Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School students engaged in a variety of interesting projects for Black History Month that introduced them to dozens of inspiring and important figures throughout American history. Here are a few highlights:
In eighth grade, students chose an important Black American to research and then presented what they learned in an Adobe Spark video. Some areas they explored were interesting facts and quotes, why we celebrate the person, and key takeaways from their lives.
Students chose significant figures from the worlds of sports, the arts, science, politics, civil rights, and more. Among names such as Louis Armstrong, Rosa Parks, Michael Jordan, and Langston Hughes were biographies of lesser-known individuals, including 19th century Shakespearean actor Ira Frederick Aldridge, early 20th century entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, and Mary McLeod Bethune, who helped lay the foundation for the modern civil rights movement.
Third-graders went on a "gallery walk" of the classroom, looking at cards with photos and short biographies of famous Black Americans. Some of the cards came with collaborative questions, such as, “If Person A and Person B met, what do you think they would talk about?” The following week, after listening to the book I Am Enough, the students looked at Google Doodle drawings of different Black Americans then created their own based on the biography cards.
After reading and listening to part of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech, fifth-graders wrote speeches of their own and presented them to the class. The students dream of a world without COVID-19, a world where people will stop littering and polluting, where there won’t be body shaming, where animals won’t be abused, and where everyone will be treated equally. The class also made a collaborative poster of King, which was displayed in the hallway.
Through these projects and more, students gained a greater understanding and appreciation for the many amazing Black Americans who paved the way for a better world.