8 Black History Month Activity Ideas for Upper Elementary - includes no prep worksheets, research project tips, read aloud biographies, free resources, and more

8 Black History Month Activity Ideas for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade

8 Black History Month Activity Ideas for Upper Elementary - includes no prep worksheets, research project tips, read aloud biographies, free resources, and more
The 8 ideas below will help make creating lesson plans to celebrate Black History Month in your 3rd, 4th, of 5th grade classroom easier. There are writing activities, read aloud suggestions, social studies activities, art and music activities, and no prep activity suggestions, project ideas, free resources, and more.

1. Complete a Black History Month Research Project

Give your students the opportunity to research a notable black American of their choice, write a research essay, and share what they have learned with the rest of your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade class.

This was a favorite activity for my 3rd graders every year. Check out these tips for scaffolding the process and helping your students be successful and really take ownership of this black history month project. 

2. Read Aloud Biographies of Lesser Known African Americans

By the time students have hit upper elementary, they have most likely heard about the lives of famous African Americans like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. Introduce your students to other notable black Americans that have had a positive impact on our world or have overcome incredible obstacles.

See some of my favorite biographies for black history month here. 

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03/01/2024 12:52 am GMT

3. Analyze Primary Resources about Famous African Americans

DocsTeach has a great collection of primary resources with lesson plans that can be used in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms. Check out some of their free resources that would be great to use in conjunction with black history month. The lessons usually include a primary resource, background information, questions to ask your students, and activity ideas.

4. Use a No Prep Black History Month Resource

This no prep Black History Month Resource includes short, kid-friendly biographies of 15 notable African Americans with no prep comprehension and social studies activities and worksheets to help 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students think more critically about the biographies. It will expose your students to less familiar heroes while practicing vital comprehension and social studies skills - all without any prep on your part.
No Prep Black History Month Biographies Activities for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade

5. Use Jacob Lawrence's Paintings to Learn About the Great Migration

In the first half of the 20th century, millions of African Americans moved from the south to the north in what became known as the Great Migration. Jacob Lawrence, an African American artist, painted 60 panels to document this historical event. The titles of each painting provide the background information to understand each painting.

Walk your students through the Great Migration with these depictions of the paintings and their titles that explain each panel.

Or, use this YouTube video for additional background information and a chance to see each of the paintings. 

6. Learn About the Harlem Renaissance and Listen to Jazz

The Kennedy Center provides a free, in-depth lesson plan for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers on the Harlem Renaissance. The lesson plan integrates social studies, writing, vocabulary, art, music, geography, and more to help your students learn about the Harlem Renaissance and the evolution of jazz.
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03/01/2024 12:47 am GMT

7. Use This Free Resource to Learn About MLK and Rosa Parks

This freebie has short biographies on Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., along with comprehension and social studies activities to help students think about what they have learned and compare these two heroes. It's no prep, educational, and engaging.

8. Use This Free Printable Book on the Emancipation Proclamation

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the National Archives created this kid-friendly coloring book. The book provides background information and tells the story of the Emancipation Proclamation on coloring pages.

Find more Black History Month Ideas here. 

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