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Resources for Black History Month

February includes Black History Month, a time to learn more about the important history and significant contributions of Black Americans. Here is a sample of some of the free PBS LearningMedia instructional resources to help students learn more about the national holiday and the people it celebrates. Most resources have educator support materials!

Learning About Black Leaders Week: PREK-K | PBS KIDS
Suggested grades PreK-K

Identifying contributions of people, past and present is important. We learn to celebrate individuals and the part they play in our lives.

Misty Copeland | Peg + Cat 
Suggested grades PreK-K

In 2015, Misty Copeland became the first Black principal ballerina with the American Ballet Theater.A bilingual, weekly “Learn Along” Bingo card (one for PreK-K, one for Grades 1 & 2) will include a range of thematic learning opportunities for children to choose their own learning adventure. Emphasis will be on the PBS KIDS 24/7 broadcast schedule and related printables that require minimal supplies or adult facilitation. Weekly activities will be cross-curricular but emphasize Social-Emotional Learning, Math and Literacy development. From the collection Learning About Black Leaders Bingo: PreK and K | PBS KIDS

Black History Month | All About the Holidays 
Suggested grades K-5

The month of February honors the important role Black people play in the story of our country. Across the United States, schools and communities organize to learn more about Black History and Culture. How is Black History Month recognized in your community? How do you recognize Black History throughout the year? From the Teach Your Way collection.

Harriet Tubman| Abolition Activist  
Suggested grades 3-8

In this lesson, students will learn about Harriet Tubman’s extraordinary courage in the face of enormous risks. After watching a biographical video, they will examine a photograph of Tubman and read a letter written to her by Frederick Douglass. The lesson culminates with students comparing Harriet Tubman to modern-day women and girls who have similarly confronted huge risks to help others.

City of Ali | Kentucky Studies
Suggested grades 6-12

City of Ali explores Muhammad Ali’s lifelong relationship with his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky through candid interviews with friends and relatives whose history with him dates back to his childhood home. Often heralded “The Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century,” Ali was an inspiration to the world, not only for his athletic accomplishments, but in his fight against racial injustice and all forms of hatred and prejudice. Ali’s death left his beloved hometown with a huge question, “How do you say goodbye to the greatest?”

Crossing the Color Line: Jackie Robinson’s Early Career 
Suggested grades 6-12

Jackie Robinson was proud of his race from an early age. He was involved in college athletics and joined the Army, in a segregated cavalry, in 1942. In 1945, after serving, Robinson joined the Kansas Monarchs. There he caught the attention of many, including baseball executive Branch Rickey. From Ken Burns in the Classroom. See also Jackie Robinson, A Film By Ken Burns

Bessie Coleman | Unladylike2020 
Suggested grades 6-12

Explore how Bessie Coleman became the first female black pilot and the first African American to hold an international license to fly in this digital short from Unladylike2020. Using video, discussion questions, vocabulary, and a classroom activity, students learn how Coleman achieved her dream of flying during the era of Jim Crow—a time when it seemed impossible—and laid the groundwork for future African American pilots.

Sensitive: This resource contains material that may be sensitive for some students. Teachers should exercise discretion in evaluating whether this resource is suitable for their class.

Women of Color Taking the Lead | And She Could Be Next 
Suggested grades 6-12

As Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams declares, “Women of color have been the backbone of our communities forever,” a montage chronicles the women of color whose historic organizing efforts have radically altered the shape of U.S. politics, including Rosa Parks, Elizabeth Eckford, Fannie Lou Hamer, Angela Davis, Marsha P. Johnson, Yuri Kochiyama, Madonna Thunderhawk, Dolores Huerta, Patsy Mink, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Naomi Wadler, Lucy McBath, Grace Lee Boggs, Maria Elena Durazo, Linda Sarsour, Tarana Burke, and Rashida Tlaib. From the collection And She Could Be Next, which tells the story of a defiant movement of women of color transforming American politics from the ground up.  

Black Spaces in White America 
Suggested for grades 9-12

Through class discussion and film analysis, students explore the ways in which African Americans created their own spaces (“Black Spaces”) in “White America” and the effect that these spaces had on the success of African Americans. Specifically, students consider the ways in which an all-black school provided unique opportunities that ceased to exist after desegregation was mandated by the courts in Brown v. Board of Education. The culminating activity in this lesson is a graded discussion in which students debate the impact of the creation of and destruction of black spaces on African Americans.

Lucy Laney 
Suggested for grades 9-12

This video segment from The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow addresses the life and impact of Lucy Laney, the founder of the Haines Normal and Industrial School in Augusta, Georgia. Laney was an influential Jim Crow-era educator. She believed it was essential to cultivate the minds of her students in order to develop intellectual leaders for the future, especially black women who could then teach the next generation.

For even more resources, visit our curated folder. Have questions or need assistance?  Contact your KET Education Consultant! We love helping educators and students!