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Black History Month Lessons & Resources

Bring African-American culture & history into your curriculum
Statue of Benjamin Banneker in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture Frank Schulenburg, CC BY-SA 4.0 ( via Wikimedia Commons
Statue of Benjamin Banneker in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. (2020)
Published: December 16, 2020 Last Updated: December 13, 2023

All people, regardless of race or place, deserve the same rights and freedoms. For too long, Black and brown people in America have been denied equality because of the color of their skin. To help students understand the reality of Black people's experiences in American history, their impact on American culture, and to celebrate their achievements, we've compiled a selection of lesson plans that cover a variety of subjects that can be adapted to fit multiple grade levels.

If you're commemorating Black History Month in your classroom consider preparing by reading Learning For Justice's Do's and Don'ts of Teaching Black History and Black History Month is Over. Now What?, and listening to our podcast on teaching Black history meaningfully (below) to ensure students get the most out of Black history lessons.

Teaching Black History, Meaningfully

How you can make your Black history lessons more meaningful, unique, and powerful for your students? We asked Colorado social studies teacher Kevin Adams to join us for a discussion about breaking stale patterns when teaching Black history and shaping your lessons to fit your classroom and community. Listen to Kevin's advice and experiences in this 36 minute School Me Podcast.

Additional Resources

Throughout the month of February, we come together to celebrate Black heritage, tradition, and achievement. Though it’s important to support and honor Black lives and history year-round, now is always a great time to reflect and act for racial justice. Find additional resources and actions below to get started.
Chris Smalls

Learn About Black Leaders in the Labor Movement

Racial justice and economic justice are intrinsically intertwined. However, far too often in our nation’s history, those who benefit from the existing order have used race and class divisions to tear us apart. Read about five Black leaders who combatted those divisions, strengthening both the labor and civil rights movements by fighting discrimination in unions and building strong coalitions for the welfare of all.

Black Lives Matter At School Week of Action

Cities and communities across the country are participating in a Week of Action, hosted by Black Lives Matter at School, from February 6-10. Whether you’re an educator, student, or community organizer, join us in helping BLM@School Week of Action be even bigger this year!
black lives matter at school

Black History Month Booklist

Celebrate Black History Month with our Read Across America African American Booklist. Read and share the stories of Black writers and inspire young readers to learn more about their relevance today.

Leadership Institutes

Become an effective leader and advocate for your students, your coworkers, and public education through NEA’s Leadership Institutes.
Harriet Tubman memorial bronze statue

Women's History Month for the Classroom

Integrate women's history into your classroom with our list of curated lessons, activities, background reading, and more.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.