This curated collection of teaching resources for Black History Month in ELA will help you cover language arts standards in your middle or high school English Language Arts classroom in an engaging and memorable way, with minimal prep for you!
Click on the pictures to learn more about each resource.
[updated for 2021]
Black History Month Classroom Decor
Print and hang these engaging decorations that have a variety of classroom uses!
The interactive posters can be printed on any paper you choose and don’t require color ink. Students can move around the room and scan the included QR code with their device to learn more about the featured author. There are also tearable quotes from the author that students can remove and take back to their desk to use as a writing prompt, or just to tape in their locker for inspiration.
The visual timeline features 32 authors of color, and is over 100 inches long when assembled! It’s an excellent reference point while teaching literary periods, and can be a unique way to spark student interest in these important authors and their works.
Martin Luther King Activities with Paired Text
From the resource description: “This lesson takes King’s ‘The Purpose of Education’ and pairs it with a song from popular culture, Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall.’ Students closely read and analyze both texts and make connections across texts and genres. Then they will write their own poem in response to the anchor texts’ themes and ideas.”
The Harlem Renaissance Reading & Discussion Digital Flip Book
Introduce students to the Harlem Renaissance with this unique resource that includes a variety of activities!
MLK “I Have a Dream” Speech with Paired Text Analysis Activity
Students will read and analyze Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic speech, “I Have a Dream,” along with U2’s song “Pride (In the Name of Love).” Making text-to-text connections, and completing activities to show understanding.
“We Real Cool” Poem Study
This slideshow will guide students through an advanced analysis of Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem. It would be excellent for an AP course.
Black History Non-fiction Reading & Color by Number
This is an engaging, colorful activity that allows students to show mastery while relaxing, learning and coloring in their answers. This is also perfect for emergency sub plans! Hang the finished product in the hall for teachers and students to stop and admire.
Black History Month Escape Room / Lockbox
From the resource description: “This escape room / lock box is designed to familiarize students with the accomplishments and bravery of many African Americans.”
This escape room can be used with or without a physical lockbox, and is appropriate for a variety of grade levels!
Black History Collaborative Research Project
Sharpen your high schoolers’ research and group work skills with this step-by-step Black History research project.
Black History Figures Biography Research Graphic Organizers Bundle
For middle schoolers, check out this extensive bundle of graphic organizers for researching 37 different historical and current black figures. Students can choose the person they’d like to study then use the graphic organizers to guide their research.
Motivational Quotes by Famous Black Americans Poster Set
For more colorful classroom decor, check out these beautiful posters featuring quotations from both current and historical famous black Americans.
Interactive Novel Companion for The Watsons Go to Birmingham
Students can explore this digital interactive PDF to better understand the culture and vocabulary present in The Watsons Go to Birmingham. Printable novel activities are also included!
Last, but not least, check out this helpful post from Mud & Ink Teaching with 9 Poems from Black Poets that are great for Black History Month, or any time.
Share your favorite Black History Month resources and activities in the comments!