10 Black History Month Activities for Your Classroom

February is Black History Month. With everything going on in our classrooms (parent/teacher conferences, Valentine’s Day, 100th day of school, President’s Day, and COVID, to name a few), it can sometimes be overlooked or not given the time due. While Black History should be studied throughout the school year, February is the month it zooms into focus. The month that we take a moment to honor the black men and women who have brought so much value into our lives. With that said, consider weaving in these Black History Month activities both during February and the school year.

Are you looking for some Black History Month activities beyond just reading passages for your upper elementary students? Check out these Black History Month ideas for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade that will engage your students and help show what they learned. Plus grab a freebie!

Getting Students Information

Students need to learn about various Black Americans that have been influential throughout history (and even currently!). The same Black Americans are often discussed repeatedly, such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., George Washington Carver, and Ruby Bridges. When we do this, we are reinforcing broken mindsets. You can read about these broken mindsets and the importance of Black History Month here on The Butterfly Teacher’s Blog.

Help your students branch out and learn about Black Americans in various categories such as artists, political activists, inventors, spiritual leaders, business people, writers, musicians, athletes, and entertainers.

Use Biographies

Biographies are a great place to find information about Black Americans. Sandy over at Sweet Integrations shares how she teaches biography elements using various books in different formats. One book she uses is Dave the Potter. It’s a biography about how Dave was a slave that created beautiful, artistic pottery. To learn more about this remarkable book and her way of using it to teach about biographies, click here.

This book is not only perfect for teaching biographies, but it is also one of the many Black History Month activities provided in this post. Click through to see the other Black History Month ideas in this collection!

If you’re looking for some easy-to-print biographies on remarkable Black Americans throughout history, check out these TpT Resources:

Use Picture Books and Chapter Books

There are many books related to Black Americans’ achievements that you can bring into your classroom. Picture books are a great way to present historical facts both accurately and in an engaging manner. From Sparkling in Second, Jen has a post featuring over 30 books that your students would love during Black History Month! Head here to check out the books she suggests!

When teaching about the achievements of Black Americans, remember to use Picture books! Picture books are a great way to introduce children to many Black History Activities and events that occurred!

As for chapter books, one series that comes to mind immediately is the Who Was/Who Is series. These books contain biographies on Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, The Underground Railroad, and so much more. You can read about other chapter books for Black History Month here.

Use 28 Days

The book, 28 Days, features a different influential Black American each day during February. It’s a quick page to read each day and a brief way to introduce stellar Black Americans and events related to them.

This post contains ideas for Teaching Black History Month activities! Head to the post to learn more and to grab some freebies!

Black History Month Activities for Your Students

#1 – Class Timeline

Group your students and then assign each group with an important period of Black History. For instance,

  • Slavery in America
  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Abolition
  • Great Migration
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • Jim Crow Segregation Era
  • Civil Rights Movement
  • Post-Civil Rights Movement
  • Current/Modern Times

Have the students in those groups research the major events and Black Americans to present to the class. Then provide each group with a large piece of butcher paper or chart paper. Have them write the name of their period along the top with the dates. In their report, they will present images and important “snapshot” events that occurred. Once the entire class has finished, place the papers side-by-side to create a class timeline.

#2 – Student Interviews

After your students have studied various Black Americans, have them create an interview with that individual. This can be done in the format of a news article, a magazine article, or anything. Have students write down questions they would ask, along with the answers he or she would say. Some questions should involve the achievements of that American and his or her’s impact.

#3 – Create an ABC Book

First, read The ABCs of Black History picture book to your students. Conclude by having students create an ABC book similar to the picture book. Students can use Black Americans for the letters or events. Have them illustrate the text and add information they learned.

This post contains ideas for Teaching Black History Month activities! Head to the post to learn more and to grab some freebies!

#4 – Create a Museum Walk

Have students research a specific person from Black History and prepare to give a presentation. This presentation can be in the form of creating posters and hanging them around the room, or a little more involved, like a wax museum activity. If desired, have students dress up as the individual.

#5 – Use Mystery Puzzles with Trivia Facts

All students love puzzles, and trivia can be just as fun. Nesli, from the Teacher wears Prada, likes to tie academics, puzzles, and trivia together. She provides her students with puzzles that involve solving a math problem, and as they work through the problems, they put together a mystery fact. She also likes to do this with sentence building! You learn more about this engaging Black History Month activity by clicking here or on the picture below. You can also have your students create their own mystery puzzles using facts they have learned throughout the unit.

These Black History Month activities are perfect for anyone who is trying to teach about the history of African Americans. Check out the collection of Black History Ideas by clicking through!

#6 – Create Themed Squares for a Quilt

After studying Black History, provide each student with a square for a quilt. Inside the square, having them include important facts about their Black American, the contributions he or she did, when he or she was around, and other important information. When everyone has finished, connect the squares to create a large themed quilt. For a digital version of making a Black History Quilt, check out this Memory Quilt by the Tech Chick.

If you are looking for Black History Month activities, check out this post that is full of ideas to get you started as you explore legendary Black Americans and their contribution to American History!

#7 – Have a Talent Show

Create groups of students based on the categories mentioned before (artists, inventors, etc.). Assign each student a Black American from within that group. For instance, in the Athletes group, you would assign someone Wilma Rudolph, and another person in the group would be given, Jesse Owens. Have students work together to decide how they will demonstrate each individual’s “talents” as a group.

#8 – Bring Awareness Activities

As you discuss the deeper issues of racism, prejudice, and discrimination, have students bring awareness to what still needs to be done. This can be done through Black History Month activities of having students plan social media campaigns, creating infographics with facts, writing a letter to an editor that uses influential Black American quotes, conducting surveys, and/or making a public service announcement.

#9 – Create Black Hero Puzzles

Provide each student with the puzzle pieces of this Black Hero Puzzle. After they have researched their Black American Hero, have them illustrate the individual in the center, add his or her accomplishments, add some fun facts and a little color- and you have a cute display!

Are you looking for Black History Month activities that will keep your students engaged? Check out this blog post where I walk you through several ideas to help get you started as you explore legendary Black Americans!

#10 – Have Students Create a Brochure

Have students put together a trifold brochure with all the important events, accomplishments, and so much more. Dr. Loftin’s Learning Emporium has a free brochure on Michelle Obama that students could reference. Click here to download that freebie.

Black History Month is so important in our world today. It’s important to go beyond just reading passages about these legendary heroes and move into meaningful activities, discussions, and reflections. It’s my hope that something in this post was helpful to get you started!

Happy Black History Month!


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