Our nation, especially our education system, is in a state of revolution. Never in my lifetime have I seen so many people and educators take an interest in racial justice! I am excited for what this means for my students of color and my fellow communities of color. However, there are some lingering questions in my mind: How long will this last? How can we make sure to continue this fight for racial justice and Black Lives Matter?
As someone who has constantly fought for racial justice and experienced many hurdles, I feel uneasy during this time. I want to make society’s desire for racial justice lasts. I want to make sure there is lasting change. After talking with my husband, I realized the way I can do that is to keep coaching educators and keep pushing out resources during this time, no matter what.
Therefore, I turned what I am doing this week with my second and third graders into a Grades K-5 Lesson Plan and Materials! It is almost the end of school year for us and it is also almost Juneteenth, a nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery. If we are able to hold online class on June 19th, I am going to put some materials together to help recognize Juneteenth. However, to lead up to the commemoration, I thought it would be powerful to do another look at Black Heroes in History. My students have learned a lot about Black Heroes in History, Black Lives Matter, and Black History during our year together, so this is NOT the only thing we have done (just like it should NOT be the only thing you do during the year or next year). It will be a great way to recap what we have learned while also leading up to Juneteenth.
In order to pass on resources using diverse books, I have expanded my materials and learning plan to cover Grades K-5. Check out our newest lesson plan: Black Heroes in History: Grades K-5 Learning Activities.
Learning Plan & Materials
In this lesson, students will start to learn more about Black History through researching Black Heroes in History. Depending on the grade level and setting, students will participate in research through an adult read aloud, YouTube video, and/or an article. Then, they will be asked to complete a worksheet where they will write about the facts they learned about the Black Heroes in History.
If you are able to teach in-person/live to your kids or students, you will be reading one of these AMAZING books:
- Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, by Vashti Harrison
- Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History, by Vashti Harrison
- Young, Gifted, and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present, by Jamia Wilson and illustrated by Andrea Pippins
This is a great lesson to START to talk about Black History and introduce students to some key Black Heroes. You can also do the lesson multiple times with different Black Heroes in History. But, please make sure the conversations do not just stop here! There are many important heroes, events, and concepts in Black History that need to be taught year-round.
We hope you are able to use our resources as a jumping off point or a way to end the year teaching Black History! Check out the following free resources we have created:
- Black Heroes in History Grades K-5 Learning Plan
- Black Heroes in History: Worksheets
- Black Heroes in History: Research Links List
I would LOVE to see pictures of your kiddos’ Black Heroes in History! Please tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using @ColorfulPagesOrg or email us your photos at firstname.lastname@example.org. It always warms my heart when I see people using our resources!
Also, remember these resources WILL BE HERE NEXT YEAR! I challenge every parent, educator, and librarian to ask yourselves: How will we continue the fight for racial justice into the summer and next school year? How will we continue to make sure Black History and Ethnic Studies are taught in our classrooms?