-ready content and ideas — including teacher-authored reviews of more than 15,000 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.