Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and to be honest, aside from reading a few things about African-American history, we haven’t gone much in-depth, study-wise. Actually, we only started really doing history as its own subject last year; but part of the reason we haven’t gone farther into Black History Month is because so much of it happened in relatively recent years. We are working through history chronologically, and we’re still in the Middle Ages. We’ll get more into modern history as we go through our history lessons and will devote quite a bit of time to both the Civil War era and the Civil Rights Movement (which we have covered in the past).

Even though this is our 3rd year, we’re just now getting into a good enough routine to cover most of the curriculum I’d like to incorporate. One of the things I’m planning on doing this year is devoting time to cover many of the ‘X-History/Heritage Month’ themes. Much of my family is from Irish/English and French descent, and German/Dutch, while the kids are Native American, Welsh and Scottish and we’ve never looked much into those either, so I thought we’d start the year off right.

In that vein, we’re working on a new lapbook. It’s been a while since we’ve done one, so it’s fun to get back into that again. I was looking for a Black History Month lapbook and found resources, but not a ready-to-cut one, so I made one (downloadable links below) This turned out to be a pretty big lapbook; it has 26 mini-books, including quite a few short  biographies of notable figures and activists. I’m having the kids choose a person, research and write up a biography, then share what they learned about that person. This will be the most hands-on lapbook for them that we’ve done to date.

I also wanted to include:

  • a brief overview of the Civil War era
  • the migration of African-Americans to the North
  • poetry and inventions that we credit black inventors and artists for
  • a timeline of America’s part in black history, starting with the slave trade and including notable historical events through the present

This is by no means a ‘professional’ lapbook; it was created as I was reading and researching, and the layout reflects my ADHD-ness. Also, some of the mini-books are in color, others are in b/w because my printer at home right now only wants to print in shades of red. With those disclaimers, feel free to print and use what you like of it, and share with your friends by linking back here (please don’t upload the file on your own blog/website).

Eventually, I’ll have a new page with more links and resources to go along with this lapbook, but for now, it’s mostly just the templates. Enjoy!
ThisAdventureLife’s Black History Month Lapbook





5 responses

  1. Ethiopia was a happening place in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. It’s the place that gave rise to the legends of Prester John. Check out the breathtaking churches of Lalibela:

    15th century explorer Vasco de Gama had to deal with the Swahili kingdom at the port of Malindi, through which all trade from India came through at the time.

    A little later, in the 17th century, the Kingdom of Dahomey controlled a lot of trade on the west African coast.

    So there is “Black” history in the Middle Ages. It gets ignored because it’s hard to study and inconvenient to talk about. 😦

    February 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    • Thanks for commenting, Theresa, and thanks for the link and suggestions! We’re just starting Middle Ages, but I am making note of those names to make sure we look them up when the time comes.

      I think ‘Black History Month’ generally refers to a more recent period in history and the issues that African Americans dealt with while trying to ensure basic rights as humans when they were enslaved and sent to other countries. Since we’re in the US, we focus more on what black people in our country, and particularly in the south, have had to (and still) deal with. I tend to consider anything before that just … history. 🙂

      It’s been eye-opening to go through history as a homeschooler. Seeing how much has been left out or glossed over has been a stark realization. The schools focus so much on specific time periods and are very ‘European-centric’ – a holdover from when education boards were all mighty pale, I’m sure. Being outside of that dynamic has helped me (and allowed me) to be more appreciative of the freedom that homeschoolers have to choose what we study. We’ve been able to linger in cultures that are so different from our own, and take the time to really dig instead of just gloss. That’s another reason why history is so slow-going for us!

      February 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm

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  4. Ema

    I’ve been looking for a lapbook about black history month for my kids. This is great I love the material you put it. Great Job!

    February 15, 2013 at 9:36 am

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