January 28, 2024

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February is African-American History Month

This week, we share many resources that highlight the contributions of African Americans from the past and present. Learn about several heroes you can share with your students.

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Share your thoughts with our community

Weekly Poll

This week, our poll asks, "How will you recognize African-American History Month?" View the responses of other educators once you click submit.

Will you share stories, music, or videos? »

Grades 8-12

Gertrude 'Ma' Rainey - Ma Rainey's "Black Bottom"

Introduce your students to the powerful singing of Ma Rainey. Share her song "Black Bottom, " first recorded in 1927 but still relevant today. It’s set in the 1920s in Chicago and deals with themes of Black art and culture, racial tension, and power.

Grades 4-12

Black Art and Artists in Our Collection

Share the National Gallery of Art’s extensive collection of work by African-American artists. Click on the thumbnail to view a summary of the piece and learn more about artists like Howardena Pindell, Emma Amos, and others.

Grades 4-12

Maya Angelou - Unit

In this three-part unit, students will discover the woman behind the famous name Maya Angelou. View “Tough Beginnings” (Maya’s childhood), “Talent to Spare” (her young adulthood and early career), and “More than Words” (her inspirations).

Grades 4-8

Reading Treks - Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad

Follow along on this virtual journey of resources related to Harriet Tubman's life. This Reading Trek includes an instructional guide that uses Google My Maps to help students understand the life and times of Harriet Tubman.

Grades 6-12

Seattle's Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

This extensive site includes a wealth of information about Dr. King: a timeline, a study guide with various higher-order thinking activities, biographical information, video and audio clips, printables, links for more details, and authentic photos.

Grades 6-12

34 Highly Influential African-American Scientists

View information about 34 African-American scientists and their contributions, including a pioneering ophthalmologist, a woman physicist who advanced the field of telecommunications, and others. Each entry includes additional biographical information.

Grades 5-12

NAACP History: Carter G Woodson

Learn about Carter G. Woodson, the "Father of Black History," through this short yet informative article by the NAACP. Read about Woodson's childhood in Virginia as the son of former slaves and his accomplishments during his adult years.

Grades 6-12

Mary McLeod Bethune

Using an excerpt from an interview with Mary McLeod Bethune, this lesson guides students through exploring Bethune's life and comparing it to their own life experiences. The site also provides a list of essential questions for critical thinking skills.

Grades 6-12

Famous African Americans

Explore this list—organized alphabetically by first name—of hundreds of famous African Americans. The list includes various categories like sports, singers, actors, writers, activists, scientists, politicians, and everything in between.

Grades K-3

Reading Treks - A Weed is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver

This Reading Trek explores the story of George Washington Carver, a man who was born a slave but who, through the kindness of others, gets the opportunity to learn about the world around him. View the instructional guide and included map.

Grades 3-7

Sojourner Truth: Abolitionist and Human Rights Activist

Discover Sojourner Truth, her fight against slavery, and her support for women and equal rights using this lesson provided by PBS Learning Media. The lesson includes a video and two primary source documents.

Grades 4-8

Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights

This website includes an interview, a biography, and other reading material that can easily be viewed full-screen on your projector. Use this lesson to help students to understand the importance of individuality.

Grades 6-12

By Popular Demand: Jackie and other Baseball Highlights 1860s-1960s

This Library of Congress collection has information on Jackie Robinson, pictures of early teams, documentation about Robinson's entry into the big leagues, and much more. Search time periods for information about African-American history.

This Week at TeachersFirst

Join us this Tuesday for our next free OK2Ask virtual workshop of the winter season and check out the related blog post. We’re also sharing a collection of resources to use as you recognize African-American History Month, along with an article introducing a prominent African-American artist. 

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Tuesday, 1/30, 7 PM ET

OK2Ask: Engage & Inspire with Fake Websites

Misinformation is rampant online. In this interactive workshop, participants will explore techniques for leveraging fake websites to build essential media literacy skills. Join us to examine this engaging approach to promoting digital citizenship.

Learn strategies for responsibly incorporating fake websites into instruction to foster critical thinking »

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Infusing Technology Blog

Honoring Dr. King’s Legacy Year-Round: Bringing His Message of Peace and Justice Into the Classroom

Dr. King was a family man, an organizer, an orator, and a hero to many. His life continues to inspire people all over the world. Bring that energy into your classroom throughout the year! Read about websites and lesson stems to try with your students.

Get ideas for infusing MLK Jr.’s values all year »

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Learn about famous African-Americans

TeachersFirst's Black History Resources

This curated collection includes teaching ideas, biographies, interactive sites, and research materials to help students learn about the pivotal roles African Americans have played in history and today’s world. Find inspiration and resources to share.

Discover resources, interactives, lesson plans, and more »

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Learn about a prominent artist

Everything to Learn: Diving Into the Life and Art of Edmonia Lewis

Our Help! I Lost My Media Specialist! articles are designed as pocket-sized professional learning. Read about Edmonia Lewis, the first famous female sculptor of both African American and Native American heritage, and explore the lesson stems.

Find activities integrated with standards »

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TeachersFirst is a collection of curated, classroom-ready content and ideas — including teacher-authored reviews of thousands of web resources. Built-in guidance from seasoned professionals makes effective classroom technology use trouble-free. TeachersFirst is made available free to K12 teachers by The Source for Learning, Inc., a nonprofit that has been providing educational resources for more than 40 years.