Black History Resources
by Alan Haskvitz

Using National African American History Month as a way to expand student knowledge and an appreciation of different cultures and races is a natural match. To make it more meaningful for students topics such as Civil Rights and slavery can be expanded into lessons on civil disobedience, cause and effect, the Constitution, geography and art and music. Lessons on stereotyping and hate groups can also be introduced.

One activity I like to use is this interactive map of the Underground Railroad routes. Students make their own copies of the maps and follow the lessons provided to gain a better perspective of the sophistication of the escapes.

For older students, the Souther Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance is well worth visiting. It offers a free newsletter and many other ideas that can be turned into true learning experiences for students.

Below are sites rich with resources that can be used to develop other lessons or as stand alone units.

The African-American month site
The teacher resource section has excellent images to share with students.

A collection of videos

A short narrative about Harriet Tubman that shows her bravery and intelligence.

Africans in America: this site works with the televised series from the Public Broadcasting System. An excellent collection of images, stories, and maps. Easy for students to use.

The Amistad Case
An easy to follow narrative of this case. Excellent for cause and effect discussions as well as Common Core related critical thinking lessons.

A timeline of slavery and civil rights. Excellently presented with concise information making it easy for students to follow.
A listing of teacher related material that has some exceptional primary resources that meet Common Core standards.

An exception site where the students can take part in an escape from slavery using the Undeground Railroad.
Slave Narratives
The students can read interviews from ex-slaves about their experiences using this compelling site and its many primary resources.

A Martin Luther King Jr. Collection
Many exceptional materials such as an encyclopedia of the Civil Rights Movement and more.

African-American Slave Spirituals
Students can listen to these songs.