Black History Month Project

Choosing a Great Individual

During the month of February, I try to share with my students the many ways that African Americans have made significant contributions to our society. I am always amazed that they have a limited knowledge of anyone still living that has made an impact on the world. Of course they have lots of knowledge about people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Rosa Parks. Now I'm not saying that these remarkable individuals did not help to shape America to what it is today, but there are people that are still making a difference today. Living, breathing people who are changing the way we do things today and in the future.


Source

Sample Finished Projects by Students

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Poster of Russel Simmons.Project of Barack Obama.Poster of Mae JemisonProject on Jennifer HudsonProject on Tyler Perry
Poster of Russel Simmons.
Poster of Russel Simmons. | Source
Project of Barack Obama.
Project of Barack Obama. | Source
Poster of Mae Jemison
Poster of Mae Jemison | Source
Project on Jennifer Hudson
Project on Jennifer Hudson | Source
Project on Tyler Perry
Project on Tyler Perry | Source

Honor the Living

During this time, my students are required to research and present information about a living African American that is currently making a difference in our world. There are many areas of interest that these individuals contribute from sports, entertainment, business, fine arts, science, medicine, and more. Here are a list of possible candidates for research:

Scientists/Inventors:

  • Ben Carson
  • George Carruthers
  • Mae Jemison

Entertainment:

  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Jay Z
  • Spike Lee
  • Sidney Poitier

Politics and Activism:

  • Colin Powell
  • Condoleezza Rice
  • Barack Obama
  • Michelle Obama

Education and Literature:

  • Maya Angelou
  • Marva Collins
  • Nikki Giovanni

Sports:

  • Venus Williams
  • Serena Williams
  • Lynette Woodward
  • Michael Jordan
  • Charles Barkley

Of course this list barely touches the tip of the list. There are so many people that should be recognized. For additional names you can link to www.biography.com.

Sidney Poitier

Project Outline

Here are the requirements for the project. I go over all of the expectations with my students, including possible choices (I give them a list to get them started), due dates, and a copy of the rubric. This project is great for students at the fourth grade level and up.

Black History Month Project

Name:______________________________

Choose an African American that has made a significant impact on today’s society (refer to attached list). The person that you choose must be living. You may choose someone that has made an impact in the area of politics, education, entertainment, literature, business, or sports. Your choice must be preapproved and there may be no duplicates of people. If you turn in a project on someone that does not have preapproval, your project will be reduced by one letter grade. You must include both a poster (visual representation of your person) with a written component included on the poster. The rubric for your project is as follows.

Selection due date:___________________________

Name of person:_____________________________

Project due date: ____________________________


Project Rubric

 Project Guidelines
Points Possible 
Points Earned 
Pictures of your person  
10 
 
Title for your poster  
10 
 
Education of your Person 
10 
 
Early Life
10
 
Accomplishments/Contributions to Society
20
 
How this person influences you to do better.
20
 
Neatness and Creativity
15
 
Rubric turned in with project.
5
 
Total Points
100
 

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Comments 13 comments

Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

Great project for kids. I like that the focus is on people still living. It brings a greater awareness to your students of the world around them and current events. Despite the many challenges I know you face both professionally and personally, I can tell you are an awesome teacher - by how you speak of your students and the care you take in teaching them information relevant to their lives. I have picked up a few tips from you for my own classes. I gave this an up vote and said it was useful.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks, I appreciate the kind comments. That is the whole point. Our children are so unaware of the current world around them. The art of conversation has been taken over by games systems, tv, and running our kids from one place to the next. Children don't realize that history is being made every day.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Sounds like a great project and I love the idea of focusing on those who are still living and making significant contributions.

I also like the way you outlined the project and think other teachers will find it very helpful to incorporate into their own lesson plans.

Cool hub. I'm rating it up and useful.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

I liked the hub because it showed the actual explanation and project paper. Leaves nothing to the imagination. I also liked your link on the rubric, since I was not familiar with that term. Thanks. Nicely done.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks for the positive feedback. It is so helpful for both teachers and students to know exactly what is being graded. It eliminates the "guessing game" that so many teachers expect their students to do.


Libra Rajani profile image

Libra Rajani 5 years ago from USA

Great hub!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thank you, glad you enjoyed it!


pmccray profile image

pmccray 5 years ago from Utah

Kudos to you and your project. If we had more teachers of your ilk our educational system would not be in the shape it's in.

I feel it is very important that ALL our children are informed of ALL the contributions made by people of color in our society. As a product of the 50s my generation was taught only of the mainstays of history as you've mentioned.

It was not until I became a mother in the early 70's that I learned of the extended history of Blacks and their contribution to the shaping of this nation.

The lack of knowledge promotes ignorance. My people are seen as slaves, and no more. Your project, and others like it, will spread the truth and hopefully bridge the racial gap between our nation's citizenry.

Voted up, marked useful, awesome, beautiful and shared.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thank you Pmccray. It is so nice to hear those words of encouragement because often times teaching is a thankless job. We are blamed for many of the problems of society. I completely agree that lack of knowledge promotes ignorance. Knowledge is power and by empowering my students to know that they are still able to make important contributions to society, it gives them goals to work toward. Thank you for stopping by, reading and commenting.


Kristine Manley profile image

Kristine Manley 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Great project. In my community a lot of times the only things that are brought to the forefront are the rappers, low hanging pants (which I can't stand), and crime, but there are wonderful success stories in the African-American community. Thank you for helping to empower and educate everyone who will lend an ear. Blessings!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

It is not just my job Kristine, it is my pleasure. I know that there is a place to learn about and appreciate the rap industry but there is so much more for kids to learn about. I try to really encourage that for my students but it is sometimes a struggle. They are very focused on the rap and music industry and think that this is the only thing to strive for. I try to show then that there is so much more out there for them. Thanks for your positive feedback, I appreciate it.


Lastheart profile image

Lastheart 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

Voted up and all the rest (except funny). Very professional. Thanks for sharing.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks for your kind words Lastheart. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

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