When I taught social studies, I would always get excited for Black History Month! While I made it a point to incorporate the teaching of African American History throughout the school year, I would look forward to the opportunity to learn about many events and people in which I was previously unfamiliar. I would seek out resources from quality educational sites like KnowItAll and PBS LearningMedia to find important materials to bring into my classroom.
KnowItAll.org has an excellent African American History collection of resources, especially with regard to South Carolina. This collection, which features several collections and series within, is a convenient way to explore and access MANY helpful resources for learning about important events and African Americans who have shaped American history. Assets include videos, learning activities, photos, and interactives.
Sample topics covered include:
- Briggs v. Elliot
- Friendship Nine
- Noted African Americans
- Orangeburg Massacre
- The Penn Center
- Reconstruction 360
- Gullah Roots
- Civil Rights Youth Media Summit
- South Carolina African American History Calendar
- Jail, No Bail
- Dizzy Gillespie: From the Be to the Bop
- Homecoming: Art of Jonathan Green and Leo Twiggs
- Education of Harvey Gantt
- Mary McLeod Bethune
- and Tuskegee Airman, just to name a few!
Similarly, PBS LearningMedia has an enormous collection of resources educators can use for teaching African-American History. I've highlighted a few below, but I recommend you visit the site and use the keyword search bar at the top and then filter the results by your applicable grade level and/or desired subject and resource type.
Sample highlighted resources:
- The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Mae Jemison - Share this NOVA video with your students to learn about Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to go into space. Teaching support materials are provided.
- Making Black America: Through the Grapevine - This wonderful four-part series, produced in conjunction with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., “chronicles the vast networks and organizations created by and for Black people.” Teaching support materials are provided.
- Learning About Black Leaders Bingo - This PBS KIDS resource, also available in Spanish, offers a fun way for ages PreK-K and Grades 1-2 to learn about several notable African-Americans. In addition to the bingo game, the packet includes a variety of activity sheets.
- Ten Black Scientists that Science Teaches Should Know About - This PBS blog features a list of some of the top Black scientists, engineers, inventors and mathematicians, along with PBS LearningMedia resources to help you bring their work—and stories—into your classroom.
What speaks to you and your students? What resources will YOU find and share? How will you use these resources in your learning environment?
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