Let me talk a little about black history month in the classroom. I attended a Christian, private school from K-12 in a little suburb on the outskirts of Houston. Throughout all those years I truly cannot remember a time where black history was taught or when black history was celebrated. Instead I spent every year learning about people who did not look like me. This serves as one driving factor as to why I take time to educate my students on the accomplishments of black people.
This year I am teaching in the most diverse Title 1 school I have ever taught in. I have a large number of white students but I also have many black students and students from Uzbekistan, Mexico, Pakistan, and India just to name a few. I do not want my students to ever feel like I felt all those years in my non-diverse private, Christian classroom. I want them to know that their teacher values and appreciates their culture and every part of their identity. Don’t you want your students to feel the same way?
Every educator should be taking time to share about black history month in their classroom. Even if your classroom is not as diverse as mine. Whether your classroom is all black, all white, all Hispanic, half and half, or mixed. I realize some of you have pacing calendars and planning guides created by your district that may not even mention celebrating black history month. However, I challenge you to educate your students beyond what your social studies curriculum calls for you to teach.
Some educators may wonder do we even need to celebrate black history in our classrooms. Ummmmm YES! If you haven’t noticed history books were written by those who were in the majority and who had privilege and power. Therefore, the amazing achievements of those who were black and were other minorities were overlooked. This is a time where everyone can celebrate the achievements of black people.
Once February has ended celebrating black history should not end. Black history should not be reserved for just one month. I also urge you to not just stick with the names we hear each year such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Maya Angelou. Teach your students about other names they do not hear as often. Share about the hidden figures in black history. Some of you may be thinking I know nothing about black history. Let’s not be driven by excuses I am going to share resources with you to help get you started. The first resource was developed by Teaching Tolerance with lists the Do’s and Don’ts of Teaching Black History.
After reviewing that blog posts you can start with my video below where I have decided to showcase an amazing black history product from an amazing educator Lanesha Tabb. She is a teacherspayteachers author at Education with an Apron and I had the opportunity to use her product Bite-sized Black History Artists with my 3rd grade students. This product is a unit that celebrates 5 men and 5 women African American artist. Included are anchor charts, biography profiles, reading comprehension, and resources to assist your students in discovering the arts. In this unit, the "Arts" are defined as performing (singing, dancing, acting), visual (painting, architecture), and spoken word (poetry).
Black History Printables by Teachers Pay Teachers Author, LaNesha Tabb
Lessons to Celebrate Black History Month by Education World
45 Books to Honor Black History Month in the Classroom by Teacher Pop
Famous African Americans A to Z Task Cards By Teachers Pay Teachers Author, Tanesha B. Forman
Stay in the Mix for Valentines Day by Teaching Tolerance
Currently I am showcasing black authors on teachers pay teachers. If you would like me to feature your teachers pay teachers product then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org