TeachersFirst's Resources for Black History
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.
Grades3 to 8
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In the ClassroomShare the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students close their eyes and visualize being at the speech in person.. what did they see, what did they hear, what did the feel, etc.. Have students write letters to Dr. King expressing their feelings about the speech. Use this site for research on Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and the Civil Rights movement. This site is a great addition to Black History month or Martin Luther King, Jr holiday.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse 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.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomUse the activity guides in your classroom. Most include printables, higher order thinking questions, and even activities that could easily be displayed and discussed using your interactive whiteboard or projector.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomTeachers can pick and choose easily from among several strands of thought among these lesson plans, either to supplement a unit on the Civil War, for use during Black History observations, or in an English class focused on story telling and personal voice. It could also provide interesting materials for reading comprehension practice using content area materials. All the plans follow a pretty regular format: link to the Times article, read it and discuss, but this kind of break from the use of a standard textbook can be refreshing. Many plans include a vocabulary list, ideas for extension activities and focus on making the lesson as interdisciplinary as possible. As you celebrate Presidents Day (especially Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009), check out this site for Lincoln resources!
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomFind some new ideas to celebrate the 100th day with your class. This site offers many interdisciplinary activities for you to co-teach with the music teacher, physical education teacher, or others.
Grades4 to 12
Teachers can register for a teacher area to create assignments for classes, review the available lesson plans, or build your own, and save your favorites on your personal Monticello Classroom web page. Each class has its own log-in and password and students are able to submit their completed activities to the teacher for review.
In the ClassroomThis site can serve a a hub for your unit on colonial life, Jefferson, or even inventors. If you wish your students to register for accounts, be sure to check the students' acceptable use policies or get parent permission in writing. Instead of students using their real first and last names, have students create their own colonial names for registration. Be sure to keep a list of these names to be able to review and assess student work. Give a class introduction to the Monticello Classroom using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL and ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Highlight the vocabulary words in the text as you come to them. Search the lesson plans, and teachers will find a few that will be particularly helpful for Black History month!
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse 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.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomTeachers will find this site rich in resources for units on science, social studies, geography, architecture, music, art, and culture. Make Africa a "real" place by sharing on a projector as you share stories or learn about homes ("Structures")and habitats or landforms ("Landscape") with younger students. Use the sound recordings for lessons on oral history, myths, languages, and music. Assign student groups a topic area, which they can research and present to the class as a PowerPoint or another multi-media format using an interactive whiteboard or projector.
Images, text, or other content downloaded from the collection may be freely used for non-profit educational and research purposes under Fair Use. That means that you may NOT put them on the web in a public site, blog, or wiki, since you would not be limiting access to class members. If you want students to create blog or wiki pages, create passworded access for class members only to areas displaying these images and resources. Check the website for instructions on how students can cite this source in their bibliographies.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is a great tool for individual research, add this site to your teacher web page so students can access it from home. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare information from different time periods or locations in the United States. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts providing information about African-American life throughout the years, or as a newscast from one particular time or event. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you assign any kind of "hero," "pioneer," or "leader" biography project, this site is a fabulous resource for students. The list of achievers includes many who may not be instantly recognizable to students and therefore provide more potential for discovery. In addition, the site is large enough and well-enough organized that students can start with this site and "dig" for a possible achiever to research, either by achievement area or by character trait. The site includes a diverse group of achievers, so is also useful if you're doing Women's History or Black History projects. Include this site on your teacher web page for students and parents to access as a reference.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomAdd this mind-stretching game of strategy to a unit on African history and culture. A nice activity to add to a celebration of Black History Month.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomSave this site as a favorite on your teacher wiki or webpage to allow students to use it for review both in and outside of the classroom. One useful feature is the practice quiz the site hosts. Teachers can print this out and use it to assess what students may already know or need to know at the beginning of a unit on the Civil Rights movement. An easy way to determine any gaps in student knowledge!
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomSave this site as a favorite on classroom computers and allow students to teach each other about the progression of civil rights. Put students into pairs or cooperative learning groups and assign each group and article or video seen on the CNN site. Have each group observe, read and analyze their source. After they are done have each student create a quick graphic of what they learned from the site. The end result will be for students to present their findings to the class. For quicker projects, create electronic "posters" or word graphics for adopted word using tools such as Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of these free lesson plans and activities! This site would be an excellent resource during a unit on the Harlem Renaissance or during Black History Month!
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomSave this site as a favorite it and browse it whenever in need of new lesson plans and materials within a social studies classroom. This is a great resource for new teachers, or for someone just looking for fresh ideas on how to cover a topic.
Grades1 to 2
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