Help students, children and even families to discover and learn about a previously unknown/ little known notable African-American figure with any significance to American history. Teachers, give assignments to your students pertaining to black history. Not only in History class, but Math, Science, Art, Language Arts, etc….

Ask students to research a figure outside of the commonly known heroes taught at school, or found in traditional textbooks. Discover someone new, and, in essay format, tell their story. This is important to us all, as Americans, but even more important for children of color. Give them a hero who looks like them, and help inspire them to realize their own unique potential for greatness.

Be creative, make it fun, make it relevant and promote their ownership of the learning process. Shake things up a bit, and discuss inventors, entrepreneurs, educators, poets, scientists, engineers, physicians, mathematicians, abolitionist, religious leaders, war heroes, and even some of the revolutionaries in class.

When you introduce new people to students, remember these WERE real people with REAL lives. So, provide lots of interesting background information, life stories, and engage them as though they were alive and present during the same time period. Don’t just introduce someone by simply highlighting their contributions, but tell their LIFE’s story- their ENTIRE LIFE!

Help develop critical thinking skills, by asking essential questions like: What if you lived in the same location, circumstances, social climate,…what would you have done or how would you have felt about…?

If the personality is a mathematician, ask students questions infused with math terms like: How old was …[the chosen ‘hero’] when he/she ….? Ask about television, technology, transportation, clothing worn, communication, toys  and games, etc..?

Watch the entire class actively engage as they become more interested, attentive, and focused.  Encourage their dreams teach them to dream beyond their immediate vision and help them to keep their dreams alive. Extend their range by teaching them about the possibilities and options available to them with hard work, determination, and a growth mindset.

We owe it to ALL children to keep them encouraged, and engaged! So what if you don’t look like them! Help them learn and be encouraged to thrive when you give them someone who does.


Read more here: Kick Off Black History Month With an Important Lesson Plan


Published by JaDonnia B.

An education and counseling professional, I focus my expertise on diversity, inclusion and family engagement/empowerment Of particular importance is the partnership between parents and the community schools that serve their children. Highlighting strategies, tips and evidence-based best practices for family engagement, my aim is to alter mindsets, broaden perspectives, foster empathy, and build capacity. Offering 'food for thought' and inviting discussion, I also tell truths rarely explored. A holistic culturally-responsive approach to teaching, learning and engaging others begins with respect. I promote respect and fully integrating curricular diversity in formal learning settings! Collaboration with families is necessary, because parents hold the master key that unlocks doors to child health and wellness, academic achievement, and believe it or not, teacher excellence and stronger school communities.

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