African-American History Teacher Resources

Find African American History educational ideas and activities

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Learners study African American history month. For this culture lesson, students discuss the origins of African American history and play a concentration game by matching the picture to the name of a famous African American.
Students research famous African Americans for Black History Month. In this biography lesson plan, students read about five famous African Americans: Nat King Cole, Jackie Robinson, Melba Pattillo, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King. They answer questions and discuss their life. 
A six-week unit takes high schoolers through various works of African-American literature, including poems, plays, and short stories. The lesson plan format includes a week-by-week description of activities, goals, materials, and assessments. Use this format during Black History Month or in a multicultural literature unit.
Third graders explore and analyze about famous African-Americans by listening to four picture book biographies. They generate a list of 15 famous African-Americans and then create a survey to rank them according to importance of accomplishments and administer the survey to grades three through five, collect data from the survey and then create graphs representing their results.
Students examine seven different African-American artists. In groups, they use the internet to identify their contribution and techniques to the art world and examine the time period in which the artwork was produced. To end the lesson, they use the knowledge they have gathered to write a play or story.
Young scholars explore lives of African-Americans in Iowa. Students will examine biographies and discuss perspectives of African-Americans. They will then create posters illustrating elements of those lives finally, putting on a five act play that demonstrates the lesson objectives.
Students are introduced to various time periods in history in which African Americans wrote songs and poetry to cope. In groups, they travel between different stations to listen or read poems and music from the Civil War period, Civil Rights Movement, etc. For each poem or music, they answer discussion questions and write their own poem appropriate for the time period.
Seventh graders listen to a variety of folktales sharing experiences of slavery. As a class, they compare and contrast reading a story and telling a story. They participate in a role play activity to discover the journey of a slave and reflect on the activity in their journal. After watching a video, they discuss how point of view influences ones view of history.
Students describe issues or problems facing African Americans following Reconstruction. They explain possible solutions to these problems suggested in the sources found and cite arguments for and against those solutions. Analyze primary source documents.
Learners listen to data on African American women in Texas before the Civil War. In this Civil War lesson, students compare and contrast the lives of slave and free women, and discuss case studies, locating areas on a map. Learners select a problem to write a response to solve it during the slavery era in Texas. 
Students examine pieces of art by African-American artists in the 20th Century. For each piece, they are shown slides of the artwork and others by the artist to identify the techniques used. In groups, they discuss and research the time period in which the art was produced to end the lesson plan.
Students explore the westward movement of African Americans. In this social studies lesson, students view PBS specials on the westward movement, discuss them, then work in collaborative groups to research a subtopic of the movement. After completing the research, each group will create accompanying documents from the time period, then graph and analyze population figures of the time period.
In this mini book activity, students will cut apart and staple 23 small pages to create a mini book of famous African Americans from history. Each page has a picture and short bio of a historical figure.
Learners explore the topic of African American aviation. In this African American aviation lesson, students examine primary and secondary sources that enable them to discover challenges faced by African American aviators and identify African American aviator leaders. Learners write about their impressions of the lesson.
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.
Students examine the inventions of African Americans and how their inventions contributed to the common good. In this African American inventions lesson, students research the inventions of African Americans and reflect on how that invention has impacted on society.
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.
Students examine African American art. In this African American history lesson, students research face jugs created by African American freedmen after they watch a video about the artifact and its significance. Students then create comics that identify the cultural significance of face jugs.
Students explore the contributions of African Americans of the 20th century. In 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.
Students explore the topic of African American aviation. In this African American aviation lesson, 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.