• The Spark

3 Types of Resources to Enhance Your Black History Month Lessons

Author:  The Spark Staff  | 02/09/2017

February provides a time for a national dialogue surrounding the history of African Americans, and it starts in the classroom. Now is a great time to create lesson plans using games, influential literature, and activities that incorporate reading, writing, and social studies. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

1.  GAMES

While we know that students learn differently within the classroom, it’s also important to diversify lesson styles to engage students. While the subject is serious, incorporating games into Black History Month can help students retain critical information.

Black History Month Crossword Puzzle

Students complete the crossword puzzles to decipher the words that are missing from famous quotes by historical figures. The kit includes answer keys and two word banks – one for the missing words and one for historical speakers.  For Grades 5-8. By Promoted Success.

Black History Month Task Card Activities

With only 30 cards, this deck provides learning centers with the possibility of group work, board games, scavenger hunts, and other DIY games. You’ll find student response forms, an answer key, and an assignment rubric. Grades 5-8. By Promoting Success


2.  LITERATURE

Black History Month highlights some of the greatest American literature. Whether through playwriting, nonfiction, or poetry, the influential works below weave a very important thread through the American narrative that all students should learn.

Maya Angelou “Still I Rise” Flip Book

“Still I Rise” depicts Maya Angelou’s life through poetry, described in this flip book through questions about the poem and poet, a word-cloud activity, an adaptive version of the poem for middle school grades. The poem is broken down into the different poetic devices to better understand the framework of poetry. Grades 6-12, brought to you by Danielle Knight.  

The Color Purple LitPlan Novel Unit Lesson Plans

Guide your students through Alice Walker’s The Color Purple with an array of activities: daily lessons, study tips, quiz questions, vocabulary worksheets, writing assignments, individual and group activities, unit tests, review puzzles and games, reproducible student materials. Grades 11-12.  By Teacher’s Pet Publications

"A Raisin in the Sun": Interactive Layered Flip Book

The famous Lorraine Hansberry play “A Raisin in the Sun” is imperative to the study of Black History. This interactive flip book includes background information on the play, a literary terms chart, vocabulary, guided reading questions, a set design activity, Langston Hughes’ inspirational poem, and much more. Grades 7-12, brought to you by Danielle Knight.


3.  ACTIVITIES

Varying how a lesson is taught can really spark student engagement. Hands-on activities allow students to step outside the text and visualize historical references differently, providing opportunities to engage with key concepts and make new connections.

Black History Month Pack

This collection includes reading comprehension passages, quotes, hands-on activities, and brainstorming sessions for 23 important black individuals. The pack also includes biographies and photographs to spark discussion between students. Grades 3-6. By Create-abilities.

To Kill a Mockingbird – Discrimination Activity

This activity is designed to help students reflect on the discrimination and racism brought to the forefront in Harper Lee’s award-winning novel To Kill A Mockingbird—one of the pillars of American literature. Grades 8-12. By Presto Plans

Louis Sachar’s Holes Historical Context Video & Activity

Through a video and accompanying assignment on the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King, Jr., this activity asks students to make connections between the themes learned here to the novel Holes. Grades 6-8. By Presto Plans.

“Man in the Mirror” Song Lyric Activities

Michael Jackson’s famous song and music video “Man in the Mirror” is broken down into song analysis, acrostics, t-shirt design, and writing through worksheets and activities. Grades 7-12. By Danielle Knight.

Frederick Douglass, Nonfiction Activity

Excerpts from Frederick Douglass’ narrative and his 1865 letter to his former slave master are analyzed through a series of questions and worksheet prompts for class discussion. Grades 6-12. By Laura Randazzo.

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