Black History Month Biographies (on topic ideas thread)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by S Dubb, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. S Dubb

    S Dubb Comrade

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    Jan 13, 2008

    I am a second grade teacher (first year) and I am trying to find short biography worksheets online of famous African Americans for my students to read about.

    Does anyone happen to know of a free website that offers biographies on a variety of famous African Americans? Thank you so much in advance! :)
     
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  3. S Dubb

    S Dubb Comrade

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    Jan 14, 2008

    Anything? :blush:
     
  4. annafish

    annafish Companion

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    I found some on enchanted learning, but you have to pay to be a member.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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  6. S Dubb

    S Dubb Comrade

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    These are good! Thanks so much. Any more? :dunno:
     
  7. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Just curious....can I ask why you are looking for worksheets to teach your kids about African American history?? Is it possible for you to use more authentic ways to teach this important aspect of American history???? I mean, you could find great literature, real biographies about African Americans. You could have the kids research an African American of their choice and do a project on what they learned. You could invite African Americans in the community into the classroom and talk to the kids about their history. You could find authentic videos about the Civil Rights Movement, Martin L. King Jr. etc. Teach them about recent & relevent African Americans to their generation like Oprah Winfrey, Borak Obama (sp?), Maya Angelou, I could go on and on.
    Just a thought. :2cents:
     
  8. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Jan 19, 2008

    Ruby Bridges would be a great read aloud for 2nd grade
     
  9. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Great suggestion!
     
  10. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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  11. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Jan 19, 2008

    how about famous black WOMEN also
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Isn't Feb. women's history month as well as black history month?
     
  13. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I think March is Women's History Month
     
  14. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Here is the best one I found, it is through but not to hard for younger ones to understand.


    http://www.aaregistry.com/

    The article on Kenneth Clark (the doll study used to win Brown vs. the Board of Education) is particulary good, and I think little ones themselves would get the study.

    Have fun searching.
     
  15. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    The video "Brother Future" is an excellent one, but probably not for second graders. For, say, fourth grade on up to adults, it's one of the best.

    It also introduces people to Denmark Vesey, a great black leader who isn't well-known but ought to be.

    It's a Wonderworks film, which tells you right away that it's going to be exceptionally good.
     
  16. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    When I taught 2nd I used the enchanted learning stuff and someone gave me a book that had similar format to the enchanted learning stuff. We would then do activities related to the person we were studying. When I taught 3rd we had students pair up and research an African American. We then invited the 2nd graders to come and ask questions about the person they were studying. We arranged the class in stations and each group of 2nd graders stayed at a station for about 5 minutes. Some students dressed up like the person they were studying, made huge posters. We had a few parents stop in to videotape the kids. It was great!
     
  17. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Anyway s dubb, I hope you try some of the suggestions given on this thread to teach African American History. Let us know how it goes.
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2008

    I loved that piece, Youngteacher. I'm going to pass it out to my fellow teachers tomorrow. Thank you.

    I have a very small class of about half African American students, all boys. I read aloud the I Have a Dream speech last week and most clapped, but one young man said, "Yeah, that's why I hate white people." Just the response the white teacher is afraid of getting. I told them that yes, some people feel that way, but that MLK said the answer was to love, not hate.

    What I love to see is the total shock on the faces of the white students when they (3rd grade, and rather sheltered) hear for the first time about racism. Truly, these kids have never mentioned race or color once all year, except when one said that he thinks Santa Claus is brown. In their formative years, at least, I'm glad to know that we can provide a place to learn where race is not a factor. That doesn't mean we should ignore it, or not teach about it.
     
  19. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Upsadaisy, you hit the nail right on the head! Thank you.:) Isn't it funny how differently the black and white children react to something like the MLK speech?? I think the young black man who responded in such a ugly way did so due to the lack of education that has been provided to him about black history. If for the first time you hear the MLK speech (in the 3rd grade) and none of your other teachers taught you about your history and all the great things that has come from it (regardless of racism) you would be angry too. But that kinda proves what I've been saying about teachers having to instill beauty & love inside the minds of black children so that they wont be angry towards anyone, white, black or brown. I believe that Lack of knowlege = hate and that is something I don't want to see in any children.
    I also want to applaud you for exposing the white children to black history as well because I think it is ashame that some parents can shelter their children so much that their children are oblivious about racism. Especially since it is all around them. I'm not saying they should sit their children down and have a full discussion on "racism" per se (sp?), but their children should know about black authors, black historians, black characters in books, black poets, someone other than a brown Santa Clause and Snoop Doggy Dog.

    Kudos to you Upsadaisy! Please pass on the short story I posted. Maybe it will open someone's mind.:)
     
  20. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oh, I will.

    Two years or so before I started at my school, Coretta Scott King visited and spoke to the kids and teachers. And our assistant principal always shares her memories of participating in the march on Washington and hearing MLK speak.
     
  21. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Remember, though, that the only kid who responded in an ugly way was the only kid who is exposed to a rough crowd at home. The others are from more civilized homes and peer groups.
     
  22. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Upsadaisy,

    It's that authentic touch that really can bring history alive. I think so many kids hear about MLK and they all get the same basic assignment... to share their dream..... but if we could have guest storytellers or something I think we could do a greater service.

    I had the same reaction from a student about hating whites as you did the other day. I was quite honestly, floored. I just said, but look at us today, here we all sit together, and we should always strive to see people first. I don't know if he heard me, but I hope so.
     
  23. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    And it is touchy because you don't want to hurt the beautiful, hopeful, intelligent young black children in your class by even exposing them to the hatred that went on years ago. I felt the same way for some of my students when I taught about the Holocaust. When it's the first time the kids realize that whole, powerful groups mistreated people of their culture, religion, race, you can see the feelings show on their faces. I usually go on to let them know that hatred and abuse is happening still in other countries, in part because of their governments, and use that to point out the differences between forms of government.
     
  24. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    I had my students watch the video "Our Friend Martin" on Friday which is a cartoon/historical video that takes the kids back in time to when Martin L. King was alive during the Civil Rights Movement. It is a powerful video because it shows actual clips related to segregation like "whites only bathrooms" etc. and clips of blacks who were beaten etc. One of the other teachers walked in the classroom and she was stunned how quiet the kids were (2nd graders) while they watched the movie. You could hear a pin drop! I looked at their faces and I saw fear and sadness, not anger (thank God). So after the cartoon was over, I felt there was a great need to talk about what they saw. Although we've had discussions about this before, they never actually seen real footage of what was going on at that time and its like it broke their hearts. I had to remind them that those things happened in the past and we have come a long way since then. I told them to think about the freedoms they have now, they can go to any school they want, they can be friends with children of all races, they can go to college, get an education and be whatever they want to be!
    I would never want these children to grow up with anger and hate for any race. I can do the best I can while they are in my classroom to make them see the potential they have to be something great in society and in this world. We don't have to let our past define us, but we can remember the past to make the best of our futures. That is what I think these children need.
     
  25. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    The Story of Ruby Bridges, by Robert Coles, Illustrated by George Ford - Scholastic.

    got it in a package with Happy Birthday Dr. King, and The story of Rosa Parks. $9 for all three, I think. No charge with my Scholastic bonus points.
     
  26. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    The trading card idea is cute.
     
  27. S Dubb

    S Dubb Comrade

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    Thanks :)

    Also something I plan on stressing to my class. ;)
     
  28. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I have a short play on Ruby Bridges that came from Teaching Tolerance magazine, I think. I've used it as reader's theater with 5th grade, but I think the reading level is too high for my 3rd graders. I'll have to check. Trading cards is a good idea. When you present a person a day, how do you keep track of the info - on chart paper or what?
     
  29. S Dubb

    S Dubb Comrade

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    Thank you.

    I'm not quite sure I know what you're asking here. The people being presented are on the worksheets passed out (they contain short bios on them). I'll also have stories and short writings as well to help them retain the information.
     
  30. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jan 21, 2008

    The off-topic posts were separated so you can continue discussing lesson ideas. :)
     
  31. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jet and Ebony magazine are excellent resources for learning more about famous African-Americans.

    These publications have a website as well. The current CEO and editor is the daughter of the late Mr. Johnson, Linda Johnson Rice, a very prominant and important leader.

    Both magazines cover stories that pertain to all Americans.

    I donated several back issues to a small, local library when I lived in CA. The youth librarian was very pleased to have them.

    Jet offers an article entitled, "This Week in Black History" in every issue.

    The original publisher, John H. Johnson had to tell the original property owner that he worked for a white man in order to purchase the land for his business. The headquarters still remains in Chicago.

    Jet magazine was originally sold on the 'L' trains in Chicago by young boys. It was not available in stores.

    www.ebonyjet.com
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2008
  32. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    That movie makes me cry every time at the part where Martin goes back even though he knows what is going to happen. Some of the kids always cry, too. It is a good movie for teaching tolerance, that's for sure.

    I just wanted to add that I like to bring in materials (photos, stories) from throughout history, the wonderful contributions that Africans made to the world and of their ancient civilization. The one thing I dislike about teaching about black history "in America" is that it is so limited in scope. There is so, so much more. I always feel that limiting it to 200 years is not telling the whole story of a people who have much to celebrate.
     
  33. S Dubb

    S Dubb Comrade

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    Thank you for moving all the off-topic posts to a different thread. :)
     
  34. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    I wanted to let Jeannie see this video last year, but it was too harsh.

    You know, the only time I heard MLK speak was during clips of his famous speech. Last February, one of the 'black' stations here ran an episode of Mike Douglas where MLK and some lounge lizard singer from that era were the guests. I don't know who the singer was, although his face was familiar. Anyway, I felt like he was baiting MLK with the questions he was asking. MLK answered him each time with a quietness I found surprising. I'd just never heard him before. I had no idea he was that soft spoken. I hope I run into more opportunities to hear him just converse, but I don't even remember the channel I saw that on.
     
  35. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    I gave my third graders a list of 45 famous African Americans. The list included historical figures (George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King, Jr) and present day famous African American figures (Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan). I gave them an option of doing a report, a poster, the trading cards mentioned from the post above or writing a poem or a rap about their famous person. If they did the trading cards and wanted an A then they had to choose 5 people from the list. If they did any of the other projects listed then they only had to research one person but I required a bit more detail. In exchange for their project they have the possibility of earning 200 points: 100 for Social Studies and 100 for Language Arts. You would be surprised how excited all of my students (I have a class that is approximately 2/3 african american, 1/3 white) got over being able to do this project. When I handed it out and they actually read what it was I think you could hear them down in the front office (I am all the way at the end of the building). They started looking at the list and I heard comment such as "he's a scientist", "she plays tennis", "he's a basketball star", "he's a civil rights person" "he's a comedian". I heard one child say "I can't remember what he did so I think I am going to look him up and see why he is considered famous. That way I will learn something new." I was amazed at this coming from these third graders. I had 2/3 of them last year and I know we did projects (on a smaller scale) but they actually remembered what they did and what was taught. I can't wait for their projects to start coming in (I gave them two weeks).
     
  36. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    One station used to play his quotes all day, every day. Not just in February.

    My favorite..

    “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” -Martin Luther King, Jr. ...
     
  37. stavb

    stavb Rookie

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    Mar 16, 2008

    Scholastic has a few biographies for black history month including top 10 African-American inventors, Melba Pattillo, and Rosa Parks. I can't put up links just yet so if you go to scholastic dot com and search for "black history month" and then click on "activities and games" you'll see a list of stuff to use.

    Good luck!

    Stav
     
  38. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Mar 17, 2008

    Thanks stavb...you know..from my grad classes, I am really thinking more about this multicultural education thing.

    There's 12 months in a year, and at least that many races in your classroom! We should celebrate a different ethnic group every month!
     
  39. MsMongoose

    MsMongoose Companion

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    For somewhat older students--part African but not American

    They are not African-American, but Alexandre, pere wrote world famous books including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, etc. He was the grandson of a former slave. His son, also Alexandre Dumas fils, wrote the play Camille, which was the basis of the opera La Traviata.
    Puskin--often considered the "Shakespeare" of Russian literature (pre-communist) wrote "Mozart and Salieri" which was the basis of the movie "Amadeus". "Eugene Onegin" and "Boris Godunov" are considered his masterpieces. Unfortunately his work is very difficult to translate, according to V. Nabokov (& others).
     

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