One thing I wish I had as a child was more resources to learn more about black history and inspiration from African Americans from all walks of life. Not just your typical famous African Americans that we know about - but those who were also very successful and made powerful impacts in other areas.
Here are a few ways to incorporate and share information about Black History Month in a way that involves students of all backgrounds, allows for safe (and powerful discussions), and can be done year-round!
1. Reflect on Famous Quotes
Find famous quotes from African Americans from a variety of industries, such as entertainment, athletes, civil rights activities, or politicians. You could do a writing prompt where students reflect on what the quote means to them. Do a quick-write where students write the meaning of the quote (in their opinion) and allow students to share. Give a little background information on the person who said the quote.
Dialogue with students about the meaning of the quotes is integral. You may get a variety of angles and opinions. Be sure to welcome all insights (within reason).
One of my resources was recently featured on the TpT blog! You can check out more information about my Motivational Posters here!
2. Integrate it in your Reading Block
Biography passages on famous African Americans doesn't have to be highlighted in February - it can be done all year! I love having students read biographies and answer multiple choice questions (to help build reading comprehension skills). This can be done in your small groups, stations, literacy centers, or assigned for homework or distance learning.
3. Allow Students to Research
Sometimes giving students free range to research people in black history based on their own interests is the way to go! There are a variety of kid-friendly online encyclopedias or websites for students to research. You can have students research a person and create a poster about it. If you're looking for project ideas (for any subject) check out this blog post on student choice!
Black History Month is important to recognize (and celebrate), not just in February but all year. Recognizing the accomplishments of a group of people who, throughout generations, has shown resiliency despite the odds, can help inspire the generations to come.