How do you plan to honour and celebrate Black History Month with your students?
With inequities, social injustice, and racism rearing their ugly heads over these past few years, it’s important we counter them by highlighting the significant contributions black poets, authors, athletes, musicians, and other figures have made to our cultural narrative.
Black History Month is also a perfect time to take your first steps? into project-based learning.
Pictured above is how McCall Elementary School accomplished both through their virtual ‘Black History Living Museum.’
In this project, each year level K-5 first chose a topic of interest ranging from influential Black Musicians to significant Black Inventors.
Next, students within each class decided on a relevant person from that topic to research, embody and celebrate by re-enacting their contributions through spoken monologues, slide shows, musical mash-ups, animated videos, and dioramas.
I watched students as young as seven deliver 5 minute monologues with confidence and poise, in full character.
Here’s how to create your living museum…
- Kick the event off with a whole school gathering. Use a video, performance, personal story, or guest speaker to encapsulate the WHY of Black History Month
- Brainstorm Big Topics with students (Music, Art, Poetry, Innovation, Business, Politicians, etc.)
- Choose topics according to grade level (or classroom if doing within a grade level)
- Ask students to choose influential Black voices within that topic
- Next, provide students with this wonderful Student Guide (compliments of Tanya Avrith and Rebecca Hare) to research and decide how to best honour and re-enact the contributions of their figure
- Decide on a date/format for the virtual exhibition (Google Hangout Rooms work best so you can visit/host multiple rooms at once)
- Invite parents and community members and host your ‘virtual living museum’
Got another idea you want feedback on of how to celebrate black history month through a meaningful, project-based experience? E-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can workshop it together.
In solidarity. Black Lives Matter.