TeachersFirst's Resources for Black History

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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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Held accountable - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail! ...more
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail!

tag(s): africa (180), black history (59), civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Teachers 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!

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Suggested Activities for 100th Day of School - Tammy Payton

Grades
K to 5
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This site offers an interesting mix of activities for all classes to use to celebrate the 100th day! Some are simple: songs, quick art projects, counting activities, or exercises. While...more
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This site offers an interesting mix of activities for all classes to use to celebrate the 100th day! Some are simple: songs, quick art projects, counting activities, or exercises. While others are more complex: learning to say hello in 100 languages, researching 100 African Americans who have made a difference (connecting 100th day activities to Black History month), and many others. This site is a basically a list of activities, but worth taking a look at.

tag(s): black history (59), counting (120), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Find 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.

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The Monticello Classroom - Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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Invite your students to step into Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and experience colonial life. This educational website is beautifully designed for both students and teachers to use...more
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Invite your students to step into Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and experience colonial life. This educational website is beautifully designed for both students and teachers to use the extensive resources to learn about Jefferson, Monticello, and daily life. The Monticello Classroom provides a student portal with fact and resource sheets, an image gallery, online activities, and a saved favorites section. Web pages offer information by reading levels: elementary, middle, and high school. The image gallery contains a slide show builder for students to create a presentation using the images and copies of primary source documents. The presentations can be saved, printed, or emailed. Students can register for an account to save favorites and other resources. Registration requires a user name, password, first name and last name. Check your school's policies before allowing student accounts, especially with full names! See more hints below.
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.

tag(s): black history (59), jefferson (19)

In the Classroom

This 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!

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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 (36), 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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Africa Focus: Sights and Sounds of a Continent - University of Wisconsin Digital Collections

Grades
3 to 12
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Africa Focus offers a wealth of digital images and sound recordings from contemporary Africa. This collection from the University of Wisconsin contains more than 3000 slides, 500 photographs,...more
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Africa Focus offers a wealth of digital images and sound recordings from contemporary Africa. This collection from the University of Wisconsin contains more than 3000 slides, 500 photographs, and 50 hours of sounds from 45 different countries. Click Search the Collection to see image categories which include artisans, buildings and structures, cities and towns, education, landscape, religion, and women. Sound recordings include drums, greetings, rites and ceremonies, songs, and signing. The site is easily searched by keyword or by subject heading. This site requires RealPlayer. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): africa (180), air (163), architecture (83), black history (59)

In the Classroom

Teachers 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.

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National Museum of African American History and Culture - Smithsonian

Grades
6 to 12
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Currently, the National Museum of African American History and Culture exists only virtually; it is not slated to be a physical location until 2015. Therefore, the creators of this...more
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Currently, the National Museum of African American History and Culture exists only virtually; it is not slated to be a physical location until 2015. Therefore, the creators of this website have to do much more than showcase a traditional museum and its artifacts and provide driving directions. The centerpiece of the site is its interactive web, which appears just below the "masthead" of the site. Enlarge it (which requires a "pop up"), and you can see a visual representation of the complex connections among issues, historical figures and cultural icons related to African American History. Click on any link on the web to be taken to further information. There are also traditional lesson plans (under the education link) and a great interactive timeline. This is a rich resource for Black History Month or an African American perspective on many historical topics.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), black history (59)

In the Classroom

A great tool for individual research, add this site to your teacher web page so students can access it from home. Use the "threads" web on an interactive whiteboard to illustrate how culture, history and issues are related in complex and unexpected ways. Use the resources you can access through the "web" to illustrate lessons.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Academy of Achievement - Academy of Achievement

Grades
5 to 12
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This site profiles a wide variety of achievers from the arts, science, sports, and business. Each achiever profile features a short biography, a discussion of his or her significance,...more
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This site profiles a wide variety of achievers from the arts, science, sports, and business. Each achiever profile features a short biography, a discussion of his or her significance, a photo gallery and an interview. Most of the interviews feature audio and video clips of the achiever as well. The achievers are grouped by area and in an alphabetical drop down list. One great feature is that the achievers are also grouped by character attribute (referred to as their "key to success"): passion, courage, perseverance, integrity, and a neat category called "The American Dream." This site requires Flash and Quicktime. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): heroes (24), pioneers (8)

In the Classroom

If 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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mankala - Roger E. Critchlow, Jr.

Grades
7 to 12
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Most students are familiar with the traditional Mankala game that uses a rectangular wooden board and stones, but this online version adds a few interesting options and variations....more
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Most students are familiar with the traditional Mankala game that uses a rectangular wooden board and stones, but this online version adds a few interesting options and variations. Read the instructions carefully! Students can play against the computer or with a partner.

In the Classroom

Add 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.

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Black History Month Salute

Grades
6 to 12
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Extensive Black history links and information. ...more
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Extensive Black history links and information.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113)

In the Classroom

Save 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!

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Road to Equality - CNN

Grades
4 to 12
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CNN has updated its collection of black history resources, many of which can be useful year-'round for the study of black history. ...more
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CNN has updated its collection of black history resources, many of which can be useful year-'round for the study of black history.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113)

In the Classroom

Save 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).

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The Blues Impulse - An Era and the Ambiguity of Adolescence - Yale University

Grades
6 to 12
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Help students learn about the Harlem Renaissance and about themselves through this investigation of the blues. ...more
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Help students learn about the Harlem Renaissance and about themselves through this investigation of the blues.

tag(s): blues (21), harlem (9)

In the Classroom

Take 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!

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Social Studies Web Sites and Resources

Grades
1 to 12
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Here's a treasure-trove of lessons, materials, ideas, units and resources. Lots and lots of great material here from sources as various as the academy Curriculum Exchange, Houghton...more
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Here's a treasure-trove of lessons, materials, ideas, units and resources. Lots and lots of great material here from sources as various as the academy Curriculum Exchange, Houghton Mifflin, Addison Wesley, AskERIC, Encarta and the Peace Corps. Print 'em out and turn 'em loose on the kids! This is definitely worth a browse!

tag(s): black history (59), oral history (12)

In the Classroom

Save 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.

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Celebrate A People! - Yale University

Grades
1 to 2
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Develop your students' social and language arts skills through reading Afrocentric picture books. ...more
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Develop your students' social and language arts skills through reading Afrocentric picture books.

tag(s): book lists (126)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans on this site! Save this site as a favorite on your classroom computer to allow for easy reference later on. Instead of reserving something like this for Black History Month, sprinkle these book suggestions throughout your curriculum, making it more multicultural throughout.

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Gateway to African American History - University of Chicago

Grades
6 to 12
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This is an extremely comprehensive site covering an assortment of African American historical and cultural topics. Developed by a charter school and housed at the University of Chicago,...more
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This is an extremely comprehensive site covering an assortment of African American historical and cultural topics. Developed by a charter school and housed at the University of Chicago, the site offers a thematic look at the social, political, and cultural history of African Americans in the US. This site is well-organized and comprehensive enough to be meaningful to any student.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113)

In the Classroom

If looking for new materials or resources for a unit adding multicultural perspectives OR black history month, be sure to check out some of the links on this site! Just make sure to save it as a favorite, allowing for easier retrieval later on.

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