Saturday, February 15, 2014

Fabulous Freebies: African American History for the Upper Grades

With two weeks left in February and the Valentine's Day excitement behind us, now is a great time to find (new) ways to celebrate African American History month in your classroom.  PBS has created some great multimedia lessons to teach students about the history of social justice struggles in this country through the experiences of African Americans.  The history lessons are powerful and the themes are universal.  There are six of them:

The lessons are most overtly linked to social studies, but there are ways to link them to so many other content areas.  For example, the lesson on Resistance to Slavery talks about French ruled St. Domingue and Spanish ruled Florida.  It also has students identifying causes and effects, thinking critically about pros and cons of various approaches to problems, and writing journal reflections.  Math teachers could easily create a lesson where students calculate the distances between territories that did have slaves and free territories.  Music teachers can look at creative form of resistance and tie it to a lesson on the use of spirituals in resisting slavery.  Science teachers can discuss the climate changes between west Africa, the Northeastern U.S., Florida and the Caribbean and the adaptations that people would have had to make to survive in each territory.  

If nothing else, bookmark this cite as a something to look at in the future.  The lessons are thorough and tied to the common core. 

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