Black History Month

PBS Learning Media Black History Collection

Recognize Black History Month with this collection highlighting the history of African Americans in Georgia, from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement. (Grades: 5-12)

1895: A Turning Point in Black History

In this video from INDEPENDENT LENS: "Birth of a Movement" students learn about several milestones in African American history that took place during the year 1895, including the landmark Supreme Court case Plessy vs. Ferguson, the death of Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington’s “Atlanta Compromise” speech, and W.E.B. DuBois’ graduation from Harvard University.  The video also introduces students to the Niagara Movement and its offshoot, the NAACP. ( Grades 9-12)

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow | Ida B. Wells: A Lifetime of Activism

As a young woman growing up during Reconstruction, Ida B. Wells experienced Jim Crow segregation when she was barred from travel on a train in the whites-only section. It was not until she observed the growing practice of violence toward African Americans that she began her crusade to stop lynching. This video shows Wells grow from school teacher to journalist to founding member of the NAACP. (Grades 9-12)

Their History is Our History

Oftentimes history is viewed as a series of events that happened independently of each other. Through this Slavery by Another Name educational unit, students examine how personal histories overlap within a wider historical narrative to create a web of connection between us. Students will also explore how history can be viewed, perceived, and recollected differently by people and across generations. (Grades 9-11)

Move On Up…or Not | Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise

In this lesson, students explore how the Civil Rights Movement unleashed a wave of change that followed into the 1970s. Students analyze how housing discrimination, government housing policies, departure from inner cities, and an anemic national economy nevertheless left many African Americans in a state of concentrated poverty. (Grades 9-12)

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution | Film Discussion Guide

This guide is a tool to facilitate dialogue and deepen understanding of the complex topics in the film The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. It is an invitation not only to sit back and enjoy the show, but also to step up and take action. It raises thought-provoking questions to encourage viewers to think more deeply and spark conversations with one another. We present suggestions for areas to explore in panel discussions, in the classroom, in communities, and online. We also include valuable resources and connections to organizations on the ground that are fighting to make a difference. (Grades 7-13)

A history of discrimination and its consequences

This lesson plan addresses the long history of racism in the United States, how it personally affected familes through the generations, and provides context for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It includes an interactive timeline packed with engaging videos. The lesson plan and all its materials are located together on one pdf for your convenience. (Grades 7-12)

Malcolm X | Minister and Civil Rights Activist Video

During the struggle for civil rights, several leaders rose to prominence, seeking the best solution to the longstanding marginalization and disenfranchisement of the black population in the United States. Malcolm X became a powerful voice in this movement, especially for the poor and victims of racial violence, bringing pride and power to his people. By watching a short video and engaging with two primary sources, students will examine the life of this inspiring, controversial, and dynamic leader. (Grades 3-7)

View Lesson Plan

Martin Luther King Jr. | Civil Rights Leader Video

In the second half of the 20th century, racial tensions rose in the US as African Americans began to challenge unjust laws that supported discrimination and segregation. This movement found its leader in the patient and inspiring minister, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will watch a short video and engage in two primary source activities in order to explore how King’s deep-seated commitment to nonviolence contributed to the expansion of social justice in the United States, particularly for African Americans. (Grades 3-7)

View the Lesson Plan

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Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise | The Impact of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"

In this video from American Masters | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, learn about the lasting impact of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and why it’s such an important piece of American literature. Students answer discussion questions, analyze text from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and write a short essay to gain a deeper understanding of Angelou’s work and why it’s so impactful. Grades (8-12)

Maya Rudolph's Ancestry and the Emancipation Proclamation: Clip | Finding Your Roots

In this lesson, students learn about the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, the abolishment of slavery, and the struggle for freedom. Maya Rudolph’s third-great-grandparents were slaves in Kentucky in the early 1800s. Although they were freed per the slave owner's will upon his passing, his grandson acted against this directive. Maya's third-great-grandparents sought legal action — and won. (Grades 6-13)
Lesson Plan

Sam Phillips: Producing the Sounds of a Changing South | Lesson Plan | Soundbreaking

Students learn about the role of "producer" in the recording industry in this Soundbreaking lesson. They'll also learn how the recordings Sam Phillips produced reflected trends of urbanization and integration in the 1950s American South. (Grades: 9-12) 

The Beat as an Object of Celebration and Concern in Segregation-Era America | Lesson Plan | Soundbreaking

The beat is the unmistakable rhythm in music. Student investigate some of the ways listeners feel and relate to rhythms, the language used to describe the beat, and the manners in which rhythms connect to the past and seem to anticipate the future. The beat was a concern in 1950s America and again a concern for some, when Gangsta Rap began to dominate the Billboard charts. This lesson gets to the heart of the conflicts that arise as particular rhythms get made, released, listened to, and loved. (Grades 9-12)

Icons and Inspirational Figures

Check out PBS Learning Media Resources related to Icons and Inspirational Figures who have shaped our society.  

Ben Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was one of America’s most prolific Founding Fathers. This "American Icons" lesson highlights how Franklin's wide-ranging interests made him the American epitome of the Age of Enlightenment! (Grades: 3-7) 

Alexander Graham Bell

Teach students about scientist and humanitarian Alexander Graham Bell, his inventions, and his work with the deaf community, with this "American Icons" lesson plan! (Grades: 3-7)

Booker T Washington

He was a teacher, an accomplished orator, and an adviser to two Presidents during the early 1900s... Invite students to explore in-depth why Booker T. Washington is a great American icon! (Grades: 3-7)

Amelia Earhart

Use this multi-media lesson plan to teach students about the groundbreaking career of Amelia Earhart! The lesson culminates with an activity instructing students to design a compass rose that pays tribute to Earhart as a leader in aviation and women’s rights. (Grades: 3-7) 

Sojourner Truth

What was Sojourner Truth? Teach students about the the iconic 19th century abolitionist and feminist and her work to eradicate institutional discrimination. (Grades: 3-7) 

Sitting Bull

nvite students to examine what makes Sitting Bull an American icon with this lesson featuring the Lakota tribe leader's determination to protect Native American land and culture in the face of Westward Expansion. (Grades: 3-7) 

Freedom Riders - The Inspiration

Teach students how Mahatma Gandhi inspired the Freedom Riders and others who were engaged in the struggle to end racial discrimination in the United States. The lesson includes a background essay, discussion questions and study guide. (Grades: 6-12) 

Malala Yousafzai,

Offer students a glimpse into the life and work of Malala Yousafzai, a young outspoken critic of the Taliban in Pakistan, and her fight for girls' education and human rights. (Grades: 7-12) 

Elizabeth Stanton

Using these videos, excerpts, and activities, students learn about American icon and women’s rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, while gathering takeaways about organizing people to make change. (Grades: 3-7)

Oprah Winfrey and Robert L. Johnson

Help students examine attitudes about race and the effects of racial injustice in America. in the following lesson; they will also explore the success of prominent African Americans Oprah Winfrey and Robert L. Johnson. (Grades: 9-12) 

Alan Shepard

What type of person would willingly blast off alone into the unknown vastness of space with no guarantee of return? Students get to know American icon Alan Shepard in this PBS World Explorers video! (Grades: 4-8) 


Change the World

"I'm going to be the best me that I can be!" Invite students to sing along with Sesame Street and aspire to dream big! (Grades: PreK-1) 

Don't Give Up 

"I'm going to be the best me that I can be!" Invite students to sing along with Sesame Street and aspire to dream big! (Grades: PreK-1) 

Ohio Technology Standards Resources

Ohio Technology Standards Resources

Facial recognition is creeping more and more into our daily lives. Facebook and Google use it for autotagging photos. Snapchat uses it to create hilarious filters. And Apple’s new iPhone will allow you to use your face to unlock your phone. But this same technology can be used by governments and companies to learn as much as they can about you. Find out how facial recognition technology works in the newest Above the Noise video.