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This thread is showcasing African-American books for young children.

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A Redhead Angel's avatar

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I am a 1st grade teacher so I have a huge collection of Black History Month picture books, mostly biographies. I have a collection for Hispanic, Muslim, Asian, and women as well. I haven't tackled LGBT history yet. I think that might push my school board over the edge.

I don't put all my specific history books up for the special months. I think it is important that they are integrated into the regular reading books so the kids don't associate black, Asian, etc history with something you do for special occasions.

Ok, what I do for black history month....

We talk about equality and what it means. This goes perfectly with math right now since we are doing fractions. We talk about rights and what they are. Then we talk about slavery since it isn't covered in kindergarten. We move up to the civil rights movement. I try to bring it close to reality for the kids. I tell them that when their grandparents were kids this was going on. Also, my husband is black. He is a regular figure in my classroom through out the year. He comes in for Friday centers, does PE lessons on football, and on occasion he comes and eats lunch with us. So telling the students that their friend/my husband couldn't have done this or that really makes it pop for them.

The big project we do is an essay. The kids pick a black history month hero that we have talked about. Then they get to go on the computer and search for their hero. They get to find a picture and print it off for our bulletin board. They can find other information about their person. They are told they need to become an expert on their person. They write an essay about "what is equality, what are rights, someone who was important in the fight for equality and why they are important." We just finished typing them on Friday and next week they will be giving a presentation on their person. My husband comes in to watch their presentations and conducts a question and answer session afterwards.

We also do an art project. At the beginning of the month's lesson I always have at least one student say " He is more brown really." I love this innocence. The kids do not understand why some people are 'black' and some people are 'white' when they are obviously brown and they are peach. smile This makes a good segue into skin color and how it means nothing really.The kids use different color flesh tone paints and they have to mix their skin tone. Some of the kids do a really impressive job. We make hand prints that I hang on our bulletin board with our essays and pictures.
Miss-dark8607's avatar

Dangerous Visionary

A Redhead Angel
I am a 1st grade teacher so I have a huge collection of Black History Month picture books, mostly biographies. I have a collection for Hispanic, Muslim, Asian, and women as well. I haven't tackled LGBT history yet. I think that might push my school board over the edge.

I don't put all my specific history books up for the special months. I think it is important that they are integrated into the regular reading books so the kids don't associate black, Asian, etc history with something you do for special occasions.

Ok, what I do for black history month....

We talk about equality and what it means. This goes perfectly with math right now since we are doing fractions. We talk about rights and what they are. Then we talk about slavery since it isn't covered in kindergarten. We move up to the civil rights movement. I try to bring it close to reality for the kids. I tell them that when their grandparents were kids this was going on. Also, my husband is black. He is a regular figure in my classroom through out the year. He comes in for Friday centers, does PE lessons on football, and on occasion he comes and eats lunch with us. So telling the students that their friend/my husband couldn't have done this or that really makes it pop for them.

The big project we do is an essay. The kids pick a black history month hero that we have talked about. Then they get to go on the computer and search for their hero. They get to find a picture and print it off for our bulletin board. They can find other information about their person. They are told they need to become an expert on their person. They write an essay about "what is equality, what are rights, someone who was important in the fight for equality and why they are important." We just finished typing them on Friday and next week they will be giving a presentation on their person. My husband comes in to watch their presentations and conducts a question and answer session afterwards.

We also do an art project. At the beginning of the month's lesson I always have at least one student say " He is more brown really." I love this innocence. The kids do not understand why some people are 'black' and some people are 'white' when they are obviously brown and they are peach. smile This makes a good segue into skin color and how it means nothing really.The kids use different color flesh tone paints and they have to mix their skin tone. Some of the kids do a really impressive job. We make hand prints that I hang on our bulletin board with our essays and pictures.


Thank you so much for your post. It really means a lot to me. crying That sounds really well thoughtout and I love how you have all the books around for the FULL year. Too bad you can't sneak in one GLBT book in though. Though maybe you can get around it by having books about gay Black, Latino, or whatever. Like Marlon Brando or George Takei who use their star power to push civil rights for all. Really your class sounds like a wonderful place. I wish you all the best. emotion_hug
A Redhead Angel's avatar

Invisible Player

Miss-dark8607
A Redhead Angel
I am a 1st grade teacher so I have a huge collection of Black History Month picture books, mostly biographies. I have a collection for Hispanic, Muslim, Asian, and women as well. I haven't tackled LGBT history yet. I think that might push my school board over the edge.

I don't put all my specific history books up for the special months. I think it is important that they are integrated into the regular reading books so the kids don't associate black, Asian, etc history with something you do for special occasions.

Ok, what I do for black history month....

We talk about equality and what it means. This goes perfectly with math right now since we are doing fractions. We talk about rights and what they are. Then we talk about slavery since it isn't covered in kindergarten. We move up to the civil rights movement. I try to bring it close to reality for the kids. I tell them that when their grandparents were kids this was going on. Also, my husband is black. He is a regular figure in my classroom through out the year. He comes in for Friday centers, does PE lessons on football, and on occasion he comes and eats lunch with us. So telling the students that their friend/my husband couldn't have done this or that really makes it pop for them.

The big project we do is an essay. The kids pick a black history month hero that we have talked about. Then they get to go on the computer and search for their hero. They get to find a picture and print it off for our bulletin board. They can find other information about their person. They are told they need to become an expert on their person. They write an essay about "what is equality, what are rights, someone who was important in the fight for equality and why they are important." We just finished typing them on Friday and next week they will be giving a presentation on their person. My husband comes in to watch their presentations and conducts a question and answer session afterwards.

We also do an art project. At the beginning of the month's lesson I always have at least one student say " He is more brown really." I love this innocence. The kids do not understand why some people are 'black' and some people are 'white' when they are obviously brown and they are peach. smile This makes a good segue into skin color and how it means nothing really.The kids use different color flesh tone paints and they have to mix their skin tone. Some of the kids do a really impressive job. We make hand prints that I hang on our bulletin board with our essays and pictures.


Thank you so much for your post. It really means a lot to me. crying That sounds really well thoughtout and I love how you have all the books around for the FULL year. Too bad you can't sneak in one GLBT book in though. Though maybe you can get around it by having books about gay Black, Latino, or whatever. Like Marlon Brando or George Takei who use their star power to push civil rights for all. Really your class sounds like a wonderful place. I wish you all the best. emotion_hug

Thank you so much. I put a lot of thought into what messages I send the kids. For instance, I don't allow bug killing because I think the kids get enough negativity at home. They need a kooky teacher who won't let them kill bugs. lol I try really hard to teach the kids respect. I don't do "boys and girls', not even for the bathrooms (I have them in my classroom). Other teachers flip out when they hear I let the boys go to the girls room. I have yet to have a problem.

There actually is a children's book about a gay penguin couple adopting a chick. And Tango Makes Three. It is a highly challenged book...the kicker, it is a true story from the New York City Zoo. Parents are challenging a true story. I am honestly afraid to teach it.

Interracial couples are sparse in my area. Being a white woman, people ask me if i started 'caring about this stuff' after meeting my black husband. While he has opened my eyes to a whole new list of things I didn't know before, we met at a MLK Jr. day rally. whee
Lait's avatar

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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Long title, yes, but it's a good book. Takes place in the 1930's and deals mostly with racism and family.
Miss-dark8607's avatar

Dangerous Visionary

A Redhead Angel
Thank you so much. I put a lot of thought into what messages I send the kids. For instance, I don't allow bug killing because I think the kids get enough negativity at home. They need a kooky teacher who won't let them kill bugs. lol I try really hard to teach the kids respect. I don't do "boys and girls', not even for the bathrooms (I have them in my classroom). Other teachers flip out when they hear I let the boys go to the girls room. I have yet to have a problem.

There actually is a children's book about a gay penguin couple adopting a chick. And Tango Makes Three. It is a highly challenged book...the kicker, it is a true story from the New York City Zoo. Parents are challenging a true story. I am honestly afraid to teach it.

Interracial couples are sparse in my area. Being a white woman, people ask me if i started 'caring about this stuff' after meeting my black husband. While he has opened my eyes to a whole new list of things I didn't know before, we met at a MLK Jr. day rally. whee


LOL! well I guess you don't have too many open GBLT parents as that usually makes a difference in that. Even if it's just the one. Anyway I would just have it in the room and if kids see it oh well. In my last-last place of work the school age kids were allowed to see National Geographic mags and yeah "boobs" . You may be a "kooky teacher" but I think you are doing a good job.
Miss-dark8607's avatar

Dangerous Visionary

Lait
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Long title, yes, but it's a good book. Takes place in the 1930's and deals mostly with racism and family.


I read it 6th grade I really liked it. I wish they made a movie about it. It's not that long its kind of normal size I guess.
Miss-dark8607's avatar

Dangerous Visionary

There's also the Dear American series they are historic fiction novels for I'll say third grade and up. They are really good at teaching young students to be more emphatic for different people as they might gain second hand experience what some young people went through over our history. They also have a few spin off such as the Royal Diaries, My name is America, and The Journals of. I highly recommend them.
Miss-dark8607's avatar

Dangerous Visionary

No other teachers or readers in this forum?
Miss-dark8607's avatar

Dangerous Visionary

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