Classroom Resources

Monthly Themes

Black History Month

Writing Prompt

Persuasive Letter:

Many African Americans have made valuable contributions to the world. Have students write a persuasive essay to the United States Postal Service, convincing them to create a new stamp depicting a famous African American.

Activities

Grades K–3: Social Studies/Art
Coloring Pages

Students will have fun coloring these pictures. Display pictures in a “Hall of Fame” in the school hallways during Black History Month.

Grades 1–8: Social Studies
Word Finds

Have students find words related to Black History hidden in a puzzle.

  • Black History (grades 1–3) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/bhm_easy_wf.pdf
  • Black History Answer Key (grades 1–3) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/bhm_easy_wf_key.pdf
  • Black History (grades 4–8) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/bhm_hard_wf.pdf
  • Black History Answer Key (grades 4–8) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/bhm_hard_wf_key.pdf
Grades 1–8: Social Studies
Quizzes

Test students' knowledge about Black History.

Grades 1–8: Social Studies
Stamp of Honor

Students can honor an African American by designing a postage stamp. Have students include the person's name and important dates on the front of the stamp. Students can also include more biographical information on the back of the stamp.

Grades 2–3: Social Studies
Harriet Tubman Timeline

Who was Harriet Tubman? Where was she born? Why is she famous? Have students create a picture timeline of Harriet's life and find out more about this strong, brave woman.

Grades 2–4: Social Studies
Jigsaw Puzzle

Have students put together a picture puzzle of an important African American woman, Sojourner Truth.

  • Hero Puzzle 1
  • http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/features/puzzle/hero/heropuz1.html
Grades 2–8: Language Arts/Social Studies
Film Documentary

Students can design a documentary about an important African American. Have students create pictures for the film frames and write a script to accompany the film. You can hold a film showing for students to present their work.

  • Filmstrip
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/pdf/filmstrip.pdf
Grades 3–6: Art/Social Studies
Painting Black History Month

Have students examine how one of the twentieth century's premier artists depicted the African American experience. Then have students create their own illustrations.

Grades 3–6: Math/Social Studies
Mancala

Mancala is an African game played with stones. These instructions will guide your students in creating and playing with their own mancala games.

Grades 3–8: Social Studies
Anansi Treasure Hunt

Have students take an incredible journey through Africa and solve a fun mystery with the famous Anansi the Spider.

Grades 3–8: Social Studies
Who Was That Hero?

In this fun matching game, kids test their knowledge of prominent African Americans and their achievements.

Grades 4–5: Social Studies
Important Times for Civil Rights

Students will research nine civil rights events and complete a table with dates and details. Students will then cut and paste the table into chronological order.

Grades 4–8: Social Studies
Crossword Puzzle

Have students test their knowledge of Black History.

  • Black History (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/bhm_xword.pdf
  • Black History Answer Key (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/bhm_xword_key.pdf
Grades 4–8: Social Studies
From Slavery to Freedom

A lantern swings and glows in the dark. Is it a sign of a safe house? In the years before the Civil War, a slave escaping on the Underground Railroad couldn't always be sure. Have students make important decisions that will determine their fate on a trip to freedom.

Grades 4–8: Social Studies/Language Arts
“Aiming for the Flag”

In 1974, famous baseball player Hank Aaron addressed the U.S. Congress. Have students listen to this brief excerpt of his speech. Then talk with students about what Aaron might have meant by “aiming for the flag.” Have students draw an outline of a flag and inside the flag write a paragraph that explains Aaron's statement.

Grades 4–8: Social Studies
Virtual Visit to a Slave Cabin

Your students can learn more about what life was like for enslaved African Americans through this virtual visit to a slave cabin.

Grades 5–7: Social Studies/Language Arts
Benjamin Banneker Demands Justice

Students can read a letter written by Benjamin Banneker to Thomas Jefferson in 1791 asking for an end to slavery, and then write letters of their own to support Banneker's plea.

Grades 6–8: Social Studies/Language Arts
African American Leaders

Students can create a biographical dictionary with one or two paragraphs each (with pictures) about African American leaders who contributed to the civil rights movement.

Grade 8: Social Studies/Mathematics
Life Expectancy

Have students create a bar graph that compares the life expectancy of black men and white men or of black women and white women from 1940 to 1998.


Houghton Mifflin