How to Celebrate Black History Month in the Classroom

Each year during the month of February we celebrate Black History Month.  This is a special month because it reminds everyone of all of the incredible contributions African-Americans have made to our country throughout history.  It’s very important for students to participate in activities in school that reinforce the importance of the many things African-Americans have achieved to improve our quality of life, as well as change our country and the course of history.  There are several things teachers can do in the classroom to be sure that during the month of February, these African-American contributions are honored properly.

Many of the children in your classroom might not have an understanding of why February is such an important month.  It’s probably a good idea to begin your lessons with an introduction to some of the great African-Americans you will be celebrating.  You can do this in many fun ways, which will help the children to remember the events and names better.  You might start with an activity sheet for the children to match the person with the accomplishment.  If you have older children in your class, feel free to incorporate contemporary musicians and Hollywood actors into your list.  Go over the sheet together as a group.

Once you’ve given your students an introduction, you can move on to the more fun activities.  An online scavenger hunt is a great activity that your students will thoroughly enjoy.  All kids love “playing” on the computer.  So, you’ll be reinforcing their computer skills while teaching them valuable information about many African-American contributors.

DVD’s or videos that depict some of the accomplishments of these great Americans are always a good choice within a classroom setting.  Or, if you’re able to, asking a speaker to come in and talk to your class would bring the importance of Black History Month to life for them.  By doing some research, you can probably find an African-American from your own community who has had a hand in making it a great place to live.  Ask him or her to come to your classroom and talk about their background and contributions.  Then, you’ll be able to give your students an opportunity to ask questions.  This is an excellent way to get students more involved and interested.

Since 1976, every United States President has declared the month of February to be an important time to celebrate Black History.  By making these celebrations come alive for your students, you’re equipping them to continue on this great tradition for years to come.

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