Six Teaching Tools for Black History MonthJanuary 28, 2013 | Matt Davis
Although Black History Month provides a great opportunity for students to explore black history, it's important that teachers "reinforce that 'black history' is American history," writes Pat Russo in Dos and Don'ts of Teaching Black History Month. Keeping that in mind, in February, teachers can dig deeper into the history, provide students context, and connect the past to the present.
Each year since 1928, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History has provided a theme for Black History Month. This year's theme, "At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington," corresponds with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
To help celebrate Black History Month 2013, there are a plethora of valuable teaching resources on the Web, from interactive timelines and rich multimedia to lesson plans and study guides. Here are some suggestions:
- Beyond Black History Month from Learn NC: This article from the University of North Carolina's School of Education offers ways teachers can "shift the lens" and explore African American history from new perspectives. The school has also produced a long list of lesson plans and related resources for teaching black history.
- Black History timeline from Biography: This interactive timeline from Biography follows African American history in the United States from 1619 to the present, featuring fast facts, quizzes, and discussion starters. Biography also hosts a larger collection of black history resources, including study guides, videos, and games.
- Celebrate African American Heritage with Scholastic: This rich collection of teaching resources covers a lot of ground, including The Civil Rights Movement, African American contributions to the arts, and slavery in America. Each topic is covered with lesson plans, multimedia, and reading lists.
- Black History Resources from the New York Times Learning Network: Students can explore African American history using an archive of newspaper front pages from important dates in Civil Rights history. Other resources include lesson plans, crosswords, and updated lessons using current Times content.
- Black History Month Lessons and Resources from the NEA: The National Education Association produced this exhaustive collection of teaching resources for Black History Month. Lesson plans are provided for all grade levels, and they include quizzes, discussion topics, and background information.
- Smithsonian Education's Black History Month Teaching Resources: These resources from Smithsonian Education feature various collections, from 'The Blues and Langston Hughes' to 'Harlem Renaissance: A Reading List'. There is something for students of any grade level here.
There are many wonderful resources online for Black History Month, and unfortunately, we could just cover a few. Did we miss anything? What resources do you use in your classroom during Black History Month?