Black History Month is a time set aside to recognize the achievements and contributions of African Americans in the United States. It is an opportunity to celebrate the lives of many who were left out of the history books in the past. There are many different ways that you can celebrate Black History Month with your students.
Read on to find out 6 Black History Month activities that are great for the elementary classroom and make sure to grab the FREE resource!
1. Read-aloud Picture Books
Picture books are a great way to help students explore the lives and experiences of others. It is also so important to read books where students can see themselves represented. Check out the highly recommended books below:
2. Create a Mural
Show students examples of murals that have been painted in different neighborhoods across the nation, such as the ones found on this website. Assign or allow students to choose a person to draw. It is helpful to have pictures that students can model their drawings after. They can then work in small groups to draw a picture. Have students cut out the outline of the person and paste the class drawings on a long piece of butcher paper in a creative way to display in the hallway. Check out this lesson plan for more details.
3. Use Trivia to Engage
An awesome way to get students excited about Black History Month is by using interesting facts to create a trivia game. Give students clues about an important person’s life and see if they can can guess who it is. You can give them until the next day to try and figure it out; or make it a weeklong game and give a new clue each day with the big reveal at the end of the week. This activity can be made easier by giving students a list of names to choose from.
4. Have a Trivia Bowl
If your class has been learning interesting facts throughout the month of February, you can wrap up the month with a fun trivia bowl! Put students into teams and have one student from each team be the representative that answers questions each round. Give facts about a person and see if they can guess who you are referring to or other trivia questions. You can also ask true or false questions. Students will love earning points and working together in teams to show their knowledge.
5. Research a Significant Individual
Another way to celebrate is by having your students do in-depth research of an important individual who has made contributions to our country. They can work in small groups and then present their information to the rest of the class. Take a look at our Black History Posters Activity pictured below. It includes articles and a poster with a portrait, important facts, character traits, famous words and a timeline for students to complete.
Grab this FREE Rosa Parks biography article and poster from the unit to use with your students!
6. Complete a Research Project
If you want to do a more extensive project, you can have your students spend more time researching an individual using several resources. Here’s one example of a website with kid-friendly biographies. Give students a theme such as Inventors, Entrepreneurs, or Trailblazers. Also, you might consider having them research a less well-known figure to help expand their knowledge of the contributions of Black Americans that they may be unaware of. After they have recorded their facts they can come up with a way to present them to the class.
A few presentation ideas are:
- create a Google Slideshow
- make a poster with interesting facts
- write an essay about their person’s life
- make a timeline using images
- create an inspirational poem/song