TeachersFirst's Black History Resources

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Black History Month, held in February in the United States, is a celebration of the many achievements of African-Americans. Although it started in the United States it is now celebrated throughout the world and not limited to the month of February. This curated collection includes teaching ideas, biographies, interactive sites, research materials, and more to learn about the pivotal roles that African-Americans have had in history and continue to have today. Find inspiration and resources to share with students related to historical time periods, famous figures, and much more.

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Nelson Mandela - Facts - Nobel Media

Grades
3 to 12
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Explore information and facts about the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, straight from the Nobel Prize website. In addition to basic biographical information, view videos...more
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Explore information and facts about the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, straight from the Nobel Prize website. In addition to basic biographical information, view videos of Mandela's Nobel lecture, a bibliography of his writings, a photo gallery and much more. The question and answer portion of the site contains basic information useful for even the youngest students, while older students may enjoy exploring the wall to find comments shared by the site's readers.

tag(s): 1960s (30), 1970s (12), 1980s (10), 20th century (53), biographies (91), black history (79), civil rights (142), heroes (22), south africa (11)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. This site is perfect to include with Black History Month activities or in a unit on Civil Rights leaders. Have students create a simple infographic with words used to describe Mandela sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare South Africa at the time of Mandela's arrest to current South Africa. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Mandela during his time in prison or after his release.

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Enslaved Africans - Our Truth - 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 start. Each guide begins by telling 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 (156), black history (79), cross cultural understanding (150), slavery (58)

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. Engage students by challenging cooperative groups to read a specific "journey." Then have them blog about what was the biggest surprise in the story? What did they already know about slavery? Use a blogging tool such as Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. Enhance student learning by having 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

Grades
K to 12
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The Brown Bookshelf 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 Bookshelf 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 (104), black history (79), book lists (133), civil rights (142), literature (253), preK (278)

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. Enhance student learning by having students create commercials for books found on this site using a tool like Powtoon, reviewed here, or Biteable, 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 (36), black history (79), civil rights (142), racism (58), sports (93)

In the Classroom

This is a great resource for "hooking" students interested in sports into the study of the Civil Rights Movement, understanding racism and bias, 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. Ask cooperative learning groups to explore a specific part of this site and create a paper poster or modify student learning by challenging them to use a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or enhance learning using PicLits, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (156), black history (79), slavery (58)

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, to enhance or extend student learning. This site allows you to narrate a picture. Enhance student learning by asking students to upload a copyright-safe photo, and then narrate as if it were a news report using Headline Generator, reviewed here.
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Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights - Scholastic

Grades
4 to 8
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The Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights website includes free printable lesson plans, worksheets, an interview, a biography, and other reading material that can be easily...more
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The Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights website includes free printable lesson plans, worksheets, an interview, a biography, and other reading material that can be easily viewed full-screen on your classroom interactive whiteboard. The site is easy to navigate with links built right into the text for vocabulary and other relevant information. The activities help students understand the importance and necessity of every individual citizen in a democracy working together to contribute to a better way of life for all.

tag(s): black history (79), civil rights (142), martin luther king (33), rosa parks (5), tolerance (9), women (104)

In the Classroom

Spark your students' interest in how one brave individual changed history by not giving up her bus seat to a white passenger. Whether you are doing a unit on people who make a difference, civil rights, tolerance, or studying women and events in history, this self-contained website provides resources and materials that you can display on your classroom whiteboard. Involve students in using the interactive links to enhance learning and springboard discussions on what still needs to be done in regards to acceptance and embracing racial, ethnic, and cultural differences. Use an online tool like The Interactive Three-Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast discrimination in our country then with similar challenges we face today, and what still needs to be accomplished for a better tomorrow. Broaden the concepts to include that even when we are brave and have courage, change doesn't come about immediately; it takes time and continued perseverance. Culminate the unit with a writing prompt for students to reflect on and explain: Have you ever faced something that you thought you couldn't stand up to?
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By Popular Demand: Jackie and other Baseball Highlights 1860s-1960s - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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This Library of Congress collection has information on Jackie Robinson and lots more. As always, the images are the star of the show, and there are pictures of early teams, ...more
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This Library of Congress collection has information on Jackie Robinson and lots more. As always, the images are the star of the show, and there are pictures of early teams, documentation about Robinson's entry into the big leagues, and much more. Students can click on a time period (1860s-1890s, 1900s-1930s, 1940-1946, 1947-1956, 1957-1961, or 1962-1972) to learn more about the history of African-Americans and baseball.

tag(s): africa (156), african american (104), baseball (36)

In the Classroom

Provide your students with this website and a good 20-minutes of exploration time. Then, have your class write journal entries through the eyes of the African-American baseball stars. Or divide up the class into cooperative learning groups. Have each group research a specific time period and share their finding with the class.

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A People's Journey, A Nation's Story - African American History and Culture - Smithsonian

Grades
6 to 12
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The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted to documentation of African-American life in the United States. Explore the virtual museum...more
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The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted to documentation of African-American life in the United States. Explore the virtual museum through collections, exhibitions, stories, and more. Search collections by topic, era, or name to view artifacts including photographs, maps, and much more.

tag(s): africa (156), african american (104), black history (79)

In the Classroom

This site is a great tool for individual research, add this site to your teacher web page so students can access it from home. Replace paper and pencil and 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. Enhance learning by having 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.

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Black Wings: African American Pioneer Aviators - Smithsonian- National Air and Space Museum

Grades
5 to 12
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Inspire future aviators or encourage students to pursue their dreams with this site that traces African American aviators through the years. There are many images and short passages...more
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Inspire future aviators or encourage students to pursue their dreams with this site that traces African American aviators through the years. There are many images and short passages of text. The reading levels are not for younger students. Black Wings permits students to download and use images in their reports, as long as they are classroom projects, either printed or electronic, such as in PowerPoint. Images may not be published on web pages or burned to CD. Be sure to visit the What's New section for featured interviews with aviators. What a terrific and interesting primary source!

tag(s): africa (156), african american (104)

In the Classroom

Use this one as part of reading comprehension practice and find that your students are actually interested in what they read. Have students create projects about their favorite aviator or aircraft on a poster, in a PowerPoint presentation, or using Inspiration software.

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