10 Inspiring Black History Month Activities for StudentsAll Posts
Written by Laney Kennedy
- Teacher Resources
- Teaching Activities
February is Black History Month: the celebration of African American history, contributions, and achievements that’s recognized annually across the United States and Canada.
For teachers, it’s a great opportunity to teach with intention, honoring the tradition and showing students its importance, along with the importance of Black history and culture.
And this year, it's more important than ever to uphold this tradition and celebrate Black history — no matter where your students are learning.
Use these 10 activity ideas to teach Black history all month and keep your students engaged, whether they're in-class or online!
7 Black History Month topic ideas
Typically, teachers tend to stick with the same few topics during Black History Month: civil rights, historical Black leaders or celebrities, and important milestones.
While these are still great topics to explore, there are also plenty of other important concepts you should consider introducing to your students this year, such as:
- Current Black political issues
- The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity
- Stereotypes and microaggressions
- The history and impact of Black culture
- The history of hip hop
- African Americans and the Vote
- Black Health and Wellness (this year's Black History Month theme!)
For Black History Month 2022, this year's theme is Black Health and Wellness. People are encouraged to explore how North American healthcare has underserved the black community and recognize the contributions to medicine and healthcare by black people.
Guidelines for teaching during Black History Month
When teaching Black history, remember to:
- Follow the do’s and dont’s
- Always promote diversity in your classroom
- Remind students that Black history is American history
- Leverage Black voices as much as you can (use relevant media, invite guest speakers etc.)
P.S. If you want to help parents talk about Black history and racial issues with their kids at home, use these 8 tips for parents as a helpful resource to start with — including additional resources for anyone who wants to learn more.
10 Black History Month activities for your students
Use these activities throughout the month (and the rest of the year) to keep Black history at the forefront of your lessons and encourage your students to keep learning more.
1. Quote or fact of the day
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. Maya Angelou
Every morning, greet your students with a new quote or fact that’s relevant to Black history.
Say them aloud during your lesson, add them to your bulletin board or send them in an online message (or all of the above, if you’re feeling ambitious). After this, you can open a discussion with your class about the relevance of each quote or fact.
Your students will love looking forward to what each day brings!
2. Person of the day or week
Take time to talk about Black influencers and their accomplishments. Highlight a different person every day or week and center your lessons around them!
Explore categories like:
- Historical figures
- Heroes and iconic leaders
- Scientists and mathematicians
Tip: Try to look beyond typical historical figures and popular celebrities. There are plenty of Black contributors students may not have even heard of yet — use this chance to introduce them!
3. Black history trivia & games
Bring some fun (and maybe a little competition) into your lessons this month! Find trivia and games that focus on Black history, or repurpose other classroom games to incorporate Black History Month questions and answers.
4. Worksheet activities
Teach students about Black history while they work on fun activities at their own pace. Send worksheets to students online or print them out for independent classroom learning.
5. Virtual events
Classroom learning is great, but there’s so much students can learn from their own experiences!
This year especially, there are plenty of online activities and events celebrating Black History Month. So why not choose a youth-appropriate one your class can participate in?
- National Museum of African American History: Classroom Connections
- Black History Every Month: Virtual Events That Inspire Action, Education, and Connection
6. Timeline activity
Provide more context on important events in Black history with a bit of chronology.
Have students put together their own timelines, whether individually or in groups, that focus on specific historical events or people. They’ll have fun putting all the events together and learn lots along the way!
7. Study (and create) art
Art in the Black community carries so much historical and cultural significance that can inspire some great, illuminative lessons.
Assign one of these activities from Creative Child, or get students to:
- Write a story
- Make a video or podcast
- Create visual art or crafts
8. Use relevant media
There’s so much good media out there to help you teach Black history — use it to your advantage!
Read books or watch videos with your class, then discuss the themes and lessons of each piece of media. After this, you can assign work based on them.
Try these books:
- All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
9. Host thought activities
Strengthen collaboration skills with various thought activities during February. These will get students thinking and help them learn new ideas and perspectives from each other.
Start by posing a relevant question to your class, like:
- Why do we celebrate?
- What does Black History Month mean to you?
- How can we fight intolerance in our everyday lives?
Encourage plenty of participation, then discuss everyone’s answers together!
10. Assign a class project
Give your class a larger assignment they can work on for the entire month, like a collaborative media project or group presentation — like this one from The Core Coaches on Teachers Pay Teachers.
These bigger projects let students build on what they’re learning and work together towards something they can be proud of!
Get inspired by these extra resources to help you even more:
- Black History milestones
- Black History in the National Archives
- Teaching tools for Black History Month
- Black History in America teaching guide
- Black History Month resources and lessons
- 10 Picture book biographies to celebrate Black History Month
- 20 Important lessons to teach kids about Black History Month
P.S. Want to make your math classes more engaging? Research shows Prodigy make math more fun and can even contribute to better test performance! Discover more about Prodigy's adaptive math platform today!