African-American History Teacher Resources
Find African American History educational ideas and activities
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Dance of the Times: African-American Expression of Jazz
Learners explore and experience jazz as a social dance form. They study how jazz was an important piece of African-American culture and how it developed.
African American Inventors Society
Middle schoolers examine the inventions of African Americans and how their inventions contributed to the common good. In this African American inventions instructional activity, students research the inventions of African Americans and reflect on how that invention has impacted on society.
Exploring the Accomplishments of African American Scientists
Ninth graders research inventions and discoveries that were made by African Americans using the attached worksheet. They investigate the contributions of these scientists using print media and interviews. They design slideshow presentation highlighting these contributions.
Face Jug: African American Artifacts
Young scholars examine African American art. In this African American history lesson plan, students research face jugs created by African American freedmen after they watch a video about the artifact and its significance. Young scholars then create comics that identify the cultural significance of face jugs.
Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits: Grades 3-5
Students explore the contributions of African Americans of the 20th century. For this African American history lesson, students examine portraits of Muhammad Ali, Romare Bearden, Lorraine Hansberry, Judith Jamison, and Leontyne Price in efforts to analyze the images and make inferences prior to discovering their individual contributions.
Black Wings: African American Pioneer Aviators
Students explore the topic of African American aviation. In this African American aviation instructional activity, students examine primary and secondary sources that enable them to discover challenges faced by African American aviators, identify African American aviator leaders, and then write about their research findings.
Debate: How Should African Americans Achieve Equality?
Each group is assigned a character to play in a mock debate. They read the provided materials, build an argument, and then debate their points of view as their perspective character. The debate focuses on ensuring equality for African-Americans in the twentieth century. Worksheets, readings, and film link are all included.
Biography Bio-Cubes: Using Resources to Research Famous African-Americans
After being assigned a famous African American each student use books, the Internet, and Magazines to find out why that person is famous. They create a bio-cube, list resources, then engage in a "Line Dance" where they will move about each other, sharing what they have learned. This lesson seems both fun and informative.
Fourth graders research famous African-Americans. They watch the Famous Black Americans PowerPoint presentation, conduct Internet research on a selected person, and complete a newsletter that includes a biography sketch and research information.
The Palm of My Heart: Poetry By African American Children
Elementary students explore African American culture by reading children's poetry. They read the book, The Palm of My Heart which features poetry by an assortment of young African American boys and girls. Students define several vocabulary terms from the book and answer study questions based on the poems and book.
Design a Postage Stamp for Black History Month
Students research famous black Americans for Black History Month. In this art/black history lesson, students do internet research to explore the various achievements of black Americans throughout history. Students design a postage stamp, creating symbols to represent the contributions made by the famous black American they researched.
Minority Teenage Fathers: Rights and Responsibilities
Pupils examine current laws and use problem solving activities designed to develop in students the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate situations they may/ be confronted with as potential teen-aged fathers.
Executive Order 9066: Japanese-American Internment
Students analyze conditions under which sections of United States Constitution are superceded, research history of Native Americans, African Americans, and Japanese Americans, and debate policy of reparations for various minority groups in United States.
Writing the History of African American Slave Women
Students examine experiences by African-American women during the Civil War. Reading letters and autobiographies, they gain insight into how they dealt with slavery and losing their children. They create a model in which to evaluate the primary source documents they read. They compare and contrast the experiencse of women with those in "Uncle Tom's Cabin".
African American Music
Students investigate a variety of sites to gather relevant information for a presentation about African American musical forms in this general Music lesson for middle school and high school. Resource links are provided to aid instruction.
Enslaved African Americans and Expressions of Freedom
Students analyze a painting from African-American culture to determine its meaning. Reading slave spirituals, they discover what live was like for African-Americans who were enslaved in the South. They draw conclusions about their desire for freedom.
Students explore and describe the impact of segregation on African Americans and other non-white minorities. In this segregation lesson students identify, research and report on the legal cases that led to the Brown vs. Board of Education case.
Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe
Modern art is great to experience because it brings contemporary issues into everyday conversation. Upper graders consider the work of Mickalene Thomas, an artist that uses photo collage techniques to capture the beauty of African American women in today's society. They can engage in any of the three suggested activities as a way to build a better understanding and deeper analysis of this modern art. Images, discussion questions, weblinks, ELA, social studies, and art activities are included.
Young scholars explore websites about famous African-Americans. They work in pairs to decide on an African American who should be honored with a stamp. They write a letter recommending this person for a stamp including appropriate reason why this person deserves the honor.
After the American Revolution: Free African Americans in the North
Eleventh graders explore how one-third of Patriot soldiers at the Battle of Bunker Hill were African Americans Census data also reveal that there were slaves and free Blacks living in the Nort