Black History Month Activities - Elementary - Creative Classroom Core (2024)

February is almost upon us, and with that comes Black History Month! While I believe diversifying our curriculum year round is crucially important, February is a great time to dive a little deeper into the stories and events of African Americans, and the contributions they have made to our world. In this post, I have included several different ways to incorporate Black History Month activities seamlessly into your existing elementary curriculum. I hope you can take some of these ideas back to your own classroom to help celebrate this exciting and important month.

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Be sure to stick around to the bottom of this post. I have included some FREE Black History Month resources that you can take and use immediately with your learners.

Black History Month Activities – Ruby Bridges Read Aloud

Ruby Bridges was a young African American girl who moved with her family to New Orleans when she was 4 years old.During this time period, the schools in New Orleans were segregated.

By the time Ruby entered first grade, the government of Louisiana had decided that schools should be integrated. While many were excited about these changes, there were also people who did not agree with it. Because of this, there were a lot of protests against it.

Ruby attended her first day at a previously all white school on November 14, 1960. To protect Ruby from the protests going on outside, U.S. marshals were sent by President Eisenhower to walk her in and out of the school.

By the time Ruby began second grade, things had started to get a little easier. Some of the racial tensions had died down in Louisiana. She was able to go to and from school without protection from US Marshals. Ruby continued at the integrated school until graduation.

The story of Ruby Bridges is one many elementary students immediately connect to. Her courage to stand up to the struggles of racial segregation at a young age are truly inspiring. This makes for great classroom discussion.

I like to begin our unit on Ruby Bridges with a read aloud. There are a lot of really great picture books about this inspiring figure available. The books in the image above are three of my favorites.

Don’t have a copy of the book? No worries! Check out this version available on YouTube by clicking on the video below.

Black History Month Activities – Ruby Bridges Color by Code

After we complete our read aloud about Ruby Bridges, I have the students work through a reading passage. This helps us gain some additional background information about this inspiring character.

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After reading, I have students answer some comprehension questions about her life and struggles. These comprehension posters work great for that, as students can color up the cute clip art when they are done. These make great classroom work displays or interactive notebook additions.

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When our questions are complete, I have students test their understanding with this fun color by code activity. Students answer key questions about Ruby Bridges by coloring in the correct answer on the coloring page. This is a great activity to check for understanding, and also makes a great early finisher activity.

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Check out this color by code activity for black history month, and others, in my TPT store! Click here to see them!

Black History Month Activities – Mini Books

I am sure you have heard me go on and on about mini books in previous posts. I can’t help it! This is because I absolutely love using them in my elementary classroom!

I use these mini books to teach all about Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.

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To create their mini books, students simply stack the pages together. Next, they cut them out and staple them together. Completed books are great for buddy reading. They also make great take home activities to share their learning with family members.

Two different versions of the mini books are included with each resource. This is great for differentiation!

One version has all of the facts written in. For this version, students simply have to color the fun clip art.

The second included version has blank pages that only include titles and clipart. For these pages, students are required to write out the facts. I typically write the facts on the board, and have students copy them down. This works great for writing practice or center work!

Interested in trying these mini books out in your own classroom? Click here or on the cover images at the bottom of this post.

Black History Month Activities – Biography Projects

For my elementary learners ready to take on a bit more when it comes to research, I love using these biography templates. They help to structure their research and keep things organized. The completed templates also make great classroom displays or interactive notebook additions!

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To begin the activity, I have students choose from a list of key black history figures. Next, I pass each student a reading passage so they are able to get some important background information about the figure they are researching. These reading passages really help to introduce them to the figures.

Students use the information included in their reading passage to help fill out their biography templates. When additional information is needed (such as their date of birth or death), I let them search online for additional facts. This is a great way to introduce online research skills!

You can check out this Black History Biography resource in my TPT store by clicking here or on the cover image at the bottom of this post.

Interested in checking out some of the resources mentioned in this post?

Pop on over to Teacher Pay Teachers by clicking on the images below to snag some of the fun Black History Month activities mentioned in this post.

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Looking for some free resources for Black History Month?

Click on the image below for a full set of FREE black history bookmarks! These make great student gifts during Black History Month. The quotes also make great inspirational writing prompts!

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Interested in signing up for my email list?

If you are interested in signing up for my email list, you can do so by clicking on the link below. I periodically send out emails with free resources, teaching tips, and exclusive deals. Signing up will also give you immediate access to some of my best selling Interactive Notebook resources – foldable activities, graphic organizers, and other fun activities.

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Black History Month Activities - Elementary - Creative Classroom Core (2024)


How do you make a Black history board? ›

Use Words To Inspire

Follow their lead and include quotes by Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and other famous Black Americans, then have your students select words around justice and civil rights to flush out the board.

How to explain Black History Month to middle school students? ›

Black History Month was created to focus attention on the contributions of African Americans to the United States. It honors all Black people from all periods of U.S. history, from the enslaved people first brought over from Africa in the early 17th century to African Americans living in the United States today.

How do you explain Black history to elementary students? ›

Talk about the positives! Remember–Black History is more than just hardship! Talk about the amazing contributions they have made to society as a whole. A great place to start is to teach your kids about the impact of Black music, Black scientists and inventors, activists, and any other important cultural contributions.

What is Black History Month for elementary students? ›

Black History Month is celebrated every February. It's an opportunity to recognize the contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout U.S. history. Black History Month has been officially recognized by U.S. presidents since the 1970s, but its origins date all the way back to 1926.

What are some interesting Black history events? ›

For additional information please consult the print or website sources cited in the entry.
  • The Charleston Cigar Factory Strike (1945-1946) ...
  • Nashville Operation Open City Movement (1961-1964) ...
  • UCLA Shootout between the Panthers and US (1969) ...
  • The Chicago Sit-In (1943) ...
  • Royal Ice Cream Sit-In (1957)

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.

How do you teach Black history to students? ›

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

How do you introduce Black History Month to kindergarteners? ›

Incorporating children's books about black culture is a great way to learn about influential historical events and figures. If we teach children about all races and ethnicities early on, they will grow up knowing the importance of human rights. In addition, your students will learn that color is beautiful.

What is the importance of Black History Month in elementary school? ›

Black History Month serves as a reminder to acknowledge the profound contributions and struggles of African Americans throughout history. As parents and educators, instilling the significance of this month in our children is crucial for fostering understanding, empathy, and respect for diversity.

How do you 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.

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