TeachersFirst's Black History Resources

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These reviewed resources from TeachersFirst include teaching ideas, research material, and interactive sites for studying Black History in all grades. Black History does not need to be limited to one month of the year. As students learn about any historical time period or famous figures, check these resources for a perspective from the lives of African Americans at the same time or with the same interests. Perhaps even ask students to juxtapose two different experiences (African American, Hispanic, affluent, poor, etc.) in research projects about inventors, artists, writers, or American life.

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National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection Stories - National Museum of African American History and Culture

Grades
4 to 12
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These Collection Stories look at the personal feelings and interpretation of the objects staff members have cataloged in the Museum. These stunning short stories focus on items from...more
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These Collection Stories look at the personal feelings and interpretation of the objects staff members have cataloged in the Museum. These stunning short stories focus on items from historical events and famous people. One example is Dress for the Occasion; view the first day of school dress worn by Carlotta Walls as she entered Little Rock Central High School in 1957 as part of the Little Rock Nine's integration efforts. Other stories take a look at Muhammed Ali, Carl Lewis, The Wiz: The Supersoul Musical 'Wizard of Oz,' and the watches that survived a brutal assassination (Moments Captured in Time).

tag(s): african american (112), black history (59), cross cultural understanding (122)

In the Classroom

Share stories from this collection to provide a personal look at events from African-American history in the United States. Use stories as an example, and ask students to find additional artifacts from the National Museum and research to discover the story behind the item, or have students bring an item from their home to tell the story of its history. For either of these ideas, encourage students to create online books for sharing the stories using a tool such as Ourboox, reviewed here. Ask students to find local residents with knowledge of historical events to come talk to your class about the "behind the scenes" story, or set up a Skype call with an African-American leader. Use these stories for informational reading in your Language Arts classroom, and as a wonderful resource to use for covering the informational reading standards required with the CCSS.

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Civil Rights History Project - National Museum of African American History and Culture

Grades
6 to 12
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The Civil Rights History Project provides the personal stories of Civil Rights activists from the 1950's and 1960's through video interviews. Each interview also includes a written...more
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The Civil Rights History Project provides the personal stories of Civil Rights activists from the 1950's and 1960's through video interviews. Each interview also includes a written transcript for download. Each interviewee is a member of The Freedom Movement and discusses their early life as an African-American and how it led to their role in the Civil Rights movement.

tag(s): african american (112), black history (59), civil rights (121), interviews (16), video (278), women (94)

In the Classroom

Share these videos on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector as part of any Civil Rights unit. Include a link to the interviews on your class web page. After watching a video, have students research more about the events discussed. Have students create online newsletters individually or in a small group using a tool like Sway, reviewed here. Challenge students to create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to share stories and events from the Civil Rights Movement. Students can add text, images, and location stops!

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Civil Rights Movement Interactive Map - NewseumEd

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8 to 12
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This interactive map includes links to newspaper coverage of civil rights stories from around the nation beginning with 1954 through 1965. Choose any year to view several front pages...more
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This interactive map includes links to newspaper coverage of civil rights stories from around the nation beginning with 1954 through 1965. Choose any year to view several front pages with coverage of major events. Read each front page by clicking "view larger image". For additional information on similar topics, scroll to the bottom of the page to find links to more artifacts.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (121), newspapers (95)

In the Classroom

Share a link to this site on your class website and allow students to explore on their own. Discuss their findings and interpretations of media coverage of civil rights events in class. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast media coverage in two different cities. Ask students to investigate newspapers from additional locations, then create a presentation sharing their findings using Prezi, reviewed here.

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Civil Rights Timeline - NewseumED

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8 to 12
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This interactive timeline from NewseumED uses primary source news articles and photographs, with explanations, about the events covering American's civil rights from the ratification...more
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This interactive timeline from NewseumED uses primary source news articles and photographs, with explanations, about the events covering American's civil rights from the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791 through Alexander vs. Holmes in 1969. Use the slider at the top to see all of the articles. Of course there are the usual articles about the assassinations of President Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, the March on Washington, The Formation of the Black Panther Party, and Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963. However, there are many other interesting articles that are pertinent to today's news, too many to list here. Some of these are: Poor People's Campaign 1968, Riots Spur National Study 1967, Orangeburg Massacre 1968, Watts Riot and the Bloody Sunday March 1965, Freedom Summer Campaign for Voter Registration (and education for black children) 1964, Baptist Church Bombing 1963, and The Children's Crusade 1963. To access this timeline you must register for a FREE NeweumED account.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (121), constitution (87), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Civil Rights is about more than a movement that took place forty plus years ago. Americans have fought for their civil rights going back to the late 1700s. We are still fighting for them today. Review the timeline with a projector and the whole class. Then suggest to students that some of the articles have parallel situations going on today. Have them choose an article and research the situation from back in the 1960s and then compare it to a similar situation that is ongoing in the 21st century. Challenge students to present their findings to classmates by creating a simple infographic or interactive poster using Canva, reviewed here.

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Black History Month Resources - PBS

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K to 12
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current...more
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current events. Scroll through the page to view topics and grade level suggestions. Content ranges from a history of discrimination through current events such as debating race through the Trayvon Martin shooting. Some lessons also contain Common Core correlations.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (121), martin luther king (36), racism (16), video (278)

In the Classroom

Explore this site for many different lessons and resources to use during Black History Month and throughout the year. Use lessons found here to differentiate for students of different levels. Be sure to check out the Discrimination - fair or unfair? lesson plan that is designed specifically for students who have difficulty with verbal and written expression.
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Been Here So Long - Slave Narratives - New Deal Network

Grades
8 to 12
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Read seventeen of the more than 2,000 first-person accounts of what it was like to live in bondage. These seventeen narratives, told by aging African Americans during the New Deal ...more
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Read seventeen of the more than 2,000 first-person accounts of what it was like to live in bondage. These seventeen narratives, told by aging African Americans during the New Deal era in America, are remarkable and are accompanied by teaching resources, photos, and suggested projects.

tag(s): 1930s (14), african american (112), black history (59), narrative (21), new deal (6), primary sources (92), roosevelt (16), slavery (70)

In the Classroom

There are lessons and projects for the narratives, many of which take four or more class periods. Try something that won't eat up so much time: Choose one of the narratives and use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share it with your class. Then, as suggested in the lesson plans, have "a discussion about the strengths and limitations of using the ex-slave narratives and other oral histories as primary sources in the study of history." Have students break into small groups and have each group read two of the narratives. Have them make comparisons of those two narratives and the one shared with the entire class, using an online tool such as the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Then have the class share out and find commonalities for all the narratives (other than they were all slaves). Use this site in an American History class studying the New Deal and the 1930s or in any language arts or social studies class during Black History Month. These narratives are about the "regular" people, not the famous people usually read about.

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History on the Net - Heather Wheeler

Grades
7 to 12
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History on the Net contains a wide variety of resources for a broad range of history topics. Begin a search by exploring history topics or by searching resources such as ...more
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History on the Net contains a wide variety of resources for a broad range of history topics. Begin a search by exploring history topics or by searching resources such as online lessons or worksheets. Explore the Titanic, World War I, Vikings, Mayans, and so much more! Look through a large selection of reference materials: dictionaries, timelines, and more. History on the Net is a great starting point when looking for lessons and materials for teaching history across the ages!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): african american (112), aztecs (9), battles (20), black history (59), britain (33), civil rights (121), cold war (30), egypt (70), elizabethan (15), greeks (32), mayans (13), myths and legends (26), native americans (78), olympics (49), romans (35), victorian (20), vikings (10), worksheets (62), world war 1 (56), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. This site is a perfect addition to use with President's Day activities, when learning about the Olympics, or as part of a Black History Month lesson. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, a passenger on the Titanic, a famous scientist, or another person learned about on this site.
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Visualizing Emancipation - The University of Richmond

Grades
9 to 12
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Visualizing Emancipation is a map based resource that presents the date and place of hundreds of discrete events, documents, and artifacts across the period 1861-1865 all of which relate...more
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Visualizing Emancipation is a map based resource that presents the date and place of hundreds of discrete events, documents, and artifacts across the period 1861-1865 all of which relate to the end of slavery. View the map chronologically, zoom in to look at a smaller geographic area, sort the data points by theme or by source type, and discover a more nuanced understanding of how the U.S. ended legal slavery. Students might be forgiven for believing that slavery ended in the United States the day the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. The truth is, of course, much more complicated.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (121), civil war (143), constitution (87), emancipation proclamation (12), slavery (70)

In the Classroom

The interactive map is well suited for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. There are grade leveled lesson plans tied to Common Core Standards, as well as Featured events that are particularly important in telling the story of emancipation. Each event or document is categorized by theme, and has its own unique URL that can be shared with students as they do their own research. It's also possible to download a large spread sheet of the events as a list rather than as a map. If it's geographically relevant, consider using your own community as an example and research local events related to emancipation. Consider a discussion of how significant legal changes in the United States occur within the context of cultural change. Does legal change result in immediate cultural change? Why or why not? What happens when legal change is imposed on those who do not agree? Have students share their thoughts by creating an online collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start - no membership required!).

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Created Equal - National Endowment for the Humanities

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9 to 12
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Four documentary films related to the Civil Rights Movement, available to stream either in part or in their entirety, form the centerpiece of this effort from the National Endowment...more
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Four documentary films related to the Civil Rights Movement, available to stream either in part or in their entirety, form the centerpiece of this effort from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The films cover time periods beginning with the Abolitionist Movement and continuing through the Freedom Marches and the turbulent 1960s. Explore the meaning of freedom and equality in the United States with relevance still today. There are teacher resources, lesson plans, and suggestions for aligning lessons to the Common Core.

tag(s): bill of rights (29), black history (59), civil rights (121), civil war (143), emancipation proclamation (12), segregation (16)

In the Classroom

The documentaries, or the excerpts presented, are all available to stream from the site. While they may be too lengthy to show in their entirety during one class period, they have also been divided into clips according to themes. For example, Equality is part of the full video about Law and the Strategy of Nonviolence. This makes them more adaptable for classroom use. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector, or flip your class using EdPuzzle, reviewed here, and have students watch clips at home and come back to class ready to discuss. EdPuzzle is a great way to take sections of videos and add your own voice or add questions within the video. Alternatively, you could use VideoAnt, reviewed here, where students can ask questions about the parts they where they need clarification. The issues raised by these Created Equal documentaries may be easily incorporated into lessons related to the Civil Rights Movement, modern U.S. history, Black History Month, or civics and government. Use these videos as conversation starters in the classroom.
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The HistoryMakers - The HistoryMakers

Grades
6 to 12
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The HistoryMakers offers an incredibly rich and deep collection of biographies and oral histories of 2000 African Americans who have made history in their respective fields. The database...more
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The HistoryMakers offers an incredibly rich and deep collection of biographies and oral histories of 2000 African Americans who have made history in their respective fields. The database allows you to search across 15 fields, for example, for "Artmakers," "Educationmakers," or "Sciencemakers." Special Collections curate additional groups of HistoryMakers such as Negro Baseball Players. The Advanced Search tool allows a search by birthplace, occupation, and even something like favorite food. Each entry includes a photograph, a brief biography, some fun facts about the person; some entries also include a video clip of the oral history interview collected as a part of this project. The collection goes far beyond the usual luminaries. There are musicians, scientists, politicians, athletes, artists, doctors, scientists, and more, many of whom are little known and whose lives can seem more accessible than those who are famous. The HistoryMakers desires to be a resource for biographies of people from all walks of life whose accomplishments can inspire and inform. Access to the full video archives requires a membership fee, but there is plenty of content here at no cost.

tag(s): african american (112), artists (78), biographies (91), black history (59), business (58), heroes (23), medicine (71), politics (97), scientists (70), sports (97)

In the Classroom

Of course The HistoryMakers is ideal as a resource for projects for Black History Month, but this collection goes far beyond the usual luminaries who are often featured during February. Use the Advanced Search feature to compile a list of HistoryMakers from your home state or who attended a nearby school or college. Who among these 2000 has the same favorite color as you do? Who also loves ice cream? Students will find ways to relate directly to many of these HistoryMakers. Include this resource when investigating famous scientists, musicians, etc. in classes other than social studies and at times OTHER than Black History Month! Create an infographic about a HistoryMaker using a tool such as Easel.ly, reviewed here.
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Slave Stories - International Slavery Museum, Liverpool England

Grades
7 to 12
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Follow the stories of four African slaves as they were taken on board a transatlantic slave ship in 1780. Begin as you meet your guides from four different tribes. Choose ...more
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Follow the stories of four African slaves as they were taken on board a transatlantic slave ship in 1780. Begin as you meet your guides from four different tribes. Choose a story teller to begin. Each guide begins to tell the story of their family life and cultural information. Click on underlined terms to view more information or find the definition to a vocabulary word.

tag(s): africa (172), black history (59), cross cultural understanding (122), slavery (70)

In the Classroom

View this site together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. It would be an interesting counterpoint if your class is reading Paula Fox's The Slave Dancer, even though the time frame is not identical. Allow students to explore on their own. Challenge cooperative groups to read a specific "journey." What was the biggest surprise in the story? What did they already know about slavery? Have groups use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of slavery voyages. They can even include audio "stories" and pictures.

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The Brown Bookshelf - Paula Chase-Hyman

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K to 12
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The Brown Bookcase features literature for young readers written by and featuring people of color. View archives going back to 2007 to find book reviews, author's chats, and some videos...more
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The Brown Bookcase features literature for young readers written by and featuring people of color. View archives going back to 2007 to find book reviews, author's chats, and some videos that accompany books featured on the site. A flagship feature of the site is the 28 Days Later portion. Each day during Black History Month features a different author. It is a month-long showcase of the best in Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult novels written and illustrated by African Americans to help parents, teachers, librarians and booksellers recommend good reads. Archives are available beginning with the 2008 campaign.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): african american (112), black history (59), book lists (133), civil rights (121), literature (273), preK (294)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use throughout the year, not just during Black History Month. Create a link on classroom computers for students to explore and find books for reading. Share this link on your class website or blog for students to use at home. Showcase books found on this site for classroom read alouds. Librarians will find this site helpful for creating displays in their library or for presentations in classrooms. Have students create commercials for books found on this site using a tool like Powtoon, reviewed here, or Stupeflix, reviewed here, and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.

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Negro Leagues Baseball Museum - Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas State University

Grades
6 to 12
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This site has strong content focused on the historical importance of the Negro Leagues Baseball teams. It also has a very rich assortment of lesson plans for teaching about the ...more
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This site has strong content focused on the historical importance of the Negro Leagues Baseball teams. It also has a very rich assortment of lesson plans for teaching about the Negro Leagues. There is an introductory video for a good overview of the Leagues themselves, the offerings of the NLB Museum, and a searchable archive of photographs and multimedia resources that can be used either in conjunction with the lesson plans (which include national standards benchmarks), or independently.

tag(s): baseball (37), black history (59), civil rights (121), sports (97)

In the Classroom

This is a great resource for "hooking" students who are interested in sports into the study of the Civil Rights Movement or modern US History. Consider including the resources here in your recognition of Black History Month as well. Share the introductory video on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Challenge cooperative learning groups to explore a specific part of this site and create an online poster on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here.
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Greensboro Sit-ins - Greensboro News-Record

Grades
6 to 12
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This site contains an in-depth look at the Greensboro Sit-Ins that took place on February 1, 1960. You can hear the mayor of the time, George Roach, talk about how ...more
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This site contains an in-depth look at the Greensboro Sit-Ins that took place on February 1, 1960. You can hear the mayor of the time, George Roach, talk about how the city avoided violent incidents (such as those in Birmingham, Alabama.) Several other features will give you a feel for the era and the significance of the sit-ins. Take a look at the video clips or listen to the audio files. There is also a timeline, complete with historic photos. Don't miss the historical photos and stories from the News & Record archives, with a photo from the first day of the sit-ins. The site includes a look at what the Greensboro Public Library has to offer on the subject. There is even an electronic bulletin board, where visitors can write what they think - or, for many, remember - about the sit-ins and see what other people have said. There are extensive links to other civil rights and black history sites. A PDF version of the February 1, 1960, newspaper detailing all of the events is also available. You will find the site especially informative because of the way it is organized. Don't miss this intriguing look at this historical time in American history.
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tag(s): african american (112), civil rights (121)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore on their own. Have students create a news report as a multimedia presentation using Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Have students find Creative Commons images for their news report using a site (with credit, of course), like Compfight, reviewed here. Challenge your students to use a site such as Sutori (AKA Hstry), reviewed here, to include the Greensboro Sit-ins in a timeline of the Civil Rights Movement. Sutori creates an interactive timeline and can include music, photos, videos, and more. After viewing the site, ask students to research events in your state or city that related to the Civil Rights Movement.
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Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade - Emory University

Grades
6 to 12
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This comprehensive site on the African Slave Trade is robust enough for those doing serious research, and accessible enough for those who want an overview and supporting materials for...more
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This comprehensive site on the African Slave Trade is robust enough for those doing serious research, and accessible enough for those who want an overview and supporting materials for a classroom survey. There are lesson plans, an interactive map, links to resources, an image bank, and large, searchable and downloadable data bases of African names, ships used in the slave trade and their voyages, tables of data focused on the number of slaves involved, and timelines.

tag(s): africa (172), black history (59), slavery (70)

In the Classroom

If you are teaching a course that covers the African slave trade, this site will be invaluable. Take some time to browse the interactive maps and timelines, look through the lesson plans, and find images that can be used to supplement reading and discussion. Discover the glossary of terms that could be used for vocabulary work, the tables of information useful for teaching data analysis, and the African name database for genealogy research. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research a specific section of this site and create multimedia presentations. Try Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to upload a copyright-safe photo, and then narrate as if it were a news report. Another idea: have students create an online presentation using Smilebox, reviewed here, or another reviewed presentation tool from the TeachersFirst Edge.
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NAACP -Oldest and Boldest -Interactive Historical Timeline - NAACP

Grades
5 to 12
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This resource is a must if you are teaching or learning about African American history. This site takes you on a journey of the 101 year old NAACP organization. Through ...more
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This resource is a must if you are teaching or learning about African American history. This site takes you on a journey of the 101 year old NAACP organization. Through the use of interactive timelines, videos, biographies, lesson plans and web links, you will learn about the impact the NAACP has made on history. What makes this site special is how it shows you an event and provides you with information about the impact the particular event had on history. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): africa (172), african american (112), black history (59), civil rights (121)

In the Classroom

Ask your students to visit the site and create a brochure based on the impact of a particular event they learned about. Brochures can be made using Microsoft Publisher or Apple's Pages. They could also use a tool like Adobe Spark, reviewed here, to create an interactive poster about one of the famous African Americans on the site. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson. Using it on a projector or interactive whiteboard will really make the videos come alive.

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From Prejudice to Pride: An African American Journey - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

Grades
5 to 10
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Celebrate great African-Americans from this complete link. Research those famous in medicine, politics, arts & entertainment, armed forces, and sports. This site is actually a downloadable...more
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Celebrate great African-Americans from this complete link. Research those famous in medicine, politics, arts & entertainment, armed forces, and sports. This site is actually a downloadable PDF file of a Teacher's Guide with standards, objectives, printables, discussion questions, and specific activity ideas. The PDF file links to a site that provides a timeline of "prejudice to pride." Examples of activities include analyzing photos or poetry, research presentations, and writing exercises. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (172), black history (59)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research projects about amazing African-Americans. Most of the activity suggestions are more traditional projects and writing assignments. If you want to add some technology touches, why not have students create a fictitious blog from one of the heroes highlighted at this site, or a cross-time dialog via email or text message between a slave from the 1800s and Barack Obama, or create a PowerPoint resume about the man (or woman) they researched.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black History - A Detailed Resource - Lousiana State Univ.

Grades
6 to 12
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As good as any book --this site includes a lot of text. Within the text is a large number of links to other useful sites. The beginning is dedicated to ...more
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As good as any book --this site includes a lot of text. Within the text is a large number of links to other useful sites. The beginning is dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. then the rest is about Black History Month. Some of the links lead you to book resources - providing the author, name of the book, and reference ID.

tag(s): africa (172), african american (112), black history (59), civil rights (121), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

This site is great for research papers and choosing topics related to Black History. Check your local library (before the lesson) to see if any of the listed books are available.

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Martin Luther King, Jr.- American Civil Rights Leader - Lucidcafe: Library

Grades
6 to 12
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This thorough website provides a wealth of information about Martin Luther King, Jr. The site includes research information about the Civil-Rights leader, related websites, and several...more
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This thorough website provides a wealth of information about Martin Luther King, Jr. The site includes research information about the Civil-Rights leader, related websites, and several video clips. There are also books and DVDs available for purchase. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (172), african american (112), black history (59), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research about this great Civil-Rights leader. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Dissect the speeches together with your students. Discuss America during King's time versus America in the 21st century. Have the class participate in a discussion via a wiki all about the speech that you share and how it had an impact on today.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Negro League Baseball - TK Publishers & Blackbaseball.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This is a comprehensive site offering detailed information on the black leagues and the players who made them great. This is an excellent addition to Black History Month! There are...more
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This is a comprehensive site offering detailed information on the black leagues and the players who made them great. This is an excellent addition to Black History Month! There are links to learn about the history of black leagues, the players of black leagues, and the teams of black leagues. Be aware - there is a link to buy merchandise from the Negro Baseball League. However, all of the information provided is free.

tag(s): baseball (37), black history (59)

In the Classroom

Use this website to introduce black achievements in a different context. Use an interactive whiteboard or projection screen to share the many photos and achievements of these baseball icons, often forgotten.

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