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Black History Month Activities

Elementary School

Kindergarten
• Kindergarten introduces differences and the characteristics that make people different but UNIQUE. We read several stories focusing on Uniqueness.
1st Grade
• The first grade teachers will be rotating classrooms. Each teacher will do a lesson on a different African American (Jesse Owens, Harriet Tubman, Mea Jemison) We will also being completing a packet that highlights famous inventions from African Americans.

2nd Grade
• Research Project – students work in pairs or groups of three to research a famous African American. They use classroom library books, they check out their own books from our school library and we use the internet www.kiddle.com to find our research. Students work together to get a picture of their famous person and glue it to a heart. They write a paragraph about their famous African American and we edit the paragraph together. Then they type their paragraph and glue the heart with the picture of their famous person to their printed out paragraph. We share our projects with the class. We make this our bulletin board and title it – “The Heart of Black History Month.”

3rd Grade
• Research a famous African-American in history and constructs and presents a trading card to the class.
• Black History Month Reading Passages- We read several reading passages based on the life and events of famous African-Americans such as Duke Ellington, Ruby Bridges, Martin Luther King Jr. We answer questions, and will write an essay about their life events.
• We will make a Black History Month Newsletter using research on different information we learned about African-Americans in class.

4th Grade
• 4th Grade is focusing on biographies. One of the Black History Month activities that we are doing is a partner project on a famous African American. Students will be asked to answer questions, write an informational paragraph about their person, and create a PowerPoint Presentation.

5th Grade
• Fifth grade is covering Black History Month in both Social Studies and Language Arts. The students are learning about the Revolutionary War and will focus on African-Americans who helped the Patriots defeat the British. While in Language Arts, they will be reading stories about other contributions that African-Americans have made toward gaining freedom at different times in history. We will construct a time line in the hallway of significant accomplishments.

6th Grade
• Black History Month Writing Prompts in Writing Center, with a Civil Rights Research component.. In addition, the PSSA center has a Women in History theme this month, so they will also be reading informational pieces of many women, including African American woman, whom have impacted society.

Middle School

7th Grade
• African Inventor Research Paper
• Black History Event of the day

8th Grade

• Underground Railroad
• The Abolition Movement

High School

• AP—Mrs. Spellman just finished reading Invisible Man and studying the Harlem Renaissance in her AP Lit and Comp class. They studied poets, artists and musicians and had to create virtual museum exhibits. They also re-wrote the poem by Langston Hughes, Theme for English B, to create the poem Theme for AP.

• Pre-AP and American Lit and Comp—Mrs. Worrell and Mrs. Spellman are having their students conduct research and present on influential African American artists. Students can choose from artists, musicians, authors, and actors. They will report on each artist’s contribution to African American culture/society, give a personal and professional bio of the artist, and present a video, audio or still shot of the artist’s work and discuss it with the class. They will also report on the major historical events the African American artist witnessed or lived through.

• World Literature—Mrs. Niwinski and Ms. Beck are conducting a culture-centered poetry unit. One of the segments is dedicated to African American poets.

• U.S. History -We are studying the Reconstruction Era, Civil Rights Act of 1866 along with the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. The ratification of the 13th Amendment was a huge victory but also the beginning of a long, arduous struggle for African Americans.

• Students will be participating in a sharecropping simulation that will show students how African Americans in the South, though free, were often trapped in a cycle of debt to their employers. We will also be discussing the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and its impact on the voting rights of African Americans.

• We will also examine the Plessy v. Ferguson case and the far-reaching effects of the Supreme Court’s decision. When we look at Plessy v. Ferguson, we also discuss Brown v. Board of Education, and students watch a video that takes a look at Little Rock Central High School on the 50th anniversary of its desegregation.

• Modern World History: We will be incorporating African American roles in WW1 and WW2 (from the frontlines to the homefront), the Great Migration of African Americans from southern plantation regions to northern and western cities, the Harlem Renaissance, progressive era reforms targeted at social issues, and the struggles African Americans faced during this historical period, notably during the Great Depression.