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Black History Month Art: Ideas Projects & Activities

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

As you begin your Black History Month lessons, it will be important to incorporate art. This lesson includes art activities for your classroom that will have students making sculptures, painting, and working with collages.

Why Use Art?

Black History Month is a significant part of your annual curriculum. Including the history of all people is important year round, but Black History Month offers an opportunity to focus on aspects of history that are sometimes overlooked.

When you begin to focus on black history, using art can help enhance your lessons. It makes the content more accessible for your students so they can process the material in a deeper way. Using art also encourages your students to make personal connections with the material.

Inventors Brought to Life

Materials:

  • Clay
  • Computers
  • Books on each inventor

Instructions:

  • Have each one of your students choose a Black inventor to research and create a sculpture of their work. You might suggest the following:
    • George Washington Carver
    • Alexander Miles
    • Madam C.J. Walker
    • Mark Dean
    • Dr. Patricia Bath
  • With the help of your school librarian, your students should research their chosen inventor. They should choose an invention that they think is most significant.
  • Using modeling clay, have your students create a sculpture duplicate of the invention.
  • Have your students display their sculptures around the classroom. You might consider organizing a gallery walk for your students when all the work is complete.

Word Collages

Materials:

  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Magazines

Instructions:

  • This activity can be done about any important Black figure. You might choose Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Barack Obama, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, or Rosa Parks.
  • Your students will sift through the magazines and cut out any words they think represent your chosen figure.
  • Students cut out and glue down the words they've chosen. You can encourage your students to cut out individual letters to make their own words for the collages as well.
  • As students work, ask them how they're making their decisions about which words to include.

Painting to Jazz

Materials:

  • Paper or canvas
  • Paintbrushes
  • Watercolors or acrylic paint

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