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Lesson Plan About African-American History
Children must learn and understand that the color of someone's skin doesn't make them worth any more or any less than someone else. Children in the upper grade levels study slavery, abolition, segregation, and prominent black figures, but this type of instruction should begin as early as preschool. Black history activities designed for preschoolers help children grasp the concept of equality. Here, learn several ways to introduce black history in a fun and engaging way.
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I Have a Dream Activity
Give each child a piece of white paper and explain the difference between having a sleeping dream and a visionary dream for the future. Have them draw a picture of what they want to be when they grow up. This is their dream. Then, ask them to describe the picture while you write a description at the bottom of the page.
Once completed, explain that there was a man named Martin Luther King Jr. who had a dream that people with dark skin and people with light skin would walk as equals one day. Show then a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. and post it to the wall with all the children's pictures posted beneath it.
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African-American inventors have contributed many things to society. If children can see, touch, and play with these inventions, they're more likely to appreciate them. Create a playroom for the week or for the day filled only with things invented by black people. Explain to the children that someone with dark skin invented everything in the room, and let them explore. Here are some things to include in your room:
- Corn planter toy (corn planter invented by Henry Blair)
- Ironing board toy (ironing board invented by Sarah Boone)
- Toy Lawn Mower (lawn mower invented by John A. Burr)
- Paints (Invented by George Washington Carver)
- Keyboard (Player piano invented by Joseph Dickinson)
- Toy Guitar (Guitar invented by Robert Flemming Jr.)
- Bicycle (Bicycle frame invented by Issac Johnson)
- Stampers (Hand stamp invented by W.B. Purvis)
- Baby Buggy (Invented by W.H. Richardson)
- Toy Cell Phones (Invented by Henry Sampson
- Toy refrigerator (refrigerator invented by J. Standard)
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Skin Color Activity
Some preschool black history activities are more instructive than others. This activity focuses on the differences in skin color and how differences make us unique. Give each student a difference colored piece of construction paper. You could use colors that represent skin colors, or do more wild colors like red, purple, and green. Then, trace each child's hand on their particular piece of paper and cut out the hand. Then, tape the hands to the wall. Have them all touch each other to represent holding hands. Alternate colors to show that people with different skin colors can be friends.
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It's Never Too Early
It's never too early to begin teaching children about acceptance and equality. Studying black history month in preschool is a good way to slowly introduce important subjects to young minds. Use the activities in this article to create a day or week in February centered around black history and awareness.
LittleAfrica.com, "Black Inventors...Extraordinary Inventions", http://www.littleafrica.com/resources/inventors.htm
Ideas taken from my own experiences and creativity
Duane_i at http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/53481