Black History Month is a time to celebrate the Black experience: the culture and the people. Year-round, DonorsChoose teachers find new and exciting ways to show their students how Black history and culture shape our country today. As we reach the end of Black History Month, we’re showcasing some of the creative ways teachers are honoring the past and recognizing the contributions of Black leaders and individuals throughout the school year.
Creating Art to Explore Identity
Ms. Palmiere is helping her students learn more about Black history and culture through art therapy. During the month of February, they learn about important events and figures in Black history. After reflecting on these conversations, they create clay sculptures of themselves to express their creativity and identities.
Cultural awareness and tradition play important roles in helping young children develop a positive sense of identity and build self-esteem. - Ms. Palmiere, Making Myself With Model Magic: Cultural Identity Art Therapy!
Celebrating Culture With Performance
"It is important to teach young children just how influential African American people have been throughout history, and exactly what they went through to have their voices heard." — Ms. Allen, We are the Future of Black History
This year, Ms. Allen’s students are celebrating Black History Month by performing a song in their school’s annual Black History Month program. To bring this performance to life, Ms. Allen created a project for African attire. Her students’ faces lit up when the costumes arrived and wearing them helped them gain a love and understanding for the rich history and culture of the Black diaspora.
Bringing Books to Life
When students see themselves represented in the stories they read, they see that their stories matter and their self-worth increases. To help her students understand how important they are, Ms. Rivas fills her Kindergarten classroom with a range of books featuring Black stories. Her book list included historical books like The Story of Ruby Bridges and fictional picture books like Girl Like Me.
“It is so much fun to hear the students say, ‘they look like me’ or ‘I can be like her/him too.’ Students see the world through books and it's important that they see themselves represented in the world.” -Ms Rivas, Black History Month