Free Learning Resources for Black History Month (And Beyond) | Common Sense Education (2024)

The inclusion of Black history and culture isessential for anaccurateand true representation of American (and world) history overall. Black History Month is a time to highlight the people who have not only created foundational innovations, art, and achievements, but also organized and protested for equal rights and freedoms.

Of course, the civil rights movement and figures like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks are integral pieces of this history. But there are lesser-known -- and incredibly impactful -- people and contributions that illustrate an even greaterbreadth and depth of Black history and culture.

Below you'll find resources -- including videos, texts, lessons, podcasts, and more-- about activists, art and culture, inventors, engineers, historical events, and beyond. And to extend your search even further, don't missthe list of broader collections found at the bottomof this article. Everyresource we've curated here has a suggested grade band, butmany are flexible and adaptable to just about any age group. Consider the possibilities for how you might integrate these resources into your instruction (or use them at home!) during Black History Month or any time of the year.

A reminder for teachers: Navigate stories and images of oppression and violence with care.Black history is a complicated mix of both triumph and tribulations. While Black history doesn't begin or end with slavery or the injustices of racism, these harsh realities are part of it.Keep in mind your students' abilities when it comesto processing what they're reading, seeing, and listening to, and be aware that triggering topics can sometimes be more traumatic for Black and Brown kids.

Essential Sites and Curricula for All Ages


Free Learning Resources for Black History Month (And Beyond) | Common Sense Education (2)

Activities and Resources for Preschool to Third Grade

Audio and Stories for Preschool to Third Grade

  • Listen along as James Earl Jones reads "To Be a Drum," a story of rhythm, history, and freedom.
  • Enjoy the African Folktales With Miss Jo Jo podcast to hear stories that originated in Africa and were passed down through generations.

Videosfor Preschool to Third Grade

Hands-On Activitiesfor Preschool to Third Grade

Activities and Resources for Third to Fifth Grade


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Audio and Stories for Third Grade to Fifth Grade

Videos for Third Gradeto Fifth Grade

Hands-On Activitiesfor Third Gradeto Fifth Grade

Text-Based Activities forThird Gradeto Fifth Grade

Activities and Resources for Sixth to Eighth Grade


Free Learning Resources for Black History Month (And Beyond) | Common Sense Education (5)

Audio and Stories for Sixth Grade to Eighth Grade

Videosfor Sixth Grade to Eighth Grade

Hands-On Activitiesfor Sixth Grade to Eighth Grade

  • Visit this online exhibition from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to read about Frederick Douglass and see images ofsomeof his handwritten documents.
  • Learn more about the history behind trap music, a ubiquitous, influential music genre, inthis lesson from PBS LearningMedia.
  • Watch this video from Flocabulary to examine Langston Hughes'most famous poem and his use of figurative language. Then have students writetheirown "Harlem"-inspired poem.
  • Read one of the many thought-provoking stories on the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) website, and then dig into the associated collections of artifacts.

Text-Based Activitiesfor Sixth Grade to Eighth Grade

Activities and Resources for Ninth to Twelfth Grade


Free Learning Resources for Black History Month (And Beyond) | Common Sense Education (6)

Audio and Stories for Ninth to Twelfth Grade

Videosfor Ninth to Twelfth Grade

Hands-On Activitiesfor Ninth to Twelfth Grade

Text-Based Activities forNinth to Twelfth Grade

Free Learning Resources for Black History Month (And Beyond) | Common Sense Education (2024)


How to learn more about Black History Month? ›

The Many Ways to Learn Black History
  1. Classes, Teachings and Lesson Plans:
  2. Books & Collections:
  3. Articles and Resources:
  4. Podcasts:
  5. Videos:
  6. Roots and Records Searching Resources.
  7. Historical Documents & Museum.
Jan 14, 2022

What is the essential question for Black History Month? ›

Essential Questions:
  • Why do we celebrate Black History Month?
  • Which influential African Americans do we celebrate this month?
  • What inventions/contributions did African Americans provide to better our future?
  • Who do you find contributed most to our country?

How to teach Black History Month elementary school? ›

Black History Month Ideas for School
  1. Review the Timeline of the Civil Rights Movement. ...
  2. Pen a Persuasive Essay. ...
  3. Write about Black History. ...
  4. Do a Crossword Puzzle on Civil Rights. ...
  5. Create an Encyclopedia of Black Leaders. ...
  6. Explore Famous Black Scientists in History. ...
  7. Conduct Experiments Inspired by the Works of Black Scientists.
Jan 24, 2024

What is the learning objective of Black History Month? ›

Learning Objectives:

Students will discuss each man's vision for achieving equal rights for Black Americans. Students will draw connections between the readings and their lives to determine which strategies they might choose to create positive change in their own communities.

What are 5 things about Black History Month? ›

Here are five important things to know about this meaningful commemoration:
  • It Started as a Week. In 1915, Harvard-educated historian Carter G. ...
  • Carter Woodson: The Father of Black History. ...
  • February Was Chosen for a Reason. ...
  • A Week Becomes a Month. ...
  • Honoring African-American Men and Women.
Feb 18, 2019

Why is it important to learn and celebrate Black History Month? ›

Black History Month is that time for African Americans to acknowledge key figures from our past and present. It's an opportunity to spotlight and celebrate the achievements that African Americans have accomplished in this country, despite the history of racism and oppression.

What is one way we can honor Black History Month? ›

Museums are great ways to honor Black history. Almost every state in the U.S. has a Black history museum or African-American heritage site. There are so many amazing opportunities to learn about black history in your area, not only by visiting the museums but also by partaking in their virtual tours as well.

What is the message of Black History Month? ›

The week-long event officially became Black History Month in 1976 when U.S. president Gerald Ford extended the recognition to “honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Black History Month has been celebrated in the United States every February ...

What is the theme for Black History Month 2024? ›

The 2024 theme, “African Americans and the Arts,” explores the creativity, resilience and innovation from a culture that has uplifted spirits and soothed souls in countless ways across centuries.

What to talk about during Black History Month? ›

Here are a few suggested topics for your panel discussion:
  • Racial justice.
  • Civil rights.
  • Equity and equality.
  • Cultural traditions.
  • Black achievements throughout history.
  • Social justice.

How to learn about Black history? ›

How to Teach Black History: A Resource List
  1. National Museum of African American History and Culture Learning Labs (online resource hub) ...
  2. An Educator's Guide to the 1619 Project Born on the Water (picture book and educator's guide) ...
  3. Teaching for Black Lives (book and website)
Jan 31, 2023

Why should schools teach about Black History Month? ›

Finally, African American history is important because it encourages better citizenship. It emphasizes the ties that bind together individuals, communities, and generations. It illuminates the struggles to redefine and expand constitutional and human rights, both for Black and non-Black people.

What is the basic objective of black studies? ›

A specific aim and objective of this interdisciplinary field of study is to help students broaden their knowledge of the worldwide human experience by presenting an aspect of that experience—the Black Experience—which has traditionally been neglected or distorted by educational institutions.

How can we raise awareness for Black History Month? ›

How to Celebrate Black History Month at Work
  1. Engage Your Team in a Fun and Inspiring Experiences. ...
  2. Honor Black Musicians and Performers in the Music Evolution Event. ...
  3. Create a Black History Month Playlist. ...
  4. Learn from a Local Black Historian or Speaker. ...
  5. Explore Your Local Black History Museum.

How do you honor Black History Month all year? ›

How to give back during Black History Month
  1. Support Black-owned businesses. ...
  2. Contribute to charitable organizations. ...
  3. Volunteer your time and talent. ...
  4. Educate yourself on Black history. ...
  5. Explore connection through the arts. ...
  6. Celebrate Black leaders and visionaries in your field.

What do the colors of Black History Month mean? ›

The four colours that are used for Black History Month are black, red, yellow and green. Black represents resilience, red denotes blood, yellow is optimism and justice, and green symbolises rich greenery.


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