During Black History Month each February, K-12 teachers across the country take a special look at their lesson plans. Will it be a guest speaker this year, or a lecture on Harriet Tubman?
Although some prominent black Americans question the need for a Black History Month, Americans as a whole think it’s worth commemorating. And all cultural backgrounds can benefit by learning about the black experience–then, and now.
But to really engage students, this occasion requires thoughtful planning. Here are six ideas for making black history come alive in the classroom.
Move Beyond Familiar Historical Figures
While names like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. are important, they shouldn’t eclipse the names of unsung black Americans. The recent success of the movie “Hidden Figures” illustrates this point well.
Depending on the ages of those you teach, why not craft a lesson around black inventors–or ask students if they have a lesser-known hero they’d like to discuss? Ask a local historian for further ideas.
You can even talk about and play musical excerpts by black composers. Or profile black musicians in general. The point is: get creative.
Learn More About the Underground Railroad
Make history come alive by seeing how former slaves escaped to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Read more »
Every day, caring educators give their all to help kids everywhere succeed, learn, and grow. At Imagine Learning, we enjoy helping educators do all three of these things.
But what about kids in the local community–particularly during the holidays? Here’s our report for late 2016:
Aquarium book box
During November and early December of 2016, Imagine Learning employees gathered 1,138 books (some new, some gently used) to donate to United Way’s “Startup Santa” project.
As part of the fun, employees were invited to decorate a box of books. Ours went swimmingly, as you can see!
Each December, Imagine Learning employees give back to disadvantaged kids who otherwise might not get holiday gifts.
For example, Stansbury Elementary (Salt Lake City, UT) welcomes many low-income students through its doors daily. Because of donations from Imagine Learning employees, 70 Stansbury students were able to have a happy holiday season in 2016. And we look forward to helping again in 2017!
The holiday season was also a little brighter for 15 other Utah children in four families, thanks to several of our Imagine elves who gathered clothing items, toys, and books for each child on the list. In some cases, employees purchased more than one gift for these kids–and some offered cash donations.
We love and appreciate our generous Imagine Learning team for all they do to help children and families each year. Happy New Year!
The holiday season is a busy time for educators. One day it could be an intense new project for the first-graders; the next day it might be a food drive that involves the entire school.
During times like these, exhaustion hits hard–and the holiday break can’t come soon enough.
But every now and then, a word of encouragement to a struggling student can make all the difference. Who knows–that extra boost might just help a struggling student triumph over a hard math problem. Or help a shy student speak up in class. Or help an English language learner read at grade level for the first time.
To all who work so hard to nurture the minds and hearts of kids, please enjoy the video below–and happy holidays!
Ah, Thanksgiving. That time of year when students celebrate life’s bounty by creating paper turkeys filled with colorful ‘gratitude’ feathers.
Meanwhile, older students may collect canned goods for the local food bank or gather coats for the homeless shelter.
As everyone buzzes with holiday anticipation, it’s pretty easy to feel grateful.
However, the holidays aren’t always rosy for everyone, including low-income students, students with disabilities, and those who live in negative or dangerous circumstances.
Even students with the greatest advantages can struggle with ingratitude, despite holiday activities that remind them to count their blessings. What’s the solution? Read more »
Halloween time is here. Is your costume ready to go?
If you’re a book lover, you can answer that question in the affirmative, thanks to our book-inspired Halloween costumes!
Costumes from Childhood Books
When seeking inspiration for a literary Halloween costume, no need to look further than the books you loved as a child. Here are a few basics:
- Fairytales (Jack and the Beanstalk, Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and so on)
- Dr. Seuss (Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax, Horton Hears a Who)
- Roald Dahl (Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach)
- Shel Silverstein (The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends, etc.)
Read more »