Online Learning Activities
Culture and Change: Black History in America
Students will discover history as they meet famous African Americans, explore jazz music, and much more.
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
The “Culture and Change: Black History in America” student activity offers an in-depth look into the African-American experience, featuring interviews, historical sketches, and interactive activities. Students learn about African Americans who’ve made a difference, study the civil rights movement and the concept of racism, and explore the history of jazz music. Additional activities allow students to share their thoughts and feelings about topics discussed. The various parts of this activity can be used together or independently.
- Student read about The Top Ten African-American Inventors (grades 3–4), including the inventors of peanut butter, the Supersoaker, and a ground-breaking method of eye surgery that’s helped many blind people to see.
- With Nominate a Trailblazer (grades 3–12), students can honor an African-American who broke the color barrier in a field previously opened only to whites, testing students’ writing and comprehension skills.
- Students can study an important cultural contribution with The History of Jazz (grades 3–12), from its birth in New Orleans to the jazz of today.
- Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights (grades 5–12) describes Parks’ pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and helps students understand the importance of every individual citizen in a democracy.
- Integrating Central High: The Melba Pattillo Story (grades 5–12) shares Patillo’s and eight other teens’ often terrifying story of becoming the first African-American students to attend Central High 50 years ago, putting a face on victims of racism and promoting empathy with students.
By participating in the grade-appropriate activities that are part of "Culture and Change: Black History in America," students will:
- Gain insight into African-American history from slavery to the civil rights movement
- Learn about individual people who shaped history by reading their biographies and researching the age in which they lived
- Understand the causes and effects of the civil rights movement in America
- Study the history of jazz music to gain awareness of the cultural contributions made by different groups in America
- Build nonfiction literacy skills as they read Web-based articles for details and use a timeline to obtain information
- Apply critical thinking skills to answer questions regarding controversial events related to the civil rights movement
- Hone writing skills through brief essay submissions or grade-appropriate research papers
- Develop and present an oral report that includes important research points and historical facts