According to Wikipedia, the precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926. Historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History announced the second week of February to be a special history week celebrating the achievements of black Americans.
This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 14, both of which dates Black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century.” In 1976, Congress expanded the observance to the entire month of February.
The struggles and successes of many African American personalities, from powerful civil rights leaders, to outstanding athletes, to best-selling authors, provide excellent classroom discussions and student research. Here are a few fun activities designed by the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company that are sure to inspire your students:
Coloring Pages. Students will have fun coloring these pictures. Display pictures in a “Hall of Fame” in the school hallways during Black History Month.
Word Finds. Have students find words related to Black History hidden in a puzzle.
- Black History (grades 1–3)
- Black History Answer Key (grades 1–3)
- Black History (grades 4–8) (PDF file)
- Black History Answer Key (grades 4–8) (PDF file)
Jigsaw Puzzle. Have students put together a picture puzzle of an important African American woman, Sojourner Truth.
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.
Mancala. Mancala is an African game played with stones. These instructions will guide your students in creating and playing with their own mancala games.
Crossword Puzzle. Have students test their knowledge of Black History.
- Black History (PDF file)
- Black History Answer Key (PDF file)
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