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Ways to Celebrate Black History Month in the Classroom

It's always important to celebrate the contributions of Black people who changed the world. However, today, it's even more important to highlight the contributions of Black and indigenous people of color (BIPOC) in our classrooms. These ways to celebrate Black History Month for kids can be used all year long by integrating strong nonfiction and literary pieces in your classroom. In addition, there are so many fun activities to share the stories of Black heroes throughout history.

10 Books to Celebrate Black History Month for Kids

Little Legends: Exceptional Black Men in History by Vashti Harrison

This beautifully illustrated book is a great read for those of all ages! Read biographies of aviators, lawmen, artists and civil rights leaders throughout history. Some of the featured subjects include James Baldwin, Alvin Ailey, and John Lewis.

Black Women in Science: A Black History Book for Kids by Kimberly Brown Pellum, PhD.

Throughout history, Black women have made a difference in STEM by being brave and using their brains. This book spotlights fifteen females who built their legacies in the area of STEM. In addition to the biographies, this book includes a robust glossary.

Timelines from Black History: Leaders,, Legends, Legacies by DK

DK knows how to put together a terrific timeline. This visually-engaging reference book includes more than thirty timelines detailing lives and events the world over, including the development of Black History. Readers will learn about many of the more and less famous individuals who have been part of Black History.

Bedtime Inspirational Stories: 50 Amazing Black People Who Changed the World by L.A. Amber

This rich text includes the biographies of fifty notable Black men and women from the eighteenth century to today. Enjoy fifty richly illustrated examples of strong role models who made a big impact on the world. In addition to learning about the lives of these individuals, the text includes fifty affirmations, designed to be said aloud daily.

Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen? By Sherri L. Smith

Part of the ‘Who Were’ series, this volume tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military flight program in the US at Tuskegee University in Alabama. During WWII, these Black American heroes had to endure a racist U.S. military, despite the fact that they were fighting for their country. This book tells about the brave men who paved the way for the integration of the U.S. military.

March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

A graphic novel trilogy, these books tell, from Lewis’ perspective, all about the events leading up and including the famous march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge. Though rooted in Lewis’ own personal story, the book also details many highs and lows from the Civil Rights Movement.

Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry

This biography tells about Tubman, born a slave, who longed to be free. Risking everything, Tubman eventually found freedom and helped over three hundred find their freedom as well. In addition to the content about Tubman, the book includes discussion questions, a timeline, and extension activities.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Set in 1930’s rural Mississippi, this book tells the story of Cassie and her family. A rare Black family who actually owns their land, Cassie and her family work hard to pay the annual taxes, all the while fighting for justice in their small town. They must fight carefully, though, because anyone with authority is white.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Watsons are going on a road trip! The story of this fateful adventure to the middle of the Civil Rights Struggle - Birmingham, Alabama, is a colorful one. Full of laughter and joy as well as some very dark moments, Curtis has written a realistic and relatable tale.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Through poetry, this memoir tells the story of Woodson’s growing up years during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Because she was raised in both New York and South Carolina, Woodson didn’t feel completely ‘at home’ in either place. Her poetry touches on Jim Crow Laws, as well as her growing awareness of the Civil Rights Movement.

Black History Month Digital Activities

One of the most powerful ways to help your students engage and learn is with digital escape rooms. The Black History Month Digital Escape Room takes students on mission through two 360° VIEW rooms to decode Black History Month facts. Using cryptograms, ciphers, mazes, and jigsaw puzzles, this escape room allows your students to use critical thinking while celebrating Black History Month. Technology resources limited? Check out the Black History Month Printable activities for upper elementary or middle school Black History Month escape room with facts about Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson, Billie Holiday, Ruby Bridges, and more!

Black History Month Reading Passages and Questions

Incorporate reading comprehension activities into your social studies curriculum with these self-grading digital Black History Month reading passages. The reading comprehension package includes:
  • A Non-Fiction Reading Passage (2 pages)
  • Teacher Directions
  • Answer Key
  • 15 Question Assessment to Check for Understanding
  • Self-Grading Form to Save You Time!
  • Printable and Digital Versions
  • These and other Black History Month resources including posters and interactive presentations will bring Black History Month to your classroom. However, keep in mind that celebrating the contributions of BIPOC should be included all year long in your curriculum. These Black History Month ideas for school can go beyond the month of February to celebrate Black people's contributions daily.
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