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February is Black History Month and it can be hard to talk to young children about race. Instead I would focus on achievements of African-Americans and not focus on race or the civil rights movement.
Since young children really have no concept about race, I think it is something to be taught later. The purpose of Black History Month is to honor the accomplishments and contributions that African-Americans have made to society. Community helpers is a recurring theme in Social Studies, so it is easy to tie in to Black History Month.
Here are 5 tips to teach Black History Month to preschool and kindergarten children:
1. Read Biographies
There are many child-friendly biographies about African-American heroes. Make sure to preview the book before so that you don’t have to explain any words or concepts that your child is not ready to understand.
Here are a few books that I recommend:
2. Complete Crafts
For example, you could make a baseball bat for Jackie Robinson or a school for Ruby Bridges. Black History Crafts are a fun way to create a physical object that represents the person that is being studied.
3. Black History Month Printables
I have created printables for Black History Month that include coloring pages with short biographies, community helper sheets, and paper toppers that can be used for crafts as well. Go here for a few freebies or purchase the complete set here.
Related: 5 Free Crafts for Black History Month
4. Introduce a new person each day
Use your Social Studies time to introduce a new person each day. Choose a few people to study during the month. Click the link below to download a list of Famous African-Americans.
5. Talk about the message
The message of Black History Month and all the other history months that celebrate people is to teach diversity. Show children that all people are the same, so everyone should be treated fairly and equally.
I like this cute egg experiment that opens a brown egg and a white egg. Children see that it doesn’t matter about the color of the outside, everyone is the same on the inside.