5 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month with Young Learners
**Free Black History Month Activity Pack included!
Get ready to celebrate stories of change, struggle, triumph, and joy! Black History Month sparks exploration of African American icons and unsung heroes, pivotal moments that shaped our nation, and the creativity woven into traditions old and new. While we must honor Black history year-round, February spotlights 28 powerful days (29 this year!) to immerse young minds in the sheer richness of the Black American experience. From poets of the Harlem Renaissance to the rhythmic soul of jazz, from scientific pioneers to civil rights warriors - this heritage overflows with brilliance. Prepare for a month of lively discovery with 5 engaging ways to celebrate Black History Month magic with your young learners. Through art, inventions, books, and more, foster an appreciation for the towering accomplishments, resilience, culture and humanity of the generations that came before on whose shoulders we stand. Let’s get started!
1. Read Books by Black Authors
Reading books by Black authors is a great way to expose kids to the richness of Black stories during Black History Month. Seek out picture books showcasing Black characters, experiences, and traditions that celebrate Black culture or expose young learners to perspectives they may not encounter firsthand. Allow them to consider challenges overcome, while celebrating moments of Black joy and excellence. Reading aloud stories by Black authors daily in February, and crucially year-round, enables children to better understand and appreciate the full spectrum of Black culture in all its humanity. Literature has always been a tool of empowerment and social justice. Honor Black History Month and the hard-won right to have our stories heard by making those stories part of every child’s literary diet.
2. Discover Black Inventors and Host an Invention Day
Black inventors have created some of our most used technologies, from the traffic light (Garrett Morgan) to laser cataract surgery (Dr. Patricia Bath). During Black History Month, study the many inventions pioneered by Black Americans throughout history. Then let your little ones flex their creative muscles by hosting an Invention Day where they design their own unique contraptions and gadgets. To get inspired, check out Black inventors like Morgan and Bath featured in our Legendary Leaders - Black History Flashcards. With creativity and ingenuity, who knows what future world-changing inventions your kids might dream up!
3. Celebrate Black Artists
There are so many talented contemporary Black artists who have unique creative voices and perspectives for young kids to discover during Black History Month. Learn about the urban street art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, known for his colorful abstract paintings of crowns and masks, or the story quilts depicting African American history by artist Faith Ringgold. Then let your young learners try their hand at creating art inspired by famous styles, like acrylic crowns or cloth story squares featuring pictures and symbols that have personal meaning. Immersing kids in the creative diversity of legendary Black artists shows them how art can give voice to culture and lived experiences. What new artistic perspectives will they bring?
Some other popular Black artists to consider are Jacob Lawrence (vibrant story paintings), Romare Bearden (photo-based collages of African American life), Kehinde Wiley (regal portrait paintings), Mickalene Thomas (rhinestone photo collages), and Kara Walker (symbolic paper silhouettes). The options are endless for creative exploration!
4. Visit a Black History Museum or Historical Site
Visiting museums or historical sites is a great way for kids to learn about history. There are many museums around the country that focus on Black history. Some great museums to check out include the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C., The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama, and The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Don’t have any of these museums nearby? You can visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture's website to find free digital resources and online exhibitions that are great to explore with kids from the comfort of your own home or classroom!
5. Learn About the Accomplishments of Black People Throughout History
Finally, celebrate Black History Month with kids by educating them on the accomplishments of Black people throughout history. Our Legendary Leaders - Black History Flashcards teach children about some of the most influential leaders, past and present. Created by a teacher with young readers in mind, our flashcards are designed to promote reading, cognitive, and language skills. Our cards can even be used as a game where players try to guess the person based on their facts – the names are written upside down on the bottom of each card! Enjoy learning about Matthew Henson, Shirley Chisholm, Booker T. Washington, and more with our Legendary Leaders - Black History Flashcards. Only at www.ABSeeMe.com!
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE….
OUR FREE BLACK HISTORY MONTH ACTIVITY PACK!
Black History Month (and the 11 other months of the year!) is a great time to educate young learners about the history, culture, and achievements of the Black community. This year, give your kiddo an opportunity to learn more by engaging in some of the activities above, and also be sure to download our Black History Month Activity Pack!
This free, Nelson Mandela-themed download includes:
- A coloring page from our Legendary Leaders – Black History Flashcards set
- A Nelson Mandela quote coloring page
- A timeline activity (2nd Grade and up)
- A Nelson Mandela vs. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Venn Diagram (KG and up)
- A Making Words activity (1st Grade and up)
- A Color by Number Addition sheet (KG and up)
You can also still access our FREE MLK Day download with Martin Luther King-themed activities as well.
Happy Learning! And Happy Black History Month!