This year marks the 20th anniversary of the official observance of Black History Month across Canada. With official celebrations starting in 1966 and federal recognition in 1995, Black history Month strives to make a conscious effort to incorporate the achievements and contributions of Black peoples, from the building of early Canada to contemporary Canadian culture. It also provides education to those who are not familiar with the checkered history of freedom, equality, justice denied and oppression.
Through the month you can inform your students of these stories through activities and lessons to not only foster a greater learning mindset on the contributions black peoples have made, but to reinforce that Black history is an integral part of Canadian history. We’ve gathered some great resources you can share with students in February — and throughout the year.
- iLit: From McGraw-Hill Education, iLit is a collection of unique, contemporary content catered for the Grade 9-12 student. Included in this website are a collection of resources specifically for Black History Month from notable Canadian novelist and essayist Lawrence Hill as well as a variety of student authors including: Jasmine Jackson, Ansa Adhami and many more. This collection can be customized in print and digital formats and is written in a variety of new text and media forms for to engage the 21st century learner.
- Poets.org – This website allows you to browse essays on literary milestones and movements, find important books on black history and poetics, look for lesson plans for Black History Month, read archival letters from classic Black poets, and search poems about the African American experience by both classic and contemporary poets.
- Family Education: This site allows you to download printable materials, take quizzes, online activities and articles where students can learn about civil rights.
- Black History Canada: This award-winning website features a plethora of K-12 resources honing in on Black History in Canada which provides either activities and/or lesson plans but also useful for research as it is also a portal site.
- Teacher Vision: This site allows you to explore the many contributions of Black Canadians with printable cross-curricular lessons, activities; timelines, writing exercises and lesson plan ideas supplement your Black History Month lessons.
- 2Learn: This website acts as a search portal for finding Black History Month resources. It has a variety of websites you or your students can search to find resources as well as a plethora of accompanying student and teacher tools that can be integrated into any lesson plan you may have.
Black History Month not only serves as an excellent way to teach your students vital information about Canadian history, but will serve as a great opportunity to connect with people, places and things that capture the full and rich diversity of the Black community in Canada.