Black History Month has been a big part of the English curriculum this February for both 1st and 2nd graders. Students began by learning about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
In first grade, students wrote and drew about their own dreams for their families, school, community or world. Throughout the month, first graders have been learning about famous African Americans including Jackie Robinson, Ruby Bridges and Melba Doretta Liston through various read alouds. The discussions we’ve had have opened up a lot of questions and observations about the differences in skin color in our classrooms.
Before the break we read the wonderful book “The Colors of Us” by Karen Katz. After, students did a meaningful activity with People Colors Paint, mixing various paint colors together (including Peach, Mahogany, Tan, etc.) to match their own skin tone. This activity showed off all of the beautiful and diverse skin colors that we have in our classrooms.
In 2nd grade, after learning about Dr. King and his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, students wrote their own dreams inside a self portrait silhouette they made. Throughout February, students have worked on their first ever biography reports. Each student learned about a notable African American through age appropriate books and texts. They then created a lapbook to present to their classmates, and teach one another. In the end, students have learned about numerous African Americans that have made a lasting impact in our country.