Black History Month is a time when kids and adults can come together to learn about the contributions black people have made to the United States. This is a prime time for students to make up plays and skits that they can perform for the class. Have them write their own play or write one for them so they can perform for the greater community.
Much of black history was lost when Africans were shipped to the United States as slaves. Much of this was on purpose so that the blacks could be seen as possessions and commodities and not as people. However, Black History Month is an excellent opportunity to acquaint students with traditional tales. Read some traditional African folk tales such as "One Good Meal Deserves Another" and "Why Turtle Lives in Water." Ask the students to create skits for the class. You can even ask them to make simple costumes out of paper.
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Harriet Tubman helped transport many slaves to freedom with the Underground Railroad. This heroic act should not be forgotten, and her story can be retold through a classroom drama. Have your students write a skit featuring Harriet Tubman, ask them to conduct a mock interview with her or have them make a puppet show about her heroic actions.
Women's Professional Basketball
In 1931, the first all-black female basketball team was formed, known as the Philadelphia Tribune Girls; later, the Chicago Romas were formed. The Romas played both male and female teams and never lost a game, although they could not achieve the same national recognition as their male counterparts. Discuss with your class gender and racial discrimination and have them write a script to act out that involves Ora Washington, the leader of the Philadelphia Tribune Girls.
The black civil rights movement encompasses many heroic stories. From the march over the bridge at Selma, Ala., to Rosa Parks' historic act of refusing to give up her seat to a white man, the actions of civil rights protesters galvanized the nation. Music also played a significant part of the civil rights movement. Find some civil rights music such as "We Shall Overcome" or "Get On Board Children" and discuss the lyrics with your class after playing it for them. Have them incorporate the song into a re-enactment of the movement they've chosen to make into a script.