Sunday, February 9, 2014

African American History Month Top Resources

Here are some excellent resources to support student learning during National African American History Month, also known as Black History month. These resources support Common Core well, as they are primarily focused on non-fiction reading, comprehension skills, writing, as well as use of video and other media to augment learning.
Image of Sojourner Truth from
Sojourner Truth

PBS Learning Media - based upon the highly acclaimed Finding Your Roots 2012 video series, you will find video clips and  high quality lesson plans provided for grades 7-12. Here's a great example with in-depth plans, media, a culminating project and great detail overall called Free But Not Free, Life of Free Blacks Before the Civil War

Readworks - this is a Common Core aligned series of lessons. The (concise) lessons are built around NON FICTION primary sources, and include all you need for grades K-8. Here's a good one for gr. 5 called Fetching Water. The ones I reviewed all had multiple choice and fill in answers to help students practice comprehension for the short passages read. Could also be used as topic starters to begin a unit, or to augment other classroom lessons underway. has an interesting collection of videos, study guides, photos, and a timeline. For instance, check this one on Booker T. Washington.  Lots of classroom discussion starters on this site.

Of course, a list like this would not be complete without a reference to, and they do not disappoint. See their African American History Month page for a nice array of resources, organized by People & Groups, Themes, and Events. Each topic (e.g. "Emancipation Proclamation") includes a good amount of background information, as well as links to related topics, videos (with some ads) photos, and interactives. A good site to get started with, or understand more details about, an important topic.

The federal government has put together a comprehensive resource site called African American History Month . There are some amazing photos here, and a lot more can be found on this site. There are some comprehensive lesson plans, like this one on Civil Rights, in the For Teachers section. Interestingly, Bloom's Taxonomy is referenced for the resourcess, but I didn't see anything that correlates to Common Core... hmmm..

While I do understand some of the criticisms over defining a month to 'celebrate' a particular race, I also see this as an opportunity to educate students about an important part of our multi-faceted society. I hope you are able to take the time to celebrate the many important contributions of African Americans!

Please let us know what awesome resources YOU use!

1 comment:

Terri Rowenhorst said...

A number of great Math video collections may be found at as well.