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Black History Month

Black History Month is celebrated each February in the US. The celebration originally began as a week-long event in 1925 arranged by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which wanted to celebrate African-Americans’ contributions to society. The celebrations grew in the following years and in 1976, President Ford expanded the week-long event to a month, proclaiming that he wished to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

The Share My Lesson team has highlighted some free lesson plans, worksheets and activities to help teachers celebrate Black History Month in their classrooms. Sign up to download these free PreK-12 lessons and activities today.

Professional Learning

Join Share My Lesson, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Newseum for two Black History Month Webinars on Thursday, February 11.

Black History Month Resources: February and Beyond
Presented by the Anti-Defamation League
2:00 pm EST / 11:00 am PST

Register here

What don’t you know about civil rights?
Presented by the Newseum
7:00 pm EST / 3:00 pm PST

Register here

Elementary School Materials

Teaching about black history
This list of ten ideas will help teachers commemorate Black History Month in their classes.

Alvin Ailey
Explore the work of Alvin Ailey with this suite of dances that captures the essence of Ailey's black experience in America and expresses themes of his African-American cultural heritage.

Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad
Help students understand the history behind the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman’s involvement with it in this lesson.

African-American History Month project
Have your students create a Facebook page to celebrate the achievements of an influential African-American with this assignment.

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone
Use this discussion guide to teach this text to your students.

Secondary School Materials

Mary McLeod Bethune
Learn about the life and political work of Mary McLeod Bethune with this informative resource.

Teaching the Civil Rights Movement
Use this lesson plan to provide a complete overview of the modern Civil Rights Movement from 1954-1972.

Women of the Civil Rights Movement
Examine the contributions of women of the Civil Rights Movement, including Coretta Scott King, Ella Jo Baker and Dorothy I Height.

Make history by celebrating history
Learn about influential African-Americans involved in education, innovation, empowerment, leadership and inspiration.

Rosa Parks
This lesson asks students to revisit the well-known story of a figure in the civil rights movement – Rosa Parks – through the primary source documents associated with her arrest in 1955.

Citizenship Schools
Guide students through a historical and contemporary examination of citizenship schools and civic education.

Nobel Prize speeches
Teach your students how to make evidence-based claims using Martin Luther King Jr and President Barack Obama’s Nobel Prize speeches.

Martin Luther King Jr. Collection
Deepen your students' understanding of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement with this collection of lesson plans and classroom resources.

Freedom Rides
Read four historical newspaper articles on the 1961 Freedom Rides, and then analyze the riders' tactics and role in the Civil Rights Movement with this lesson from the Newseum.

Women of the Congressional Black Caucus
Using primary and secondary sources, students learn about the role African-American Congresswomen play in a broad range of domestic and international issues.