Chat & Learn for Teachers l Black History Month

Last Updated by Lisa McGrath on

February's Chat & Learn featured resources from PBS LearningMedia you can use to provide your students with an in-depth and thorough understanding of black history. 

Chat & Learn is held on the OVEE (Online Video Engagement Experience) platform. OVEE is a free, online screening platform where you can chat live in a “virtual theater” with other teachers. All Chat & Learn sessions are free! Spend an hour with us and register today!

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The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross 
Noted Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. recounts the full trajectory of African-American history in his groundbreaking series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. The series explores the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed — forging their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds. Using video clips from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, this collection of lesson plans addresses a wide range of themes of the African-American experience from 1500 to the present.

Underground Railroad: The William Still Story 
Underground Railroad: The William Still Story tells compelling and lesser known stories of one of North America’s greatest sagas. Still’s records of those who passed through the Philadelphia “station” are some of the best evidence of the workings of the Underground Railroad and the freedom seekers who used it – where they came from, how they’d escaped, and the families they left behind. It was an extraordinary risk to keep such records.Still risked losing his own freedom to tell the stories of those who had the courage to run. Today, Still’s book, a compilation of the secret notes he’d kept, is recognized as the most authentic account of some of America’s most heroic stories.

The lesson plans in this collection, designed for a middle school audience, are tied to important elements of William Still’s life and the lives of the people and families he touched.Lessons feature topics such as heroism, geography, spirituality & the study of hidden messages in songs/hymns, the advantages and dangers and of public & private journaling (past/present), and the struggle of right versus wrong in relation to the Fugitive Slave Laws.

The March on Washington 
Help your students appreciate the significance of this event – and its role in the larger Civil Rights Movement using this collection of digital content from PBS LearningMedia. Resources include clips from PBS' The March, Memories of the March, Primary Sources from the March, and Lesson Plans.

The Life of Poet Maya Angelou
Throughout her life, Renaissance woman and civil rights activist Maya Angelou was a poet, novelist, dancer, playwright, actor and educator. She wrote autobiographies, poems, children’s books, essays, plays and screenplays. Angelou has been awarded more than 50 honorary degrees and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 by President Barack Obama.

Should Black History Be: More Than A Month? 
Should Black History Month be ended? That’s the question explored by African American filmmaker Shukree Hassan Tilghman as he embarks on his cross-country campaign. Both amusing and thought provoking, More Than a Month examines what the treatment of history tells us about race and power in America. Classrooms can use the guide without watching the entire film, by watching the film clips and discussing the synopsis. “Whose History” provides a one-to-three day lesson plan designed to further students’ understanding of the film and to explore the question of how different cultural groups are acknowledged in American history, media, and culture.

PBS Black Culture Connection 
PBS Black Culture Connection is your resource and guide to films, stories and voices across public television centered around Black history & culture. Explore. Watch. Connect!

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