Did you know that 1926 saw the creation of Black History Month? That year, “Negro History Week” was established by Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson and other academics to encourage Americans to consider the heritage and accomplishments of African Americans. The commemoration of African American history was extended to cover the entire month of February in the 1970s.
Mainly when it comes to various racial and ethnic groups and how we came to be as a nation, the history of the United States is vibrant and complex. Since young children are like little sponges, teaching them everything they can about their country’s history, including significant Black figures and events, is crucial. Here are the 20 awesome Black History Month Activities.
20. Creating Peace Doves
This enjoyable painting project honors Martin Luther King Jr.’s struggle for peace and equality, and every artistic kid will enjoy getting their hands messy. With the help of their parents and teachers, youngsters can do this exercise from home or school. According to We Are Teachers, the colors should be painted in various hues to make the dove appear charming. Kids will get paint on their hands from this activity, which is thrilling and enjoyable for them to undertake.
19. Decorating Classrooms
Teachers should encourage students to decorate their classrooms to show everyone they are honoring black ancestry to highlight Black History Month at school. Even the children whose classes do not have these decorations will learn what is occurring due to these decorations. After observing this, they can return to class and implement it. The decorations may include photographs of historical figures, essays about black history, photographs of combat soldiers, works of Art, etc. As a fun and exciting project for Black History Month, children should make this a tradition.
18. Creating Diversity through Dolls
Every day, preschoolers pick up new words. Let’s impart to them some helpful ones that support inclusivity and diversity! Crafts are among the things toddlers enjoy, so teachers should find the most effective crafts projects for the kids to carry out during Black History Month. Dolls are things they can make, so the teachers can ask them to create historical individuals like Rosa Parks using art materials. This is a specific activity they can complete with supplies like colorful construction paper, googly eyes, and toilet paper rolls.
17. Writing a Letter to a Friend Concerning Black History Month
Kids can select a loved one or friend with whom they can write in the form of a letter about Black History. This is a perfect opportunity to educate them about black history, as few know it. The letter should include the contributions black leaders have made to the black community and intriguing Black History facts they have recently learned. This activity can take a whole month to complete as it is also a learning experience for the kids. The kids can mail these letters to their selected recipients at the end of Black History Month.
16. Trying Out African Foods
Numerous organizations celebrate Black History Month with open lectures, displays, and even African food. African foods that are close to popular African-American dishes are particularly suitable for these events. Parents should have their kids try some African meals accessible in their area. This means having them try foods such as peanut soup, yams, sweet potatoes, and soul food. Kids who taste these foods get an excellent idea of what African foods are like and not just hear about them.
15. Having a Quote of the Day
Kids should partake in the activity of learning a new historical fact about Black people every day. According to Prodigy Game, this is an activity that allows them to learn about Art, history, and foods that are in Black history. If you feel ambitious as the teacher, you can ask them to read them aloud during class, post them on the bulletin board or send them an internet message. Teachers can start a conversation regarding the significance of each statement or fact. Upon doing all these, the kids will enjoy anticipating what each day has in store for them!
14. Hosting a Poetry Reading
Black poets are among the most outstanding, like Claude Mckay, Audre Lorde, Robert Hayden, and Nikki Giovanni, among others. Kids should pick some of these poets’ poems and memorize them to perform later in front of the class. Teachers should select a student who will act as the Mc, create a schedule and build the mood with some jazz music played in the background and dimmed lights. It becomes intriguing for the kids when the setting is this alluring.
13. Creating a Black History Month Playlist
Music can be one of two things: inspiring and damaging, depending on the music one listens to. Due to the innovative effects of Black musicians, many of the musical genres we currently listen to were influenced. Kids should enjoy a mix of influential, including Beyoncé, Lauryn Hill, Louis Armstrong, and Jimi Hendrix, as they honor Black History Month. They can get inspired by the pre-made lists on Spotify. The music on Black history is captivating and inspiring as they show that no matter what, black heritage will always stand firm.
12. Having Black History Trivia and Games
Being Black History Month, it is only fitting that teachers inject some excitement into their teaching. A little competitiveness cannot hurt, so you should come up with games and trivia specializing in Black History. You can also adapt current classroom activities and include questions and answers about Black History Month. Kids will actively participate in these trivia games as they are prone to fun and exciting things like these.
11. Reading a Book on Black History
Reading allows one to put themselves in another person’s shoes. Kids should read books about black history and black life and fight against racism. According to Teaching Expertise, they can try books like Bold Women in Black History, Saturday by Oge, or I Am Enough by Grace Byers. These are books for younger kids. Rappaport and The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander are all excellent choices for elementary-aged children. Let kids acquire more knowledge by having them read the right books.
10. Hosting a Black History Month Event
Kids should cooperate with their parents to host a Black History event that their friends and classmates can attend. These events offer people the opportunity to Study Africa, engage in black history game activities involving Mancala (the African counting game), and conclude the lesson with a pitch-in feast featuring African or African-American cuisine. After viewing or reading an appropriate work of black history, the kids can hold a discussion on their thoughts about it. These events are also a good way for kids from different homes to interact and even form friendships.
9. Creating Art
The historical and cultural relevance of Black community art can provide some incredible, enlightening lessons. Chalk art is a fantastic medium for kids to express their ideas and feelings. According to Kid Activities, teachers should give them some suggestions for their artistic expressions, such as words pertaining to diversity or Black individuals’ names! The kids can also create Art by having paper cutouts of men and women of different races holding hands. This shows unison no matter the race you come from
8. Creating a Black History Month Quilt
Quilts are fun to make, which explains why kids would jump at any opportunity to create quilts. During Black History Month, teachers can urge the kids to read one or more biographies of different African American Leaders before they sketch a painting based on a scenario from each person’s life. To create a quilt of renowned African-Americans, kids should mount each image on a large sheet of colorful paper to bring out the quilt’s appeal. One can buy or download kid-friendly biographies of significant African Americans.
7. Exploring Black History
There are a ton of tools on the internet to let one deliver informative activities surrounding Black History to their kids. Children should, if at all feasible, have the opportunity to visit Whitney Plantation, the country’s first slavery museum, where they will experience firsthand the realities of slavery and reconciliation. The museums offer group tours to inform visitors about antebellum American life. According to Parents.com, this is one method of learning about Black history since it helps you connect with your roots while also learning about the struggles individuals faced to survive back then. When you allow your children to go through this, they will always be grateful that they are not held captive and are free to act in ways they perceive normal since they have observed such things to exist.
6. Talking About Black History
Talking about black history to kids only makes them understand more about race when they are still young. This is about race is the best way to honor Black History Month and impact the future since the best approach to combat bias is to conduct anti-racist action with children as early as possible. Check out The Conscious Kid’s resources about racial literacy, racial trauma, and how to be a co-conspirator if you’re a parent searching for a kid-friendly method to address the complex subject. When parents sit their kids down to let them understand why things are different regarding African American people and how sometimes they may face discrimination.
5. Studying Timeline Activities
Historic timelines are of the essence as they are the ones people trace back to when looking for explanations of different events. With a short chronology, kids should give more context to significant moments in Black history. It is paramount for teachers to encourage kids to create their timelines, either in groups or individually, to highlight particular historical figures or events. The kids will enjoy putting everything together and learn a lot in the process.
4. Discussing Racism and Social Injustice
Cases of social inequities among the Black community have been countless, and this is a discussion most people avoid but is much needed. Teachers should take the initiative to start a crucial conversation on implicit prejudice and systematic racism that will encourage kids to fight for justice in minor ways possible. Kids can examine the history and origins of stories about people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds and segregated religious groups and think about how these stories relate to racism and implicit bias. Additionally, it provides kids with potent counter-narratives and strategies for acting to combat racism.
3. Studying the Achievement and Life of the 44th President of the United States
Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, is an epitome of society, mainly because he was the first African American President in the United States. Barack Obama did a tremendous job in combating racism, and for him to have gotten to be president, there has to be a story behind it. Kids can take Black History Month to study the life and achievements of Barack Obama. Barack Obama has written books like Promised Land, A Story of Race and Inheritance, and The Audacity of Hope, among others. These are ideal books for older students as it requires a well-developed mind to grasp what they read.
2. Watching Black History Documentaries
Do not overlook using documentaries and movies to enrich the studies of black history. According to Mom.com, kids can observe Black History Month by presenting movies that show elements of black history and feature black characters. Create ample space and have the right setting for a movie night before you engage your kids in watching a documentary on Black history, as this makes the moment even more special. This is an activity that can also be done in school.
1. Studying African American Heroes
Teachers can spend time discussing Black leaders’ successes. They can come up with a schedule whereby they ask the kids to highlight a Black superhero like Martin Luther King every day or week and base their lessons on them. They can also ask the kids to create posters of different Black changemakers by presenting authors, activists, revolutionaries, and artists. Kids researching a few of the visionaries and writing a story or making a poster about what they have discovered about them might help them gain a more profound knowledge of the subject.
Kids start to absorb things from a tender age, which is why you should introduce them to Black History for the generation to come to be a generation of racism-free individuals. Equality should be the language, and kids celebrating Black History Month end up understanding this. Let children study Black history to understand Black heroes’ conflicts.