Black History Month Projects for 1st Grade
by Sarah Lipoff
February is Black History month and there are many Black History Month projects for 1st grade students. The month is dedicated to learning about African Americans and black culture. Students are introduced to past and present influential, historical, and important people and events that helped to shape the black American experience.
George Washington Carver
Tell students about the scientist George Washington Carver, who was considered the "plant doctor." He did lots of experiments with peanuts and discovered many things they could be used for. He is also considered the inventor of peanut butter and other peanut products. Discuss with students how peanuts grow and the concept of the scientific method used when doing experiments.
Check with parents to make sure you don't have any students who are allergic to peanuts before you do this project. Bring in shelled raw peanuts, oil, salt, sugar and a food processor and make peanut butter for the children. Experiment with different amounts of oil, salt, and sugar to create either smooth or chunky peanut butter. Write out observations and conclusions from the experiment, just like an inventor would.
Faith Ringgold is a wonderful artist and storyteller who uses her art to tell a story. Her unique story quilts are full of color and design. Read stories by Faith Ringgold and show pictures of her story quilts to students.
Help children create a poem about their childhood or an important event in their lives. Using 9 x 12 inch white construction paper, measure 3 inches in from each side and illustrate the poem inside the rectangle using colored pencils and watercolor paints. Cut squares of old fabric to glue around the outside of the illustration in the 3 inch area to create a story quilt. Help students write their poem on the story quilt when finished.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The I Have A Dream speech was given by Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28, 1963, in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Explain to students the basics of the speech and show photos from the March on Washington and of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the podium. Then have students take turns at the front of the class sharing something they have "a dream" about. Encourage them to be expressive and to use complete sentences.