Student Activities for Black History 6-8

Classroom Exercise for Grades 6-8

Students can read about or research the issues that led up to the civil rights movement and discuss ideas like equality, racism, segregation, and intolerance. A discussion of this sort is also a good segue into talking/learning about different groups that have been discriminated against in the past or present: Jews, Native Americans, Romani, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with cognitive or physical disabilities, Muslims, Latinos, women, the elderly, etc.

Example Questions for Discussion:
  • What does it mean to be truly equal?
  • Why is having equality important?
  • What are "stereotypes" and how do they relate to equality?
  • What are some of the reasons someone is considered a second-class citizen or inferior? Are they ever valid?

After having a discussion about equality or other topics, have students create a storyboard that combines elements of the conversation. This might be a linear narrative, a spider map about a central theme, or a comparison T-Chart.

Additional Black History Month Activities for 6-8

  1. Create biography posters of a figure that students research.
  2. Read a Langston Hughes Poem and complete a TPCASTT (Title Paraphrase Connotation Attitude Shifts Title Theme) analysis using Storyboard That.
  3. Discuss Black artists like Jacob Lawrence or Faith Ringgold; have students choose one of their images and create a storyboard explaining its artistic or cultural significance.
  4. Have students research famous Black history firsts, "First Black Man/Woman in History to…", and create a storyboard biography on one or more.
  5. Have students create a poster explaining an invention created by a Black person.

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