Black History Month is an important time to learn about significant historical events in African American Culture. Just like learning about The Revolution, it’s important for kids to learn about The Civil War, Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and so on. But keeping kids engaged can be difficult. That’s why these 20 educational middle school activities for Black History month are worth including in your curriculum.
1. Crossword Puzzles
Starting with crossword searches is a simple way to learn events, people, and popular vocabulary. You should include key events such as protests, and important people, and their definitions next to the word bank. This way, they can learn what they mean instead of just the words.
Learn more: Jinxy Kids
2. Black History Month Collages
Going over history isn’t the easiest way to grab your student's attention. A fun way to teach black history month is to ask your students to make a vision board. What resonates with them from sports stars, art, music, etc., from this time? Think Jackie Robinson or someone current.
Learn more: Art with Ms. Y
3. Write About Inspiring African Americans
Writing about Black History Month helps your class retain information. Ask your class who (living or dead) they would hang out for a day and why. Have the students read and share their ideas out loud so everyone can learn about the person of choice.
Learn more: Woo! Jr
4. BHM Movie with a Game
Watching movies like “Hidden Figures” and “March On!” are great for kids to absorb. You can send them home to watch it. Or you can approach it with more fun to ensure they engage. Write a list of recurring words. Put a check for every time they hear the word. The right answers get a prize.
Learn more: Amazon
5. Write a News Column on X Event
Let the kids be journalists and report on the events that happened during the Civil War. The battle of Fort Sumter and the Battle of Belmont are two of many. It also can be something smaller that played an important role but is not talked about as much.
Learn more: American Battlefield Trust
6. Case Study on 44th President Barack Obama
Progress is being made today with examples of African Americans reaching new heights in our Oval Office. Doing a case study on our 44th President Barack Obama or our current Vice President Kamala Harris, helps us keep Black History alive. Here they can report on these two important individuals.
Learn more: The Case Solutions
7. Field Trip to Civil Rights Museum
Many states in our country have Civil Rights Museums. If you are unable to access them in person, many larger museums across America are still offering virtual tours and online exhibits for visitors.
Learn more: National Museum of African American History and Culture
8. Poem on X Topic Assigned
Poetry is a great way for students to express themselves on certain events or topics. Black History Month. This is a great way for teachers to understand their emotions and walk through powerful conversations that may be difficult to understand. Give them an event to read about first.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
9. Make a Short Play
Young kids love to stay active. Allow your students to go through a court case and reenact a trial that is age suitable. This is one of the top experiences to engage them creatively while also guiding them through events like Texas v. White or Dred Scott v, Sandford.
Learn more: Ohio History Central
10. Black History Month Perceiver Concert
Every year the Chicago Children’s Choir performs its Perceiver concert during Black History Month. This can be virtually streamed and is a great chance for your kids to register with other kids while enjoying music. It allows you to bring different medius to your curriculum and reach different kinds of learners.
Learn more: Chicago Children's Choir
11. Kevin Hart's Guide to BHM?
Kevin Hart brings the fun. His Guide to Black History Month can be incredibly educational for kids. Many reported that after watching that kids actually learn new faces and events that maybe they have yet to learn about in school for Black History Month.
Learn more: Decider
12. Recite Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech
Reciting Martin Luther Kind’s “I Have a Dream Speech” is critical to your lesson for your kids. Spend some time analyzing it and asking the kids to write, talk, or draw what their interpretation of this speech means to them.
Learn more: Tulsa World
13. Get Into Science Experiments
George Washington Carver, Niel deGrasse Tyson, and Mae C. Jemison are just a few Black inventors and scientists that have impacted the world today. Bringing in experiments for the kids while learning about these prominent figures is a great activity.
Learn more: Biography
14. Make a Timeline of BHM
It’s one of the more common activities to give to middle schoolers, but making a timeline makes it easy to understand where and when important events and moments occurred. Afterward, you can hang everyone's timeline up so the kids can use it as a resource.
Learn more: 1+1+1=1
15. Set Up Reading Clubs
Instead of making the class read one book, choose a few books. Have your kids number their priorities and split them into groups. Chapter quizzes can be included to ensure learning. More importantly, they can have a weekly set of questions for group discussion.
Learn more: Adrienne Teachers
16. The Underground Rail Road
Middle school kids still have a lot of obsession with construction trucks and trains. The Underground Railroad is a fantastic lesson to teach. That’s why the interactive Underground Railroad Project is a fantastic activity for your class to make their own choices as they learn.
Learn more: National Geographic
17. Engage With Other Schools
On February 3rd, the National Council of Teachers of English organizes a read-in event. They take different texts and books to work with their classes while providing a toolkit and additional resources to the teachers. This adds a lot of variety to your book collection dedicated to Black History Month.
Learn more: National Council of Teachers of English
18. Start a Treasure Map
Plant articles, photos, and clues all over the school with each one leading to the final treasure. Give teams of two a clipboard to fill in the answer according to the slot. This can take a little planning to connect the dots.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
19. Guess Who Card Game
Games are a great way to keep kids involved. Playing Guess Who is a great activity where one student can read the description of someone important to the lesson. The other kid guesses. If they are right they keep it and reverse roles.
Learn more: Totschooling
20. Start With Quote of the Day
Starting with a quote of the day sets the tone for the day's activities. It can inspire kids to ask questions and understand the meaning behind such quotes. It can be a great transition into “I Have a Dream” and many other significant events.
Learn more: It's All About You Boo