Dear fellow educators welcome back! It’s that time of year again when we come together to celebrate the rich history and contributions of Black individuals during Black History Month. I’m excited to share some fantastic Black History Month activities and ideas to make this month a memorable and educational experience for your elementary students.
I vividly remember my first Black History Month celebration in the classroom. As a teacher, I understood the importance of this month but struggled to find engaging and age-appropriate activities. Over the years, I’ve discovered some amazing resources and ideas that I’m thrilled to pass on to you.
Many teachers face the challenge of finding activities that resonate with young students while effectively conveying the significance of Black history. Let’s explore some educational and fun ways to address this challenge.
Why Should I Incorporate Black History Month Activities in the Classroom?
Black History Month offers a unique opportunity to introduce young learners to important historical figures and events that have shaped our world. It’s crucial to make this educational journey engaging and age-appropriate.
Print Out a Martin Luther King Jr. Newsletter
Start Black History Month off with a Martin Luther King Jr.-themed newsletter. This newsletter will convey information to parents and guardians at home. You can display it in the classroom to let other teachers and administration know what you will be focusing on throughout the month. A themed newsletter is always a fun way to introduce a new season or topic during the year.
Create a Storytelling Circle
Invite local storytellers or parents to share stories of prominent Black figures and their achievements. This interactive approach keeps students engaged while learning about history. Add a memo in your newsletter for parents to reach out to anyone they know who may be interested in presenting to the class. Kids will love hearing from the community.
Incorporate Plenty of Artistic Expressions
Encourage artistic expression through coloring sheets or drawing activities featuring influential Black leaders like Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, or Mae Jemison. You can find several from Classroom Doodles! Use them as morning work activities or to start meaningful conversations.
Complete a MLK Jr. Writing Craft
Have your students write about their dreams for the world, inspired by MLK Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Play his speech out loud and explain the importance behind it. Create a visual display showcasing your students’ dreams and aspirations after they have finished the project. The fun craft that comes with it allows students to chat as they work. The Martin Luther King Jr. Craft is a fun activity for this time of year.
Read Interesting Books About Black History Month
Try reading a few stories to showcase events for students. Here are a few great titles:
- “Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad” by Ellen Levine – This powerful picture book tells the true story of Henry “Box” Brown, a slave who mailed himself to freedom in a wooden crate. The book beautifully illustrates Henry’s courage and determination as he embarks on a remarkable journey to escape slavery and find freedom.
- “The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist” by Cynthia Levinson – Audrey Faye Hendricks was just a child when she joined the ranks of civil rights activists in Birmingham, Alabama. This inspiring biography introduces young readers to Audrey’s brave actions during the civil rights movement, emphasizing the role that young people played in bringing about change.
- “Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History” by Vashti Harrison – Vashti Harrison’s beautifully illustrated book introduces young readers to 40 trailblazing Black women who made significant contributions throughout history. From scientists to artists, activists to politicians, this book celebrates the accomplishments of these remarkable women.
- “The Story of Ruby Bridges” by Robert Coles – Ruby Bridges was a courageous six-year-old who helped desegregate schools in New Orleans in 1960. This book tells her story, emphasizing her determination and the importance of education and equality. It’s a great choice for teaching kids about the civil rights movement.
- “I Am Rosa Parks” by Brad Meltzer – Part of the “Ordinary People Change the World” series, this book introduces young readers to Rosa Parks, the woman who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Through simple language and engaging illustrations, kids can learn about Rosa Parks’s bravery and the impact of her actions on the civil rights movement.
Create a Timeline of Events
Grab a giant sheet of butcher paper and write the events of Black History Month in chronological order. If you teach lower grades, choose just a handful to put in order. Include printed pictures and kid-friendly descriptions!
Black History Month is Important
We understand the challenges you face in delivering meaningful Black History Month lessons to lower elementary students. We share your passion for teaching and believe these activities will make a positive difference in your classrooms.
What are your favorite Black History Month activities for young learners? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below to foster a supportive teaching community.
Use the Black History Month Activities to Foster Community
Be sure to grab the FREE newsletter printables and the MLK Jr. writing craft. These activities will add some art to your bulletin board during the winter while teaching important historical facts.
Teachers, you are the heart and soul of education. Your commitment to nurturing young minds and fostering understanding is what empowers the next generation. Together, we can make Black History Month an inspiring and educational journey for our students.
Thank you for joining me on this journey to celebrate Black history with students. Your time and dedication are invaluable, and we’re grateful for your unwavering support. Keep up the fantastic work, and never underestimate the impact you have on your students’ lives. With passion, empathy, and the right resources, we can inspire the leaders of tomorrow to make positive changes in the world. Happy teaching!
Follow me on Instagram for plenty of tips, resources, and adorable bulletin board displays!
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