February is Black History Month and a wonderful time to celebrate the amazing contributions African Americans have made to history. I love that we have a specific month to celebrate the Black race. As a parent of a black little girl, we talk about race often. Even if we don’t bring it up, it comes up almost weekly. We are teaching her to be proud of her race (color) and her ethnicity (customs, traditions, and language from her country of origin).
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As a classroom teacher, we want to honor blacks during February and I truly think it’s best that we are doing this ALL year! We can do this by discussing their character as the fight for equality, their strong family traditions, cultural celebrations, and celebrating their beauty in how they were created. Do you need some Black History Month activities that are easily implemented all year? Check out what I have for you!
These books are all wonderful for interactive read alouds to be used any time of year! They celebrate various things from black families, determination, artistic abilities, and beauty in black hair!
- Freedom School, Yes! by Amy Littlesugar
- Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron
- Lily Brown’s Paintings by Angela Johnson
- Uncle Jed’s Barber Shop by Margaree King Mitchell
All About Martin Luther King, Jr.
This unit was designed for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade learners. I needed something for my students that integrated reading, writing, and social studies and was all-inclusive – voila! The vocabulary cards really helped my students get a firm grasp on vocabulary that can be a little abstract. There are several graphic organizers to help track learning and keep it visual. Also included is a flip book and pocket book to keep learning fun and hands-on. Additionally, my students especially loved working with the timeline. There are enough activities in this one unit for a whole week of social studies! I hope your little learners will love it as much as mine!
Grab yours HERE!
Flip Up Books
Flip up books are one of my favorite resources. They have everything you need to teach about a topic all in one place, integrate social studies, reading, and writing, and are super easy to assemble. Flip up books are simple to implement into any lesson plans. They’ll keep your students engaged while they learn! Here’s what I have for Black history activities:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Flip Up Book
Ruby Bridges Flip Up Book – This one is a FREEBIE for you!
Martin Luther King, Jr. Poem Freebie
In this blog post HERE, I shared a poem I wrote to use during shared reading for Black History Month. If you aren’t familiar with shared reading, it’s a short block of time during the day when the teacher and students read together. The teacher models and the students practice decoding strategies, comprehension strategies, and phonics all in a 15 minute time frame. Check out this post HERE to read all about how to implement it. Also, HERE is a post with 5 teaching points you can use with this poem (or any poem/song/big book).
Let me end by saying this: I did not teach specifically about black culture and race all year when I was in the classroom. I did make sure to hunt and find books that represented my students best, but I still could’ve done more. Things have changed in the last 6 years. I now know better. When we know better, then we do better. You can, too!
I hope these Black History Month resources will help your students get a strong understanding of some important people in our history! Happy teaching!