*** Do You Shop at Amazon.com? ***
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks!
It's AMERICAN History & Heritage!
Copyright 2002 Gerri Gribi ||| Email ||| Updated 08/07/15
Teacher Toolkit Grades K-12
*** 2017 African American Calendars! ***
General (Across Eras)
1. Web Sites: Online history exhibits, audio collections and links to topical resources.
2. Lesson Plans and Curriculum Guides: Sites with collections of history-related lesson plans and activities.
Individual lesson plans are listed below in the Historical Eras.
3. Books & CD-ROM: Curriculum guides, general reference and surveys, biography.
4.Videos: Most include guides and student activities.
6. Music & Spoken Word CDs
7 .Teacher Support: Includes National History Day, Discussion Groups
Resources by Historical Eras
Grouped according to the ten eras selected for periodizing United States history, National Standards for United States History, Grades 5-12.
I am currently seeking a grant or sponsorship to allow me to complete this section. What you see here is a prototype.
Web Sites I have listed what I believe are the most useful, content-rich sites first.
African American Odyssey:
A Quest for Full Citizenship
The most comprehensive online overview of African American history. Digital documents from the Library of Congress combined with narrative presented in 9 segments:
- Slavery, The Peculiar Institution: The Atlantic Slave Trade and Liberation Strategies
- Free Blacks in the Antebellum Era: Individual Accomplishments, Emergence of the Black Church , Revolutionary Era, Free Black Press
- Abolition: Anti-Slavery Movements, and the Rise of the Sectional Controversy
- The Civil War: "Contrabands of War," Emancipation Proclamation, Soldiers and Missionaries
- Reconstruction and it's Aftermath: Black Exodus, Role of the Black Church, Forever Free
- Booker T. Washington Era: Soldiers, Education, Economic and Social Progress, Lynching Crusade, Organizing for Civil Rights
- WWI and Postwar Society: Fighting at Home and Abroad, Charting Discrimination, Harlem Renaissance
- Depression, New Deal, WWII: Segregation at Home and Abroad, Cultural Expressions in the 1940s, Breaking Barriers in Sports
- Civil Rights Era: Desegregation, Civil Rights in the Arena and on the Stage, Sit-ins, Freedom Rides, and Demonstrations
African American World
The gateway to the archives of PBS and NPR's best audio and video presentations. "Channels" include History, Arts & Culture, Race and Society, Profiles
African American Lives
This series is a journey into the past, using historical documents and science to unravel the genealogy of 9 prominent African Americans.
BlackPast.org, an online reference center makes available a wealth of materials on African American history in one central location on the Internet. These materials include an online encyclopedia of over 1,500 entries, the complete transcript of over 125 speeches given between 1789 and 2008, over 100 full text primary documents, bibliographies, timelines and four gateway pages with links to 50 digital archive collections. Additionally 75 major African American museums and research centers and over 400 other website resources on black history are also linked to the website.
The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow Teacher Resources - PBS
Outstanding collection of classroom resources and lesson plans for humanities, social studies and literature.
New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Online Exhibitions
Collection of web versions of exhibitions from the Schomburg Center, including "African Americans and American Politics" "Malcolm X: A Search for Truth" "In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience" and "Harlem 1900-1940: An African American Community."
American Memory Collection,
Library of Congress
"American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections."
Learning Page Lesson plans and resources that help you teach (or learn) using the primary sources and digitized documents.
Collection Finder There are currently eight collections specifically devoted to African Americans. Keyword search of all collections will yield individual items in other collections.
Slaves and the Courts.
National Civil Rights Museum
An online tour through the galleries of the Civil Rights Museum, providing photos and narrative of the struggle for civil rights from the time of slavery to the present.
Association for the Study of African-American Life and History
The Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH) was founded in 1915 by Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard-trained scholar and son of former slaves. The work of the organization has historically been the conservation, preservation, and perpetuation of African American history and culture. Their website contains information about the Association, it's work and publications, as well as links of interest. At their site, you can order their Black History Learning Resource Package.
Black History Month Resources at The History Channel
Articles, videos, study guides, an archive of speeches and much more.
African Americans in the Armed Forces
I don't know of ONE good site that covers every war. This one, maintained by the Internet Public Library, provides information and links to quality sites covering each war.
Smithsonian Black History Teaching Resources
Guides and links to useful resources from the Smithsonian collections.
Back to top of History
Quizzes and Activities for Students
Gale Publishing Weekly Black History Month Quiz
No age level given, and no links to resources for the questions, so you need to preview the quiz to see if it includes material you've covered.
Black Herstory Quiz
Ten questions (and answers!) about black women in history.
History Treasure Hunt & Quiz
This is a thoughful quiz going beyond the typical "black all-star" approach (for example, one question is "In the years before Black History Month began to be celebrated, how often were African Americans lynched?") and includes links to related resources about the questions. It encourages students to write an essay about the material they've used.
African American History Challenge
Provides biographies of 12 historical figures, followed up with quizzes at three levels. Alexander Crummell, Frederick Douglass, Henry Highland Garnet, Harriet Tubman, Henry McNeal Turner, John Mercer Langston, Mary Elizabeth Boswer, Mary Church Terrell, Mary Ann Shadd, Nat Turner, Richard Allen, Sojurner Truth. (This page is divided into several frames, which makes it a little confusing to navigate and view on a small monitor)
Back to top of History
Lesson Plans & Curriculum Guides
The New Jersey African American History Curriculum Guide: Grades 9 to 12
Since it's not specifically limited to New Jersey, teachers everywhere will find this 15-unit guide invaluable.
Archives and Records Administration: The Digital Classroom
"To encourage teachers of students at all levels to use archival documents in the classroom, the Digital Classroom provides materials from the National Archives and methods for teaching with primary sources." Provides reproducible primary documents, educational units, professional development opportunities and publications. (Specific lesson plans will be found in corresponding Historical Eras of this toolkit.)
American Memory Collection (Library of Congress): Learning Page
American Memory Collections:
Library of Congress: The American Memory Historical Collections is a major component of the Library's National Digital Library Program. Collections include digitized primary souces: documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures, and text.
"The Learning Page was created to assist educators as they use the American Memory web site to teach about United States history and culture. The site provides tips and tricks for using the American Memory collections, as well as frameworks, activities, and lessons that provide context for their use." (Specific lesson plans will be found in corresponding Historical Eras of this toolkit.)
Lesson Plans by Past Crafting Freedom & LIS Participants Unavailable February 2010.
These lesson plans, generated by teacher participants in the Crafting Freedom and "Let It Shine" educator workshops, have been reviewed by Thomas Day Education Project Staff.
Back to top of History
Books & CD-Rom See also Reference Offline for general reference encyclopedias.
Black History in the Pages of Children's Literature. Rose Casement. Scarecrow Press, 2007. Available at Amazon.com
Author Rose Casement provides a complete historical timeframe from pre-colonization to the present, with chapters specifically covering the colonization of North America, the years of slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the role African Americans played in westward expansion, the Jim Crow years, and contemporary stories that depict the present. Accompanying each chapter's bibliography are notations as to the recommended grade levels for the books presented. A glossary of terms and an index are also provided for clarification and easy access to specific areas of study. Teachers, parents, librarians, and administrators who want to gain a greater understanding of Black history will find this book to be a good resource.
Making Freedom: African Americans in U.S. History Series Heinemann, 2004
The series offers a wealth of primary source materials compiled by leading scholars, classroom teachers, and curriculum specialists.
From Victory to Freedom: The African American Experience. National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center, Wilberforce, Ohio, 1991. (Elementary through Middle School) Available at Amazon.com
This curriculum guide features sixteen units covering family/community, public life, and the arts. It's designed to be easily incorporated into your current curriculum, across disciplines. Each unit provides an overview, activities, handouts, timeline, day-by-day calendar of events, and recommended resources.
Kailin, Clarence S. Black Chronicle. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 1991. Out of print: Try interloan or BookFinder.com
Clarence Kailin was born in 1914 and his interest in black history began in the 1930's during his involvement with the Civil Rights movement. This history text supplement, first published in 1974 and revised in 1991, was the result of many years spent working in education, beginning when he held classes in his home.
Even though this book is out of print, I include it because it is an important piece of history in itself. It is passionately written, a useful chronology of blacks in America.
Alkalimat, Abdul. The African American Experience in Cyberspace: A Resource Guide to the Best Web Sites on Black Culture and History. Pluto Press, 2004. (High School - Adult) Read more and order at Amazon.com
I could review this book in one word: Indispensable! Abdul Alkalimat is a sociologist and pioneer in the development of Black Studies, currently serving as moderator of H-Afro-Am electronic discussion forum. Not merely a directory of useful sites, it provides extensive annotation and an interpretive framework, organized by major historical periods and themes. Providing a wealth of printed resources as well, this book proves valuable even to someone who rarely ventures online. No college or community library should be without it.
"eBlack Studies is a project in cyberspace. Its purpose is to provide information for students and scholars in all academic fields that focus primarily on Africa and the African Diaspora. Our mission is one stop shopping for everyone in the field of Africana Studies, especially graduate students, faculty, librarians, departmental webmasters, and interested search engines." The site includes links to journals, organizations, undergraduate and graduate programs.
Introduction to Afro-American Studies: A Peoples College Primer http://eblackstudies.org/intro/ (Print your own copy of this 377-page e-book.)
Christian, Charles M and Sari J. Bennett. Black Saga - The African American Experience: A Chronology Baltimore MD: Counterpoint Press, 1998. (Middle School - Adult.) Read more at Amazon.com
Six hundred pages packed with little-known facts about early African American history, plus hundreds of images. Organized chronologically.
Franklin, John Hope and Alfred A. Moss, Jr. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans. 8th ed. New York: Random House, 2000. (High School & up) Read more at Amazon.com
First written in 1947, now in it's 8th edition, this is still THE definitive textbook for African American History. Among the many improvements in the latest edition is expanded information on black women's history, and increased information about slave insurrections. Don't be scared off by the word "textbook" since this is a highly readable book. For High School - Adult.
Haley, Alex. Roots. New York: Doubleday, 1976. Read more at Amazon.com
One of the many myths about African American history had been that blacks were unable to trace their roots; for example, though thousands of blacks fought in the American Revolution, the DAR didn't admit black members until one year after the nation's Bicentennial. Alex Haley exploded the myth by tracing his genealogy back to Kunta Kinte, an African slave brought here in the 18th century. This masterpiece of detective work and history follows seven generations of African Americans.
Hine, Darlene Clark. A Shining Thread of Hope: History of Black Women in America. New York: Broadway Books, 1999. (High School & Up) Read more at Amazon.com
This scholarly and comprehensive history is quite a page-turner...I found it difficult to put down! It is a celebration of the strength, determination and creativity of black women throughout America's history, as told through the stories (and often, the very words) of hundreds of individual women from all eras and all classes. But it's more than simply a list of "women of achievement." It redefines the narrative of American history by including a viewpoint long neglected. High School - Adult
Stewart, Jeffrey C. 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About African American History. New York: Doubleday, 1997. (Middle School & Up) Read more at Amazon.com
Comprehensive yet easy to read. Provides lists of significant books, plays or films of various time periods. Organized by subject.
Thomas, Velma Maia. Lest We Forget: The Passage from Africa to Slavery and Emancipation. New York : Crown Trade Paperbacks, 1997.(Middle School & Up) Read more at Amazon.com
This book is a small "museum in a book," with photographs and removeable documents, such as a facsimilai of a bill of sale and a former slave's freedom papers.
Thomas, Velma Maia. Freedom's children : the passage from emancipation to the great migration .New York : Crown Publishers, c2000. (Middle School & Up) Read more at Amazon.com
Another small museum in a book, with photographs and removeable documents, such as a copy of a land grant, newspaper clippings and a railroad ticket.
Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem, and Alan Steingberg. Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement. New York: Morrow, 1996. Young Adult & up. Read more at Amazon.com
This entertaining book explores the lives of outstanding individuals by looking at how they rose above the times around them. It's more than important biographical information; as Henry Louis Gates Jr. states in the foreward, "It is the testimony of a great athlete to the importance of scholarship, study, and intellectual reflection."
Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Stephen Alcorn, Illustrator. Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters. New York: Harcourt, 2000. (Middle School) Read more at Amazon.com
This attractive book profiles three women who are probably well known to students (Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks) and seven who ought to be (Biddy Mason, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ella Josephine Baker, Dorothy Irene Height, Fannie Lou Hamer and Shirley Chisholm.)
Turner, Glennette Tilley. Follow in Their Footsteps. New York: Cobblehill Books, 1997. (Middle School) Read more at Amazon.com
Each brief but inspiring biography is followed by a skit for the children to act out. Children could use this as a model for writing their own biographical skits. (Carter G. Woodson, Edmonia Lewis, Dorothy I. Height, Thurgood Marshall, Mary Ann Shadd, A.G. Gaston, Charlemae Rollins, Bessie Coleman, Alex Haley, Malcolm X.)
Back to top of History
Videos Many have teachers guides and activities online.
Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery Executive Producer Orlando Bagwell. 2 DVDs (6 hours). PBS Video. Originally produced on VHS in 1998. DVD released 2000. Read more at Read more at Amazon.com
The story of Africans in America beginning in Africa during Pre-colonial times, and ending with the Civil War. Though scholarly and artistic, it is also accessible and passionate. (This series should not be shown without a preview by the teacher, as it may be inappropriate for some audiences.) The PBS web site has teachers guides and other resources.
A History of Black Achievement in America 2005 Read more at Amazon.com
This original, eight-part series documents Black Achievement in American history, its defining role in the growth of the country, and its influence on current events. A good choice for Middle and Secondary School level.
First Person Singular: John Hope Franklin. Dick Young, Producer. PBS, 1997. Amazon.com
To study the life of John Hope Franklin is to understand the course of African American historiography since the 1940's. I had the good fortune to meet Dr. Franklin about 20 years ago when I worked at the Cincinnati Historical Society and he was there doing research. I brought a group of school children through on a tour, and as we tried to tip-toe quietly past so as not to disturb him, he insisted we stop and talk with him.This video captures that essence of one of America's greatest living historians - a unique scholar who is never out-of-touch!
I'll Make Me A World. Executive Producer Henry Hampton. 6 Videocassettes, 60 minutes each. PBS Video, 1999. Out of Print, but you can still find it at many libraries or through interloan.
Profiles African American musicians, artists and authors throughout twentieth century America.
Roots. Director, Marvin J. Chomsky. Warner Home Video, 2002. 4-disc 30th Anniversary Edition Amazon.com
Based on the book by Alex Haley, this miniseries is as fresh and exciting today as it was back in 1977.
Back to top of History
Music & Spoken Word CDs
Every Tone a Testimony: A Smithsonian Folkways African American Aural History. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2001. 2 CDs, plus booklet with extensive notes. Read more at Amazon.com
Highly Recommended! 59 tracks (nearly two and a half hours) of material drawn from the Smithsonian Folkways archive, organized to create a history of African American life and culture in sound. Music, poetry, oratory and prose by historically renowned African American musicians, writers and activists spanning two centuries.
Includes Langston Hughes, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B.Du Bois, Margaret Walker, the Fisk Jubliee Singers, Gwendolyn Brooks, Paul Robeson, Muddy Waters, the SNCC Freedom Singers , Martin Luther King, Jr, Angela Davis, Nikki Giovanni, and Arrested Development. Writers who predate recorded sound are also represented by historical recordings; for example, Arna Bontemps reads writings of Lucy Terry, Ruby Dee reads Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. (I was impressed with the equal representation of women throughout the project.)
Folk tracks trace the development of African American music: for example, there's a "field call" by Annie Grace Horn Dodson, and a "complaint call" by Enoch Brown. Percy Randolph performs a shoe shining song, and the Inmates Of Ramsey Retrieve State Farms perform a work song.
As if that's not enough for under $25, it also includes an extensive booklet with supplemental material.
The Long Road to Freedom: An Anthology of Black Music. Harry Belafonte (and 50 other musicians!) Buddah, 2001. 80 tracks on 5 CDs, a bonus DVD, and a 140 page hard-bound book. Read more at Amazon.com
Researched and recorded between 1961 and 1971, this collection traces the history of black music from the late 1600's to the 20th Century. It covers the roots of African music, chants, shouts and early spirituals, Louisiana Creole music and a re-creation of a slave Christmas, songs from the Underground Railroad and Civil War era, rural and urban roots music, game and children's songs, work songs, minstrel songs and more.
Note: Unlike "Every Tone," these are not field recordings: they are contemporary recordings made based upon field recordings, and (I think) quite authentic to the original.
Back to top of History
Thomas Day Education Project Unavailable 12/22/09 Due to be back online in January 2010
The Thomas Day Education Project (TDEP) is an educational materials and professional development initiative based in Durham, NC that focuses on improving the teaching of African-American history and culture at the K-12 levels nationwide.
National History Day
"Students are encouraged to choose any topic in local, national or world history and investigate its historical significance and relationship to the theme by conducting extensive primary and secondary research." This web site provides lesson plans and curriculum guides for the year's theme. (2002 theme is "Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History.") Local contests are held in February and March, with a national contest in June. Educator's Lounge provides curriculum support, discussion groups, grants and workshop information.
Electronic Discussion Groups or Mailing Lists provide a way to share information with other teachers. You "subscribe" to a list, though there is no fee or commitment for doing so. You can then send a message, which is distributed to everyone else on the list. People can respond to you privately, or to the list publicly.
Some lists are moderated (the owner weeds out flames, irrelevancies and redundancies) but some aren't. Some come in digest form where messages are collected and sent in a batch once or so daily - always choose this option when available since some lists generate huge volumes of mail.
Save the confirmation letter you receive when you subscribe, since it contains valuable information, like how to UN-subscribe, or search the message archive.
The purpose of this electronic discussion group is to "provide an exchange of information for professionals, faculty and advanced students, in the field of African American Studies."
"H-Teach is interested in methods of teaching history at all levels--high school, university, and graduate--in diverse settings. Special attention is paid to use of new technologies in and outside of the classroom."
"...over 425 participants from all over the world have congregated over the Internet to discuss issues of equity, social justice, and the transformation of schools and schooling."
Back to top of History