Nationally, the United States honors the month of February as Black History Month. While we at Park strive to provide inclusive engagement of communities all year, this time allows us to pay particular attention to Black and African American communities and the history of the African diaspora.
Below are some helpful resources that you might try in your classrooms. It may even be small changes like adding a book from the list, including an activity during the week, or having a brief “conversation circle” in your class.
- Play jazz excerpts and ask students to use words to describe how they feel when listening to it. Have students draw while listening — what do they notice? What does the music make them feel? Profile just a few jazz legends like Louis B. Armstrong or Dizzy Gillespie or Ella Fitzgerald or Dinah Washington.
- Read aloud a great book highlighting Black or African American main characters — some which might make race central or peripheral to the story.
- Quick game on “Who discovered or invented it?” and connect famous inventions with their inventors. This list here highlights famous inventors who are Black or African American. There are fourteen listed here, and you can read one each day or every other day.
- Try out a Conversation Circle topic! For less than 20 minutes, you can facilitate a conversation about a current event and racial identity. See ideas and questions at the DEI Blog
How might you include issues in math or science? Highlight researchers, scientists, scholars and inventors of Black of African American heritage. Use examples that impact Black and African American communities as you create math problems or problem sets (e.g., demographics, cultural references). Check out the profile of Dr. Mae Jemison (who some of us got to see at the PoCC!) and her work on integrating Arts and Sciences.
What are some great ideas you have tried?
Peace and Park,