Black History Month Toolkit
February is Black History Month. Here are four resources that will help you to get students talking about the world they see around them. Meet the common core. Find a primary source document. Do a classroom activity. History is challenging and important. Let your students discover that. Start now.
Primary source documents, writing prompts, and teaching strategies rooted in the study of the civil rights movement that meet the Common Core State Standards. This supplement includes specific writing prompts and teaching strategies that ask students to use evidence to craft a formal argumentative essay about the civil rights movement.
How do the people that lived through the civil rights movement remember that history? Show your students this two-minute video of Congressman John Lewis as he speaks about his participation in the Freedom Rides of 1961. Lewis was part of a group of seven white people and six black people that traveled on buses from Washington, DC, to Mississippi as part of an effort to desegregate public transportation in the South.
“Who am I?” is a question that each of us asks at some time in our life. An identity chart is a Facing History teaching strategy that helps students consider the many factors that shape who we are as individuals and as communities. Have students pick a key figure that made an impact in black history and create an identity chart for this figure. The activity helps students identify and organize the experiences that shaped their figure’s beliefs about civil rights, non-violence, and participation in community. After sharing these identity charts, students can create identity charts for themselves and reflect on how their own backgrounds and experiences have influenced their views.
Facing History and Ourselves' newest online course, Choices in Little Rock, is a rich and engaging exploration of the 1957 desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The course traces the legal and personal struggles of African Americans from Jim Crow America through the landmark supreme court decision on Brown v. Board of Education, and ultimately, to the courageous actions of nine young men and women determined to make desegregation a reality.
Facing History's Julia Rappaport edited this article. For questions or tips on what Facing History is doing in your community, email her at Julia_Rappaport@facing.org.
Find more free resources from the Facing History Civil Rights Resource Collection.