This month we’re sharing instructional ideas and resources to bring Black History Month‘s celebration of culture and community to your classroom.
Discovery Education’s February Newsletter features more on African American history, as well as lots of opportunities to win: a playground and $30,000, the Ultimate Cool School Sweepstakes, $5,000 for your school, or the chance to be featured on Discovery Education’s NFL PLAY 60 Challenge website.
Explore the Black History Month Content Collection, featuring resources selected and created by Discovery Education’s curriculum experts, including lesson starters, video clips, songs, and more, and delve into the lives of African Americans who made history.
Share how you and your students honor African American history by snapping a photo or share a student artifact with the hashtag #CelebrateWithDE and #BlackHistory.
Join Discovery Education for a Virtual Viewing Party on Tuesday, February 23, at 1 PM ET, as students across the country simultaneously share in the story of Ruby Bridges, the first black student to attend an all-white elementary school in Louisiana.
Groundbreaking African Americans
Using SOS: Fakebook as a guide, students consider what it must have been like for African Americans who led groundbreaking lives as they create digital or analog “Facebook” profiles for black heroes with images, text, significant dates, biographical information, and contemporary relationships.
Explore these Discovery Education resources about African American groundbreakers:
Slavery, Abolitionists, and the Underground Railroad in America
To help students better understand the realities of life before the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment, do a jigsaw exercise about slavery in America.
As described in SOS: Jigsaw, divide students into groups, and assign each group a topic from the Discovery Education series, America’s Journey Through Slavery:
- The Life of an Enslaved Person in America
- Harriet Tubman and Her Escape to Freedom
- Escaping Slavery on the Underground Railroad
- The Abolitionist Movement in America
- Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator
African Americans in the Arts
The contributions of black Americans to art and culture are practically immeasurable. One particularly powerful era of African American art, music, literature, and activism was the Harlem Renaissance between 1919 and the early 1940s. Have students draw connections with SOS: Connect the Dots between the The Harlem Renaissance, modern popular culture, and themselves.
Explore these additional Discovery Education resources about the Harlem Renaissance:
The Journey Toward Civil Rights
By close-reading images of the Civil Rights Movement, students transport to the time, place, and moment in history to understand the impact of the people and that time. Have students select an image from Discovery Education, such as Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ruby Bridges, Malcolm X, Civil Rights Demonstrators, Selma March, and ask students to identify at least five interesting details in an image, from clothing and objects to expressions and shadows. Then, have students describe each detail individually and what it suggests about the person or that moment. Finally, have students document those details and parts of the image in a tool like Discovery Education Board Builder, arranging in an order that tells the most powerful story, like in this example.