20 Black History Month Activities

A list of 20 Black History Month activities to use with your students for all grades during the month of February and beyond.


Celebrate black culture by participating in one or more of our activities dedicated to Black History Month (month of February). Enjoy and download printables, lesson plans, and other resources with your class. Discover the civil rights movement, notable African-Americans of the past (such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), and much more.

For 2024, the theme is Black Resistance. Keep that central theme in mind as you go through some of our favorite Black History Month activities for the classroom.

1. What Is a Griot and Why Are They Important?


African Storytellers
Students will use the Internet to learn more about griots or African storytellers. Their work will culminate in presentations about African culture as it is told through tales.
Grades 3-5.

2. Discuss the Journey of School Desegregation in the 1950s


Remember: The Journey to School Integration Teacher's Guide
Introduce young students to the work of Nobel prize-winning writer Toni Morrison in Remember, a narrated pictorial journey of school desegregation in the 1950s. This teacher's guide includes discussion questions, photographs, and online resources to increase students' knowledge of the civil rights movement in America.
Grades 3-6.

3. Explore the Period of the Harlem Renaissance


Visualizing Jazz Scenes of the Harlem Renaissance
Students read and respond to literary selections that either portray the Harlem jazz scene or were written during the period. This is an excellent activity to enjoy when studying the history of American music and during Black History Month (February).
Grades 9-12.

4. Run a Class Coloring Competition


Printable Coloring Book of African-Americans (2-6)
With this printable book of coloring pages, students will learn about famous African-Americans while they have fun coloring. The 16 biographies include noteworthy scientists, athletes, and authors.
Grades 2-6.

5. Discuss Civil Rights, Racial Hate Crimes and Social Injustice


A Wreath for Emmett Till Teacher's Guide
Preparation assignments, group discussion questions about lynching and civil rights, and many other resources are provided in this teacher's guide for A Wreath for Emmett Till, a poem about the murder of an African-American boy. Extension activities for language arts, current events, music, and history will help students understand the poem's context.
Grades 7-12.

6. Learn Interesting Facts About Famous African-Americans


Famous African-Americans: Using a Grid
Students learn interesting facts about famous African-American historical figures using a grid to decode names.
Grades 5-8.

7. Create Some Amazing Kente Cloth Designs


Kente Cloth
Assign a project that introduces art and designs from East Africa. Students will design their kente cloth based on their selected materials and patterns. This is an excellent activity for a unit on Africa, African-Americans, and cultural diversity.
Grades 3-6.

8. What is Kwanzaa, and Why is it Celebrated?


An Overview of Kwanzaa
An article defining and explaining Kwanzaa, the African-American holiday of culture.
Grades 8-11.

9. Encourage Debate on Race, Language, Civil Rights, and Diversity


Don't Say Ain't Discussion Guide
Promote thoughtful discussion on race, language, civil rights, and diversity with this printable discussion guide for Don't Say Ain't. It includes information on integration in the 1950s and questions to ask your students.
Grades 1-4.

10. Review the Civil Rights Movement


Equal Is Right
The Civil Rights Movement is reviewed in this printable worksheet. Students will look at the movement's leaders and the resulting laws.
Grades 5-8.

11. Explore What Paved The Way Permanent Abolition of Slavery in the United States


The Emancipation Proclamation
Read about the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Lincoln on September 22, 1862 - and what this meant for black Americans.
Grades 8-11.

12. Delve Deeper into the Study and Celebration of Black History


The Study & Celebration of Black History
The study of Black history was not begun until the Twentieth Century. This article explains why and gives information about Black History Month.
Grades 3-12.

13. Create a Mini-Book About Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


My Book About Martin Luther King, Jr.
Use this printable activity around Dr. King's birthday (January) or in your Black History Month (February) curriculum.
Grades 2-4.

14. Dive into the Historical Timeline of the Modern Civil Rights Movement


Timeline of the Modern Civil Rights Movement
A chart outlining the Civil Rights movement in the United States.
Grades 9-12.

15. Examine the Life and Work of Thurgood Marshall


Up Close: Thurgood Marshall Discussion Guide
Use the questions in this guide for Up Close: Thurgood Marshall, a biography by Chris Crowe, to promote critical thinking and engage students in discussing equality, the civil rights movement, and Brown v. Board of Education.
Grades 6-12.

16. Decorate Your Classroom for Black History Month


12 Creative Black History Month Door Decorations
Some fantastic and creative examples from other teachers on how to decorate your classrooms and bulletin board for Black History Month.

17. Throw a Poetry Reading Using African American Poets


Black History Month Profiles: Great African American Poets from Across the Generations
Have your students each pick out their favorite poem from this collection of poems from three highly regarded and influential African American poets. Explore the background, study the poem's language and message behind it, and then get them to read aloud.
Grades 7-12.

18. Read Some Black History Month Books


Top 10 Children's Books for Black History Month
Engage students in learning about slavery, civil rights issues, and black leaders.
Grades K-4.

19. Watch Videos on the Role of Slavery in the Civil War


Slavery & The Civil War – Videos & Activities
Abolitionists, Abraham Lincoln, the Underground Railroad, and the 13th Amendment will all be covered. Three classroom extension activities accompany each video.
Grades 8-11.

20. Host a Quiz Session


African-American History Quiz
This quiz will test kids' knowledge of notable people and events in African American history.
Grades 5-8.

All the activities listed suit children from elementary school right through high school. If you want more, visit our Black History Month hub for printables, worksheets and fun activities.

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