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Black History Month Lesson Planning

Black History Month Lesson Planning

This blog was written by Megan Felix, Administrative Assistant at New Story Schools - Carlisle, PA


Get ready to embark on an exciting journey as February approaches – a month dedicated to celebrating Black History nationwide! This year, our mission is to make the commemoration not just informative, but inclusive for all learners. Join us in exploring engaging lesson plans and activities that honor the contributions of Black leaders, historical figures, and cater to diverse learning needs, ensuring everyone feels part of the celebration.

Unleash the Power of Black Afro-Futurism in Your Classroom!

Picture this: a classroom alive with the buzz of excitement as students dive into real science fiction experiments inspired by the captivating worlds unfolded in the stories created by black science fiction and fantasy authors and movie directors. Whether it's Octavia E. Butler's visionary tales or the brilliance of Shuri from the Black Panther, this hands-on approach lets younger students turn their wildest imaginations into reality.

To get started, introduce Afro-Futurism and highlight key authors or share delightful picture books such as Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o. Dive into sci-fi-themed experiments – think holograms made from reflective plastic or floating objects brought to life with magnets. Assemble safe materials and discuss how the experiments connect to Afro-Futurism, emphasizing creativity and innovation. Guide students through the experiments, encouraging questions and predictions. After the fun, facilitate a post-experiment discussion, prompting reflections on Afro-Futurist themes. Let the creative juices flow with expressions and idea-sharing and showcase their fantastic results through presentations or posters.

The Human Library: Where History Comes to Life!

Get ready for an activity that transforms students into living, breathing history books! This interactive lesson invites them to dress up as historical or contemporary black figures. Accompanying them would be detailed profiles of the figures, displayed on poster boards and when the lesson begins, they become the stars of a designated 'Human Library' day. It's not just about showcasing creativity; it's a chance for students to boost public speaking and improvisation skills. Plus, it helps them better understand influential Black figures.

Passport to History: Explore the African Diaspora!

Let’s take a trip! Students will start by creating passports adorned with their self-drawn portraits. Next, they'll engage in lively discussions and vote as a class to choose a destination from the African diaspora – it could be Louisiana, the Caribbean, a Latin speaking country with a large African population, or a specific African country. The classroom will transform into an airport, complete with visuals representing the chosen destination. The teacher or staff will then simulate an airplane ride on a smartboard or projector screen, complete with passport stamping upon “arrival.” Throughout the “trip,” students will discover the history, food, language, and culture of the chosen destination. They will also learn about influential Black figures and leaders who are natives of these lands. The adventure concludes with a visit to a makeshift souvenir shop corner in the classroom, enhancing the immersive experience.

As we wrap up this journey through these inclusive lesson plans and activities, it's clear that Black History Month can be both a celebration and an educational adventure. By integrating hands-on interactive experiences, educators pave the way for a deeper understanding of Black history, ensuring every student, regardless of their learning needs, can join in the celebration. This February, let's make it a month of exploration, creativity, and inclusivity as we honor the past and inspire the future. Happy celebrating!

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