Saturday, February 03, 2007

Black History Month

Black History month is one of those times I have some really special memories of working with the elementary school kids. One of the things I miss the most in working with young minds everyday is when they had a project and needed to learn some skills in how to find information. Since Black History month falls into the second semester for most schools the kids would already have a pretty good idea about how to use the library. I also would have a sense of which students would try to cut as many corners as possible to get the project done. But, it was good to see how much of the first semester’s efforts were used during this time.

Most of the teachers of all the grades would do some sort of project or research for individuals and events during this special history month. The 4th grade teachers would have their kids pick a name from a list and prepare a research paper on a person who wasn’t quite a household name like Garrett Morgan or Benjamin Banneker. Our library had a really nice selection of biography books to find information, but we also had pathfinders for particularly useful websites and various reference books. The kids had such great fun or at least in the researching part of the paper. The writing of the paper is where many of the students did most of the grumbling.

Well, anyway this is a great month to discover more about American History and those that made significant strides not only in helping shape our nation, but bring different cultures together.

Soon it will be March and hopefully many schools will also celebrate Women’s History with the same spirit. The following are just a small, small number of sites that might be useful for those doing research.

Library of Congress- the African American Mosaic
Encyclopedia Britannica's Guide to Black History
Scholastic- Culture and Change, Black History in America
KidsClick!- African-Americans
Black History: Then to Now

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