February is Black History Month, and it’s the perfect opportunity to teach the little ones about diversity and equality! Below you will find activities and a sample of books focused on different aspects of black history.
- Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
- Bright Eyes and Brown Skin by Cheryl Willis Hudson & Bernette G. Ford
- Shades of Black by Sandra L. Pinkney
Put nonbreakable mirrors and brown, black, white, and red paints near the art area. Using the paints, ask the children to create their own skin tone for self-portraits.
- The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
- Our Legendary Ladies Presents Harriet Tubman by Megan Callea
- The Story of Rosa Parks by Patricia A. Pingry
- We March by Shane W. Evans
Ask the children what the word “brave” means. Read any of the books listed above and talk about how the main characters were brave. For example, discuss why it was brave for Rosa Parks to select that particular seat on the bus.
- Black Inventors for Kids!: Amazing African American Inventors Who Changed History by Ian D. Fraser
- What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Label African-American inventions, such as an ironing board, lawn mower (play, of course), fire extinguisher, dustpan, baby buggy, guitar, or a mailbox. Call out each invention. Then ask the children to find and bring them back to the group. Ask, “How is it used?” and “Why is it important?”
Other examples of African-American inventions include potato chips, golf tees, stainless steel pads, horseshoes (plastic), pencil sharpener, hairbrush, or an ice cream scooper.
*The books listed are for information only, not for reading aloud to children. Visit The Black Inventor Online Museum for a comprehensive list of black inventors. For more activities for individual inventors, please visit Preschool Plan-It.