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


Free Learning Resources for Black History Month (And Beyond) | Common Sense Education (3)

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


Free Learning Resources for Black History Month (And Beyond) | Common Sense Education (4)

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

How to teach black history month as a white teacher? ›

Shy away from controversial, ambiguous, or unresolved issues. Share the real-life experiences about racial realities in developmentally appropriate ways. Think that you can't talk about black history because you're a white educator. You do not need to be a person of color to talk about race.

How to teach black history to children? ›

Highlight current events in the news that impact Black History. Events like the inauguration of the first Black President and first female Black/Asian-American Vice-President are noteworthy and worth watching with children. Teach children about racism and how to live a life of inclusion.

What is the theme for Black History Month 2024? ›

2024 | African Americans and the Arts

The theme for Black History Month 2024 focuses on “African Americans and the Arts”.

How can we raise awareness for Black History Month? ›

Here are a few ways to celebrate Black History Month at your organization this year.
  1. Volunteer with a nonprofit that supports the Black community. ...
  2. Celebrate the past and present of the Black community. ...
  3. Recognize Black employees in your organization. ...
  4. Organize a book club featuring Black authors.
Jan 16, 2024

How do you honor Black History Month in the classroom? ›

10 Ideas To Mark Black History Month in Your Classroom
  1. Have students write an “I Have a Dream” speech. ...
  2. Read (and provide books) about civil rights. ...
  3. Start a class community service project. ...
  4. Begin each class with a Fact of the Day. ...
  5. Teach Black art in the classroom. ...
  6. Decorate your door.

What is a powerful poem for Black History Month? ›

Caged Bird” Maya Angelou

describes the different experiences of two birds. One is caged and suffers due to being held in captivity, while the other is free to live and roam the world with no restraints. Because of its harsh reality, the caged bird turns to sing and longs for freedom.

How do you respectfully honor Black History Month? ›

8 Ways to Honor Black History Month
  1. Educate Yourself on the Black History in Your Community.
  2. Visit a Black or African-American History Museum.
  3. Learn about Black Music History.
  4. Read Books Written by Black Authors.
  5. Watch Films or Videos by Black Creators.
  6. Support Black-owned Businesses.
  7. Support Influential Black-led Nonprofits.
Feb 10, 2023

Where to start in teaching Black history? ›

Here are resources to help teach students about the significant events and people in African-American history in the United States:
  • Civil Rights Movement Virtual Learning Journey. ...
  • Civil Rights Video Collection from Georgia Stories. ...
  • Jazz. ...
  • The March on Washington. ...
  • The History of Hip-Hop.
Jan 31, 2024

How to explain Black History Month to a 5 year old? ›

Teach children that the purpose of Black History Month is to remember and celebrate. Black History Month exists as a time we set aside to acknowledge what African Americans accomplished in the face of severe injustice and celebrate those achievements.

What are the colors for Black History Month? ›

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.

What is the most famous invention by a black person? ›

Top 10 Inventions by Black Inventors
  1. Mailbox (1891) – Phillip Downing. ...
  2. Traffic light (1922) – Garrett Morgan. ...
  3. Automatic Gear Shift (1932) – Richard Spikes. ...
  4. Clothes Dryer (1892) – George T. ...
  5. Automatic Elevator Doors (1887) – Alexander Miles. ...
  6. Folding Chairs (1889) – John Purdy. ...
  7. Gas Heating Furnace (1919) – Alice H.
Jan 30, 2023

What is the slogan for Black History Month 2024? ›

The national theme for Black History Month 2024 is “African Americans and the Arts.” Black History Month 2024 is a time to recognize and highlight the achievements of Black artists and creators, and the role they played in U.S. history and in shaping our country today.

What are some topics for Black History Month? ›

  • Slavery.
  • Abolition and Emancipation.
  • Reconstruction.
  • Segregation and Black Migration.
  • Civil Rights.
Aug 15, 2016

What do you say for Black History Month? ›

Top 10 Best Black History Month Quotes:

"The time is always right to do what is right." "I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear." "Have a vision. Be demanding."

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 study 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 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.


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