Black History is US History-Lessons, Videos, & Authentic Activities about Influential African Americans for the entire year
Black History is American History. We need to be teaching about influential, world changing people of color all year long-not just in February. I've rounded up some of our favorite videos, books, and resources to ensure that teaching diversity is a priority in our classrooms!
Happy February! Each day this month, we'll also be posting a short video on Instagram & Youtube spotlighting an influential African American. As new teachers a decade ago, we thought this was limited to a few fun lessons about MLK, Ruby Bridges, and skin color/friendship during the month of February. Thankfully, we've been educated more and gained insight over the years. We've seen firsthand how students need/enjoy hearing/reading/watching about people like them-from all walks of life. So now, we are firm believers in teaching diversity and "the other side of history" all year long. Let's get started with some Black History Month Videos for Kids.
A great way to set the stage for conversations about Civil Rights, why we need to honor African Americans, and the wrongful treatment of Africans who were enslaved is by showing “Born Free & Equal” Liberty’s Kids, Episode 138. It is a 23 minute episode about Massachusetts slave "Mum Bett" suing for her freedom. This is sure to elicit some feelings of social justice within your students.
Start the month with the ABC’s of Black History Month. It’s an exceptional use of 5 minutes detailing many of the most important concepts and topics that should be discussed in greater detail depending on grade level.
Celebrate Black History Month with this kid-friendly, animated video by 88Brains on the lives and legacies of Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, George Washington Carver, Madam C.J. Walker, Garrett A. Morgan, and Mae Jamison.
Kids explain Black History in this 2 minute video. I appreciate it featuring African American kids giving such compelling reasons for why Black History is important. Very timely and appropriate!
Educational Videos for Students has five videos in a playlist for Black History. My personal favorite featured the story of Jesse Owens. It is three minutes and discusses how he overcame obstacles to become an Olympic winning gold medalist.
We compiled 10 of our favorite videos (of our own) into a Black History Month Video Bundle. James spends hours researching, designing, and recording the videos to make sure they are historically accurate, visually engaging for students, and add value to classroom instruction time. My personal favorites include Rosa Parks (because I included a primary source with AUDIO OF HER ACTUALLY TELLING THE STORY!) and Ruby Bridges because I’ve always been fascinated with her story.
We also still really enjoy spotlighting influential Black leaders when history books don't, which is why we've created 2 massive bundles of African American Leveled Text Biographies. Tune in to IG & Youtube to see those! If you are looking for a way to showcase these leaders, our differentiated passages are perfect for guided reading groups (for the whole month!), homework, whole group lessons, or centers. Investing in this biography bundle will be a great way for you to show your administration that you are differentiating for all learners, integrating content across the curriculum, and most importantly, teaching for a culturally diverse and appreciative classroom. Interested in a FREE Black History Month activity? Download this comprehension crossword!
Looking to add some quality children's literature for a more diverse and culturally aware classroom library? Check out our blog post all about books featuring African American leaders!