Free online resources for kids that celebrate Black history and culture

Free online resources for kids that celebrate Black history and culture
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Free online resources for kids that celebrate Black history and culture

Whether your little one can recite from reminiscence the names and philosophies of leaders like W.E.B. Du Bois and Angela Davis, or they want an introduction to the pivotal Black figures who have helped form our nation, Black History Month gives a worthwhile opportunity for youngsters to be taught and develop.

Of course, consciousness and appreciation of Black historical past and tradition, together with racial justice, are related all year long when elevating kids in a multicultural society. But, with classes about race and systemic racism being threatened in faculties throughout many states — usually in affiliation with nationwide dialog surrounding Critical Race Theory — Black historical past can usually be carelessly (or deliberately) missed.

You can bridge these gaps in education and bolster your kids’s studying with digital sources. The ones beneath signify quite a lot of instruments from nationwide museums and academic nonprofits, created to coach and interact kids in Black historical past and tradition by means of interactive occasions, entertaining movies, and content that profile Black visionaries and leaders. Whether you are a father or mother or a trainer, head on over to those web sites to spark kids’s curiosity or proceed their education.

1. Common Sense Media

Common Sense, a nonprofit that helps mother and father and academics select acceptable youngsters’ media and know-how, has its own Celebrate Black Voices web page for instructional media and actions for all ages. The web site acts as a information for locating content on-line, which implies it contains each free and paid sources. Common Sense says its goal this month is to “highlight the diverse culture, achievements, and experiences of Black people and the powerful voices that have shaped history.” 

Common Sense factors households to its “Black History on the Screen” lists, which compile Common Sense-approved media highlighting well-known Black icons or cultural moments. The media covers quite a lot of topics, together with STEM; Arts, Business & Culture; Dance, Games & Sports; and Activism, Civics & Social Justice. Families can look by means of Common Sense’s listing of Black TV classics, as properly. There are accompanying movies with every listing, which embody age ranges for the alternatives. 

Common Sense also suggests mother and father have a look at its ebook lists on Black historical past, which embody ones for preschoolers and little youngsters, “big kids” and tweens, and teenagers. The books span fiction and nonfiction, and embody classics alongside modern novels.

Finally, the group has printed its own educating sources for households and educators, together with a information to reflecting on Black historical past as a family, free studying actions for Black History Month, and instructional, kid-friendly movies and podcasts about Black historical past and tradition.

2. The National Museum of African American History and Culture

The only nationwide museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of “African American life, history, and culture,” factors mother and father of younger kids to its annual Black History Month programming, together with the weekly Friday collection, NMAAHC Kids Learning Together. This month contains Black character celebrations, which mix dialogue of constructive representations in films and TV with real-life arts, tradition, and science, in addition to visitor audio system. They are held nearly each Friday all through February at 11 a.m. ET.

For 2022’s celebration, and to honor the earlier year’s theme of Black health and wellness, the museum put collectively a searchable on-line exhibit about Black communities and public health, together with explanations of the “Tuskegee Experiment” and Henrietta Lacks. The exhibit stays obtainable on-line.

The museum also suggests mother and father and educators take advantage of the museum’s Talking about Race on-line portal to assist kids perceive key matters like how one can be anti-racist and why the concept of race is such a dominant pressure in our world. There are even more sources for early childhood education on the museum’s web site, as properly.

3. New York Public Library

The New York Public Library runs a Little Learners video collection, which gives music, artwork, and tradition programming together with movies on Black historical past and tradition by music and social justice artist Fyütch, in addition to content exploring different cultures from across the world. The library also encourages mother and father and their kids to take a look at its Early Literacy hub, which gives free packages, books, and different sources for younger learners and households.

You can discover more Black History Month programming on the library’s on-line calendar

4. PBS

PBS has a number of on-line sources, categorized by age, to show youngsters about Black History and anti-racism. For instance, mother and father of children ages 2 to five can use PBS’ drawing exercise to assist their kids perceive the power of advocacy and mirror on the instances they stood up for somebody. They can also take into consideration and write down the traits of nice heroes with a printable work web page. Afterward, check out PBS’ Questions to Ask Your Child to interact your child in a dialogue about Black heroes. You can ask them questions like, “What Black role models helped to make the world a better place?”

Children 6 by means of 8 can watch animated movies about Black people whose accomplishments secured them a spot in the historical past books. For instance, try scientist and inventor George Washington Carver, who invented more than 300 merchandise from peanuts, and author Zora Neale Hurston, whose work explored Black people’s tales in the South. After watching the movies, discover PBS’ supplemental actions, like colorfully illustrated PDFs you may obtain that encourage kids to share their own tales like Hurston did.

As a part of PBS’ anti-racism sources, educators can use PBS’ “Creating a Caring Classroom Community” hub to learn to nurture a caring classroom, train college students to have a good time variety, and discuss why racism hurts. You can kick off a class with this video from the show Arthur that teaches youngsters about racism.

5. Smithsonian Institute Learning Lab

In addition to partnering with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian Institute hosts its interactive Learning Lab, a web based useful resource for college students, academics, mother and father, and the casually curious. The web site contains Learning Lab collections — digital variations of museum reveals created by professionals.

Parents and kids also can use the Smithsonian Learning Lab’s on-line lesson discussing Black History Month by means of the histories of important Black figures and Black artwork, that includes works from the National Portrait Gallery. The guided presentation takes kids by means of the fundamentals of artwork, shows well-known portraits with accompanying biographies, and contains questions and actions on the end. The exercise is appropriate for all ages.

Other collections embody classes and picture galleries created utilizing gadgets and reveals from the museum’s archives, like Music and Sound, that includes well-known Black musicians, and Hair Joy, a set of photographs showcasing Black hairstyles and historical past.

6. Scholastic Magazines+

Scholastic Magazines+, which gives each paid and free educating sources in affiliation with Scholastic books, printed a free, nonfiction story assortment for younger readers to be taught more about Black historical past and tradition. The tales are appropriate for grades 1-12.

The nonfiction sources are “dedicated to brave men, women and children who have made a big impact on the world,” in keeping with the web site, and share the tales of Black leaders like ballerina Misty Copeland and pilot Bessie Coleman.

Each historical past lesson is paired with educating sources like narrated movies for younger kids, close-reading questions, and vocabulary classes. Along with the tales, Scholastic also has an accompanying video collection interviewing younger Black entrepreneurs who have based nonprofits, clothes corporations, and a coding academy.

Be positive to also try Scholastic Magazine’s StoryWorks collection celebrating Black voices, complete with educating sources to accompany every story, and the Black History Month Reading List — take the time to move to your native library without cost copies.

7. National Education Association

The National Education Association, a community of educators and professionals working in public education, has its own Black History Month hub stuffed with free, on-line actions created by members and different organizations, like Scholastic books, PBS, and Learning for Justice. Activities embody historical past classes, quizzes, and printable workout routines like crosswords, in addition to lesson plans for educators.

The actions are simply divided by grade stage, from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Each grade stage is provided with numerous classes throughout an array of topics, together with science, artwork, and even sports activities. It’s an ideal, curated listing to begin searching for more methods to interact your kids.

8. The New York Times Learning Network

The New York Times Learning Network is a educating useful resource for educators (in addition to college students or mother and father) that includes present information and historical past. The web site contains lesson plans, actions, and articles curated for educators utilizing the New York Times content.

The publication has a two-part collection on Black History Month called Black History, Continued, in which the Times dives deep into understudied moments and highlights of Black historical past and tradition. The second a part of the collection features a lesson plan that expands on the historical past contained in the Continued collection, offering dialogue questions and alternatives to “reflect on the importance of celebrating overlooked or under-appreciated aspects of the American experience,” in keeping with the Learning Network.

The web site also has actions for teenagers and older college students, like the scholar opinion exercise How Much Have You Learned About Black History? The article and accompanying questions ask younger people to mirror on how Black historical past is taught in their own faculties, what matters they’d like to cowl which can be at the moment not noted, and the way present curricula ought to change.

9. Black History Month Official Website 

The official touchdown web page for the federal recognition of Black History Month has printed a long listing of studying sources for academics, mother and father, and people looking for a broad have a look at Black historical past in the United States. The listing makes use of archives and digital education websites put collectively by government organizations like the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Gallery of Art, and even the National Parks Service. 

These sources embody picture galleries (like this assortment celebrating icons of the Harlem Renaissance), articles and studying actions, and even eBooks

This listing is a non-exhaustive instance of the plethora of free sources obtainable on-line, year spherical. Whichever digital useful resource you employ to discover and have a good time Black historical past and tradition along with your youngsters or college students — in February and past — it could actually assist build a basis for a more educated and anti-racist future.

UPDATE: Feb. 8, 2022, 7:00 p.m. EST This story was initially printed in February 2021 and was up to date with new information and to incorporate more sources in February 2022.

UPDATE: Feb. 3, 2023, 11:57 a.m. EST This story was up to date with new information in honor of Black History Month 2023.