Learning and studying about the achievements of African Americans does not only have to occur during February. All year long there should activities and lessons to incorporate various cultures and their histories. For Black history in particular, here are a few lessons plans that will help your students learn more about African American history.
1. Research Paper
Assign each student a lesser known historical person that they must research and present to the class about. You can determine how long it should be. This is a great way to teach researching skills and proper citations. When the papers are due, each student reads their paper on their assigned person to the class.
A more interesting way to do it would be for them to create a presentation for the class based on the person that they have been assigned. If the person was a poet, then the student could recite one of their poems. Music, dance, illustrations, dramatic interpretations, and incorporating technology are all different ways that the students could use to present information about their assigned person.
2. Create Games
Create games around African American achievement. Each day as a bell ringer or a short segment of class time, share a significant accomplishment of an African American in history. You could share two or three facts each day. Then at the end of the week you could play a game that tests your student’s knowledge of Black History facts. You could do a Black History Trivia game, Bingo game, jeopardy, etc. This way, the students will remember the facts more. At the end of the month you could play a game incorporating everything that you have learned for the month, and a special prize can be given to the winner. Giving prizes will increase the incentive for the students to learn the material.
3. Read Books By Black Authors
You can read aloud books by Black authors that you think the students will enjoy, and have interesting discussions about the book, the historical context of the story, etc. Another great idea is to read aloud a play written by a Black playwright. That way, the students are more involved. You could even have the students create their own plays in groups that characterize various times in history, or to illustrate a lesson from the story the class is reading.
The possibilities are endless for creating lesson plans that highlight the achievements of African Americans in your classroom. These three ideas are just the beginning, and hopefully more teachers will find a way to incorporate various cultures’ histories into their yearly lesson planning.