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 elementary 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 theme for Black History Month 2024? ›

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.

How do you talk about Black History Month with preschoolers? ›

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.

How can we raise awareness for Black History Month? ›

How to Celebrate Black History Month at Work
  1. Engage Your Team in a Fun and Inspiring Experiences. ...
  2. Honor Black Musicians and Performers in the Music Evolution Event. ...
  3. Create a Black History Month Playlist. ...
  4. Learn from a Local Black Historian or Speaker. ...
  5. Explore Your Local Black History Museum.

What are five previous themes for Black History Month? ›

Black History Month Themes
  • 2024 Theme: African Americans and the Arts. ...
  • 2023 Theme: Black Resistance. ...
  • 2022 Theme: Black Health and Wellness. ...
  • 2021 Theme: The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity. ...
  • 2020 Theme: African Americans and the Vote. ...
  • 2019 Theme: Black Migrations.
Apr 26, 2024

What president made Black History Month? ›

President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Why was 2013 such a significant year in the history of Black History Month? ›


How to explain Black History Month to a first grader? ›

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 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.

How do you honor Black History Month all year? ›

How to give back during Black History Month
  1. Support Black-owned businesses. ...
  2. Contribute to charitable organizations. ...
  3. Volunteer your time and talent. ...
  4. Educate yourself on Black history. ...
  5. Explore connection through the arts. ...
  6. Celebrate Black leaders and visionaries in your field.


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