African-American History Teacher Resources
Find African American History educational ideas and activities
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Students research three African-American musicians and compose a report based upon their research in this Music Appreciation activity for the middle level classroom. The activity could be adapted for various student levels and abilities.
Students are introduced to the goals of abolitionists throughout history. In groups, they use the internet to discover the purpose of the Underground Railroad and why there were bus boycotts in the 1960s. They compare and contrast the messages of King, Jr. and Malcolm X to end the lesson.
Eleventh graders compare and contrast the treatment of African-American soldiers during the American Civil War and World War II. In this African-American history lesson, 11th graders analyze and interpret the films "Glory,"and "The Tuskegee Airmen."
Students take a closer look at African American college students in the early 1900's. For this North Carolina history lesson, students read "African American College Students," and respond to discussion questions about the article.
Students investigate the concept of a biography by using famous African Americans for a subject. Each student is assigned one biography and conducts research in order to complete an ABC book for the class that is used for display purposes or sharing.
Middle schoolers learn about African American inventors. In this inventing instructional activity, students are assigned an African American inventor to research. Middle schoolers work in pairs to complete their research. Students write a compare and contrast paragraph between Vivian Thomas (from instructional activity one) and the inventor they researched.
Students explore Missouri's African American history. In this Civil War lesson, students explore the role of Missouri's enslaved African Americans in the Civil War using primary resources.
Third graders examine the life of the African American in the Pee Dee region during slavery. In this slavery lesson, 3rd graders explore primary and secondary documents related to the topic and create a timeline of when slavery first appeared in South Carolina. Students construct a quilt square that will describe their lives and put together to form a class quilt. This lesson is specific to resources in South Carolina.
Eighth graders explore the community of enslaved African Americans. In this American History lesson, 8th graders evaluate the importance of cultural expression in the black community. Students study the contributions made by the African Grove Theater.
Young scholars investigate African American pioneer aviators. In this aviation lesson, students read the biographies of William J Powell, Alfred Anderson, and Benjamin Davis. Young scholars create a mock diary of one of the African-American aviators.
Students use the Internet to research African American inventors. They work with a partner to complete a graphic organizer about the inventors and the inventions.
Learners use at least one database to find relevant materials on their topic. In this African American History lesson, student record relevant information in their own words and prepare a 1-2 page biographical sketch on an African-American pioneer in science, inventions, discovery, or the arts.
Sixth graders explore the push/pull factors that influenced the South to North migration. For this African-American migration lesson, 6th graders read an article and answer comprehension questions. Students write a letter to the government.
Students research a famous African American in order to present a slideshow presentation. They aslo develop a brochure on a famous African American. They include the early childhood, education, career, accomplishments, and awards of a selected African American.
Fourth graders complete a brief research biography about a famous Black historical figure in honor of Black History Month. The completed biographies were then assembled into a complete class set in alphabetical order.
Students examine the Great Migration of African Americans to the North from the South. After reading a primary source document, they respond to the letter given a set of questions. In groups, they research the funding for white and black schools in the South and examine the economic situations of share-croppers.
Pupils analyze a variety of primary source materials related to lynching (news articles, letters written to or written by prominent Americans, pamphlets, broadsides, etc.) in order to assess the effectiveness of the anti-lynching campaign spearheaded by African-Americans. This resource focuses on Billie Holiday's signature song, "Strange Fruit," a protest song Lewis Allen (Abel Meeropol) wrote in 1938 about the ongoing and intransigent problem of lynching in the American South.
Students explore how migration to Harlem created a new life for African Americans. In this cross curricular instructional activity, students illustrate maps showing the migration, paint murals representing African American life in the South and create a brochure of the important landmarks in Harlem.
Students are introduced to a groups of African American inventors. In groups, they research the role of each person in improving different industries. They also examine the barriers African Americans faced from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement. To end the lesson, they share their information with the class.
This is a high-quality plan for exploring the role of African Americans in the Civil War with your class. It includes background information, step-by-step instructions for discussion and investigation, worksheets, and a final project. The complete package! Though the resource states it should only take one day, plus some time to complete the project, you may plan for additional days given the depth of the lesson.