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


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? ›

Be sure to allow students an opportunity for discussion and reflection. 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.

What is the black history website for kids? ›

Tuntimo offers children the opportunity to learn about notable Black figures and periods that have made history.

What is the 2024 theme for Black History Month? ›

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 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

How to incorporate Black History Month at 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 PBS kids show for Black History Month? ›

Xavier Riddle & the Secret Museum follows the adventures of Xavier, Yadina and Brad as they tackle everyday problems by doing something extraordinary: traveling back in time to learn from real-life inspirational figures when they were kids. Watch Xavier Riddle & the Secret Museum on Rootle Monday–Friday at 2:30 PM.

How to teach 3 year olds about Black History Month? ›

Ages 0-3 Children's Activities For Black History Month
  1. Support Your Local Community. ...
  2. Make a Hands and Feet Mural With Skin Tone Paint. ...
  3. Learn About Jacob Lawerence. ...
  4. Make Your Own Drum and Learn the History of the HBCU Drumline. ...
  5. Watch Motown Magic on Netflix and Do a Sing-Along. ...
  6. Listen to “Sweet Honey in the Rock” Together.
Feb 2, 2022

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 should Black history be taught? ›

Teach through Black voices

“Teaching about Black history has meant that schools teach from how white people imagine Black histories. Teaching through Black history should mean listening, writing and teaching narratives from the actual historical experiences and voices of Black people.”

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

What is Black history called now? ›

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G.

What is the 3 5 Black history? ›

Although the Constitution did not refer directly to slaves, it did not ignore them entirely. Article one, section two of the Constitution of the United States declared that any person who was not free would be counted as three-fifths of a free individual for the purposes of determining congressional representation.

What is 306 Black history? ›

What Does “306” Mean? Did you know that the number 306 has significance in Black history? When Dr. Martin Luther King stayed at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, the site of his assassination in 1968, he preferred to stay in room 306.

Where can I learn about Black history? ›

African American History Websites
  • African American Odyssey. ...
  • ASALH: Association for the Study of African American Life and History. ...
  • ...
  • Black History Month Biography Channel. ...
  • BlackPast. ...
  • Brown vs Board of Education. ...
  • Center for Antiracist Research. ...
  • The Civil Rights Act and Equal Employment Commission.
Feb 9, 2024

What are 3 things about Black History Month? ›

Almost 100 years ago, Black History Month began as a weeklong event. It's now a month-long celebration that takes place every February. Black history embraces the 400-year-long record of Black life in America. It also includes stories and activism against slavery and modern-day racism.

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.

Why is it important for students to learn 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.

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