4 Engaging Ways to Celebrate Canadian Black History Month

Did you know that Canadian Black History Month is celebrated every February? While I truly believe that we as educators must do our best to highlight the stories of Black Canadians all year long, February is a great time to really focus on teaching about the trials, tribulations and successes of Black Canadians. Here are three fun ways that you can focus on Canadian Black History!

1) Interactive Read Aloud

One of my favourite Black Canadians is civil rights leader, Viola Desmond. Her story is very inspirational and your students will love learning more about her and her fight for civil rights.

Meet Viola Demsond makes a great Interactive Read Aloud. Students enjoy the speech bubbles that do a great job of giving insight into how the characters are feeling and their inner thoughts.

If you want to delve deep into this picture book that celebrates Canadian Black History, check out my Interactive Read Aloud product! It is filled with read aloud prompts and activities for upper elementary students. Click HERE to check it out.

I also have a blog post that highlights the best Canadian Black History picture books. Click HERE to check it out.

2) Digital Escape Room

Did you know that my Important Canadians Digital Escape Room highlights the accomplishments of 4 Black trailblazing Canadians? Wille O’Ree, Mary Shadd Cary, Viola Desmond and Mathieu Dacosta are all featured in this fun activity.

Best of all, I have included links to videos and kid friendly articles so that your students can learn all of the information necessary to breakout of the escape room, even if you haven’t covered any Canadian History in class yet!

3) Study Canadian Civil Rights Activists

If you ask students what they know about Black History Month, chances are that they will mention one of the following:

  • Dr. Martin Luther King
  • The Underground Railroad
  • Rosa Parks

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with students knowing about and studying African American Civil Rights activists, it is also important that they know and understand that the Civil Rights movement happened in Canada too.

That’s why I created this Black Canadian Civil Rights Activists Biographies project. Students will study three famous Black Canadians to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement in Canada.

Best of all, these three biographies are written by a Black Canadian educator!

4) Visit a Virtual Exhibit

There are some great FREE exhibits online that students will enjoy exploring.

  1. Remembering Black Loyalists
  2. Digital Museums Canada- BC’s Black Pioneers
  3. Heritage Minutes

If you want to use these free resources in your classroom, you might consider doing a modified KWL activity. Start by asking students to jot down everything that they think they know about Canadian Black History.

Then give students 15 – 30 minutes to explore the resources.

Finally, ask students to jot down what they now know about Canadian Black History as well as any questions that they still need answering.

I hope that you are able to use these Canadian Black History resources in your upper elementary classroom! If you do, be sure to take a picture and tag me on social media!

3 engaging ways to celebrate canadian black history month in the upper elementary classroom

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