Saturday, March 4, 2017

Celebrating Black History

Another black history month is gone, but learning and studying about black history should still be on our agendas.  Being black isn't a skin color we wear for a month, but for 365 days of the year.  All day errr day.  Also, everyone could benefit from some knowledge of all history across the board regardless off your race.

One of the first things I did was order some books. Now, I'm a book junkie so there are books galore in this post.  Just don't ask me where I store them all. I may go minimalist on shoes, clothes, toy, hair products, but books...books are here to stay. Lol

These are some that I picked up from Amazon.  Sewing stories is the story of Harriet Powers who was a slave and became a great quilter. Two of her quilts are in museums today. The Patchwork Path is story about the journey to freedom using codes in the quilts.  This MLK speech book came with the cd and we've listened to it several times and talked about the metaphors and similes. Then, we have the illustrated poem "I, too, am America" by Langston Hughes. "What Color is My World" has lots of inventors in it and is told by children.
  Henry's Freedom Box is one that I have never heard of, but came across on a Facebook page.  I was so intrigued that I looked up the story and bought it for the kids. 

At the beginning of the month, I decided I would post some black history facts on the board to discuss with the kids.  Some days I didn't write on the board if we didn't have time or I'd forget. Then, sometimes we just used other means instead.

We actually did this activity for MLK Day in January instead of February.   This book came with a celebrate reading big book and several smaller books like these to celebrate reading with different cultural backgrounds.  I actually bought this years ago from a school system that I student taught in.

Here's Miss Cate pictured alongside Rudy Bridges for our Black history program a few years ago at church.  We dressed up as different people in history and played a guessing game. 

                                Image Source: google

Back of the Bus is the story of Rosa Parks told from a child's perspective.  I absolutely love that and the language in the story.  Cate has a marble similar to the one in the story that she now calls the tiger's eye.  

Yep.  More books.  This was my second order of books from Lemonade in the winter is a book about money, but I try to add diverse books to our book collection regularly. We also have "Child of the Civil Rights Movement" " Coretta Scott King" "My Black Me" - a collection of black poetry, "Back of the Bus" and "Happy Valentine's day Mouse."

I love to add props, activities, or visuals sometimes with our boards.  You can blame the teacher in me for that.  For instance we ate chips for a snack when we talked about George Crum.  We had ice cream for dessert when we discovered Alfred L. Cralle created the ice cream scoop.  I decided to pick a poem to analyze and talk about it with the kids for Phyllis Wheatley.  I just like to
teach and create so I just can't help myself sometimes.  It's just who I am.

We actually spent a lot of time talking about Harriet Tubman.  Cate was reading her life story for an AR book at the time too.  AR stands for accelerated reading in case you're not familiar with that.  It's reading books an answering questions on a computer.  Aj was also very excited discussing Harriet Tubman.  He heard Cate talking and then he came out of the room and started talking too.  They then went on about the frying pan and the dizzy sleeping spells, etc. 

After learning about how quilts helped people escape slavery and the quilts that Harriet Powers made, we decided to make a mini felt quilt as an activity.  I let them glue down their own designs on the squares to sew together and tell me what it stands for.

We also discussed the Bombing of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  This was the name given to one of the wealthiest black communities in America.  On June 1, 1921, it was air bombed and burned to the ground by a group of jealous whites organized by the KKK.  It killed 3,000 African Americans and destroyed 600 businesses.  It wasn't recognized in state history until 1996.

These are clearly award winning drawings right here! lol  I tried.  I really wanted a visual here, but I was slack on my planning this day and did not have myself together.

These books were some we read over a course of time where I failed to post any of our black history updates on the Instagram and Facebook. (@cuddleskissesnchaos)  Aj is all about sports so we've had him read Adrian Peterson's book and David Robinson along with our board facts.  We try to make sure he's reading.  You know... teenagers.

Cate has also been checking out books from school to go along with our black history studies.  She checked out this book on Barbara Jordan who was the first African American congresswoman to come from the south. (Texas).

Cate and I also happened to still be up one night while the story of Maya Angelou was on PBS.  We ended up staying up to watch that too. 

I told yall I love books!  Here's more!   I've had the kids read and write me summaries on their choice from the Five Brave Explorers before, but we didn't do it this time. 

I love books and they are great resources to have and to pass on.  However, here are two facebook pages that you can follow to learn black history facts everyday.

Zinn Education Project - all history
National Civil Rights Museum

I hope you enjoyed this post and found some of these books helpful! 

PS. A few of these books were found at the Goodwill and library book sales.  Always check those types of sales to save money on books.  I've gotten several classic children's books for 49 cents each!