Black history is an important part of American history. Every child deserves representation. When students see themselves in a book and classroom lessons, they feel represented. I hope you take time during Black History Month to teach about historical figures from all ethnicities throughout the year. There is so much history that young children are capable of learning. Let’s explore a collection of resources you can use throughout the entire month for teaching Black History in your classroom.
Classroom and home libraries should be diverse no matter your race or ethnicity. Providing young people with exposure to other cultures helps them have a more varied worldview and helps them handle diversity better. I have grown and learned so much since adopting my biracial son. I thought I was knowledgeable, but really, I had so much learning to do.
Books are a great way to teach young readers about important people in history. For example, you can read books about historical black characters like Ruby Bridges, Maya Angelou, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr., and more! In addition, you can read books by black authors or books that talk about the black experience. Incorporating children’s books about black culture is a great way to learn about influential historical events and figures.
If we teach children about all races and ethnicities early on, they will grow up knowing the importance of human rights. In addition, your students will learn that color is beautiful. As a white woman raising a black son, I have learned that saying that I don’t see color is hurtful. His skin has color, and it’s beautiful; he should never be ashamed of that. Together, we can make our world a safe and enjoyable space for every person.
Here are some of my favorite Black History Month read alouds that you can read throughout the school year:
Follow Your Dreams, Little One
I Affirm Me: The ABCs of Inspiration for Black Kids
We read so many books every day at home. My favorite thing to hear is when Bennett picks up a book, sees the character, and says, “Mommy, he looks like me!” Yes, he does. 💕
Videos are a great way to increase engagement. Teachers also can pause and return to them for any reason, giving children more opportunities to learn. Children can also watch videos multiple times if they want. Each time I read a book, I learn something new or gain a new perspective. When you pause the video, ask comprehension and thought-provoking questions about how children can help change the world. By asking these questions, you require your students to use their critical thinking skills!
Videos are one of the best ways to teach students about Black Americans. Students are very visual, so it helps to have a YouTube video or another video resource they can refer back to. In addition, you don’t have to come up with these videos yourself! They’ve already been created for you. All you have to do is press play, and you’ve got plenty of valuable resources for your students with minimal effort on your part!
If you are looking for a way for your kids to incorporate their Black History Month learning into written work at school, I have created this Black History unit to help you. This set includes printables for 25 historical figures. You can use this throughout Black History Month and all year long. It also has a book list that I suggest for your library. Here is a peek at one of the historical figures and what you can expect for each person in this unit.
These Black History Month lessons include 25 historical figures like Benjamin Banneker, Harriet Tubman, and more! In addition, your students will learn about the accomplishments of black people, the civil rights movement, the underground railroad, and more! These worksheets are an excellent way to expose your students to African American culture in a fun and engaging way. In addition, you can incorporate topics such as racial justice, systemic racism, and other important events that have happened recently in modern culture. Talking about history and current events helps students relate to the information and apply it to their lives.
I hope you find the resources you need to teach about Black History Month in kindergarten (and beyond) and celebrate the many achievements of African Americans. It’s an integral part of American history. Creating a safe space to learn and grow as we share developmentally appropriate material is critical for our students. In addition, talking about history in a safe environment is not something we should ever overlook. We need to help children understand the truth about the past to hopefully better the future. When we know better, we do better. Ignorance (defined as lack of knowledge or information) is not bliss. Knowledge is powerful and required to raise the next generation of adults that treat people equally with kindness and love.
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