Black History Month Activities
The Freedom of Words
Reading/Writing/History In honor of Black History Month, read the book A Voice of Her Own: The Story of Phillis Wheatley, Slave Poet by Kathryn Lasky (Candlewick, 2003). It tells the story of the first book published by an African-American woman, albeit a woman who had been kidnapped in Africa to be slave in America. How much had Phillis wanted to learn? What did education mean then? What does it mean to your students now? Do they equate education with freedom? How?
A wonderful single-artist biography is the beautiful Romare Bearden: Collage of Memories (Abrams, 2003), which recounts the life of this African-American artist with photographic reproductions of his groundbreaking paintings and collages. The book is written by Jan Greenberg who, with Sandra Jordan, co-wrote last year's Action Jackson, a picture book biography of "splatter" artist Jackson Pollock (Roaring Brook, 2002).
African American Inventors and Inventions
Students learn about inventions created by African Americans and complete a work sheet about the information learned.
Rosa Louis Parks
Students will be able to describe Rosa Parks' contributions and how they affect us today through the presentation of a mini-unit. Then students will learn how to identify important events occurring at this time in history by participation in the KWL and historical perspective activities.
Technology and the African American Inventor
The purpose of this lesson is to create an awareness and understanding that important technological advances within our culture, in a variety of areas, are the result of the work done by a diverse group of people, many of whom are African Americans. To this end, students will be actively involved in discussions, research, and sharing sessions. Between six and ten class periods will be necessary for this lesson.
On the Air
Examining the Roles of African-American Entertainers Throughout Television History
In this lesson, students will explore the issue of race in television since the 1950's, focusing specifically on African-American entertainers. After researching important issues, events, and television personalities of specific decades, students create "TV Guide" issues commemorating the "African-American experience" in television in those time periods.