I have a confession to make: It has been some time since I’ve taught a black history unit because I was struggling to find a unique black history lesson for kids. I know it is important to expose students to a diverse variety of people and cultures. I believe it is important to honor the work and legacy of Black Americans and black people in general, but I was struggling with the forced, almost robotic units of the past that included the same influential black people. I did not feel comfortable teaching a unit that did not display a unique black history lesson for kids.
Instead of continuing not to teach a black history unit, I decided to make a unique black history lesson for kids. I knew I wanted it to be something that could be done over an extended period of time. I wanted it to encourage students to get to know and research influential black people that they have never heard about or have never had the opportunity to learn more about before. One of the most important requirements for me was that I would make a unique black history lesson for kids that could be used in multiple formats and make students excited to discover black leaders and heroes near and far.
Before I dive any further into the unique black history lesson for kids that I’ve created, let’s take a look at Black History Month and some of the most well known and respected black people that are typically studied during this month.
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What is Black History Month?
Black History month was started to remember the contributions of important black people. Though it is celebrated in February in the United States and Canada, it is celebrated in October in the U.K, Netherlands and Ireland.
When and Why Was Black History Month Started?
Black History Month or Negro History Week, as it was called then, was first celebrated during the second week of February in 1926. Black History Month was developed by Carter G. Woodson, who along with friends thought it was important to recognize the accomplishments black people had made since the end of slavery.
Why is Black History Month Celebrated in February?
Black History Month is celebrated in February to honor the work of two men who were instrumental in advancing the freedom and progress of black people, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. February was chosen since both men have birthdays in that month, with Lincoln’s birthday being on the 12th of February and Douglass’ birthday being on the 14th. Outside of the month being the birthdays of these two instrumental individuals, it was also chosen because that month was already being used to celebrate the work and legacy of these two black advocates.
What are the Colors of Black History Month?
The colors that are used for Black History Month celebrations are red, black and green. Each color holds a special meaning that is related to Black History Month. The black represents black people, red represents the blood that unites all black people, irrespective of their origin and green represents the vibrant beauty and resources of Africa.
How can you Celebrate Black History for Kids?
Even though I didn’t complete units recently, because I was struggling to come up with a unique black history lesson for kids, I have celebrated black history with my children in the past. Some of our favorite ways to celebrate black history for kids was reading, researching, creating collages, designing mini replicas and going on web quests that utilized a flipped classroom approach. Each of these are engaging ways to celebrate black history for kids, but I’m excited to share with you the unique black history lesson for kids that I have created.
What are some Black History Month Activities for Schools?
Schools should not be afraid to and should proudly recognize Black History Month, preferably with unique black history lessons and activities for kids. They should definitely try to refrain from only recognizing a handful of people and having any type of activity that seems inauthentic. Some of the activities that schools could use to celebrate black history month for kids are bulletin boards and artistic or creative displays, moments in black history (featuring influential black people) during morning announcements, black history wax museums or fashion shows. I would also encourage placing an emphasis on local and community black leaders, so that students see the relevance of the celebrations and realize that that same type of greatness is possible from them.
Now, that I’ve hopefully cleared up some of the most common questions that people tend to have about Black History Month, such as why it is celebrated and how to celebrate it, let’s jump into how you can create a unique black history lesson for kids.
How Can you Create a Unique Black History Lesson for Kids?
I know by now, after thinking about all the information I shared about the origins of Black History Month, activities that schools can use to celebrate Black History Month and some ways teachers should be careful when creating Black History Month activities, you may be feeling intimidated and lost, but don't be. I've been saving some exciting news. You do not need to create a unique black history lesson for kids because I have already done it for you.
What is this Unique Black History Lesson for Kids that I've Created?
The name of the unique black history lessons for kids that I've created is the New Stars of Black History Project. As I was working to find a way to make a unique black history lesson for kids , I started thinking of ways to make students more active in the lesson. I know that in any lesson, if students feel the topic is relevant and that they get to be a part of the learning and creation process, then they will enjoy it more and get more from the lesson.
Because of this, in my unique black history lesson for kids , kids are in the driving seat. They get to come up with the criteria to use to identify influential black people for the lesson, they get to select the actual person they will study, and they will develop or choose the method they will use to learn and share about their learning.
In this unique black history lesson for kids, students will be encouraged to look around their neighborhoods, communities, cities, states and country to find black people who are working to advance and show what makes black people and black history special. They will be challenged to look outside of the more well recognized influential black history honorees, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks to identify people who are creating their own path, establishing new businesses, founding new organizations and breaking down previously established barriers.
This unique black history lesson for kids will also give students an opportunity to move outside of the boundaries of their own country to discover people they may be unaware of and to learn about cultures and traditions that may be outside of their knowledge base. As they research and create, this unique black history lesson for kids will help them to identify and recognize the traits and potential they possess that could lead them to being influential in the world.
Every aspect of this unique black history lesson for kids has been carefully crafted and each step of the lesson includes notes and guides to help both teachers and students have the best learning experience. The lesson includes graphic organizers, guiding tips, an assessment checklist, a fun and engaging culminating activity as well as potential extensions and differentiated activities for students who need support in this unique black history lesson for kids.
Are you excited to see this unique black history lesson for kids? Well, here is a sneak peek. Prepare to take your students on a black history journey they haven’t experienced as yet and to have them enjoy being in the driver’s seat with their learning. In this unique black history lesson for kids, your students will practice research and writing skills and also develop decision making and speaking skills, to name a few.
In the culmination activity for this unique black history lesson for kids, students will be able to create a product that demonstrates their area/s of strength and use their creativity and persuasive skills to convince their peers and teachers. You and your students will love the product you will create together and cherish the learning experiences and memories you will make.
How Long will This Unique Black History Lesson for Kids Take?
This unique black history lesson for kids can last over several days or weeks, depending on the pace needed for your students or how often you meet. Feel free to adapt and adjust as needed for your class.
Are any Special Supplies Needed for This Unique Black History Lesson for Kids?
Most of the materials needed for this unique black history lesson for kids are easily found in most classrooms and schools. There are pages that will need to be printed, students will need access to books or technology for research and for the culminating activity, you will need a large sheet of black butcher or any other type of large black paper, plastic or cloth.
How do I get This Unique Black History Lesson for Kids?
Now, the only question that remains about this unique black history lesson for kids is how can you get yours now. Easy, click here on the picture above to be taken to my store. From there, click on the New Stars of Black History project and select your payment method. Once you have paid, you can download your project immediately and begin sharing it with your students or children. Throughout the month of February, enjoy a 30% off discount on your New Stars of Black History project purchase.
Before You Go
Thank you for being interested in creating a unique black history lesson and experience for kids. It is extremely important that students are exposed to a wide variety of people, races, cultures, traditions and more in their educational career. Do you need more teacher help, such as lessons and units similar to the unique black history lesson for kids, or tips on new and engaging instructional methods or book ideas? Please, come back often, as I am constantly creating and sharing resources that moms and teachers may find useful.