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Teaching Black History: Resources For All Ages

"The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are inflicting it upon me..." -Frederick Douglass

Black History Month is celebrated each year in the United States during the month of February to coincide with the birthday of President Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and Frederick Douglass on February 14. Here are resources to help teach students about the significant events and people in African-American history in the United States:

Grades: 4-12
Brimming with comprehensive, cross-curricular content, including 14 videos, primary source images and documents, compelling photo galleries, interactive maps, artwork, music, and more, this virtual collection invites students into an engaging exploration of some of the most significant events of the Civil Rights Movement.
 
Grades: 3-12
This video collection from Georgia Stories, an original series from Georgia Public Broadcasting, explores the Civil Rights Movement from inside the classroom to the streets of Atlanta and examines the movement’s lasting impacts. 
 
Grades: 2-6
Students discover the purpose of Black History Month as well as other historical facts, firsts, and figures about the month-long celebration with a downloadable backgrounder.
 
Grades: K-12
Students gain a better understanding of the contributions African American scientists have made through research on The Faces of Science: African Americans in the Sciences website and create a slide show about the five scientists they found the most interesting.
 
Grades: 3-12
Help students understand the significance of the 1963 March on Washington and the role it played in the Civil Rights Movement with this collection of multimedia educational resources.
 
Grades: 9-12
Use this collection of interviews from National Public Radio (NPR) with high school students to chronicle seminal people and events in the hip-hop movement.
 
Grades: K-3
Students color and assemble the pages of this little book to find out more about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. A perfect way for students in grades K-3 to complete activities related to Dr. King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech.
 
Grades: 7-12
Maya Angelou’s talent was not defined by just one medium. Throughout her life, she was a poet, novelist, dancer, playwright, actor, and educator. In this lesson from PBS NewsHour Extra, students learn more about her extraordinary life.
 
Grades: 5-12
Students in all grades can make decisions as they follow Harriet Tubman and escape from a slave owner in this online interactive.
 
Grades: 9-12
Discovery Education delves into the lives of African Americans who made history. This collection includes a variety of media that is organized into age-appropriate content. Need to create your free Discovery Ed account? Email us: education@gpb.org
 
Grades: 5-9
Students study famous black Americans while learning how to surf the Internet skills. There are four scavenger hunt versions for different grade levels from elementary school through high school.
 
Grades: 9-12
Why is oral history important to remembering and learning from the past? How can hearing the stories of individuals help us better understand the experience and effects of segregation? In this lesson based on the PBS film, "A Place Out of Time: The Bordentown School," students compare ideas and information from various sources to understand how oral histories contribute to our understanding of segregation. Students then conduct their own interviews to further their understanding of individual experiences during segregation.
 
Grades: K-12
To help those who may not know why, where, when or how to begin this conversation, USC Rossier has created Speak Up: Opening a Dialogue With Youth About Racism — a collection of interviews, resource guides, and op-eds aimed at answering some of the questions that can make these topics difficult, and prompt needed discussions about identity, inequality and education for children of color.
 
Please share other lesson ideas for Black History Month in the comment section below!
Mary Anne Lane

Mary Anne serves as the Education Project Manager at GPB, where she develops digital content and resources for educators and students. A native Georgian, Mary Anne graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Georgia earning her Bachelor of... more