Black History Month

February is black history month, which fits in perfectly with our Common Core American Contributors unit! So our week was packed full of activities straight from that unit!This week we learned about several African Americans who played an important role in making our lives better.  
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Since we learned about Abraham Lincoln and his idea to end slavery, starting off our black history celebration with Harriet Tubman was a perfect transition!

We read the Harriet Tubman book from my {{favorite}} rookie biography series.

We charted our learning from the book.

Then, we added her bright idea to our light bulb and wrote about her contribution in our “bright ideas” booklet.

Tuesday, we read about Jackie Robinson and charted his learning as well.  We did not add him to our booklet or do a whole lot with him because we had a field trip Tuesday!

Next, we read about George Washington Carver.  My firsties were so amazed that he invented 300 things from peanuts!  We charted our learning about GWC and wrote an opinion piece about why he was such a great person.

We also added him to our “bright ideas” booklet.

Thursday, we read Martin’s Big Words.  We watched Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech here.  My kids really enjoyed watching the video.  We talked a lot about his famous line, “my four children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  {Those words choke me up. Every. Time.}  We talked about what those words mean.  One of the main reasons I love teaching first graders is their innocence and acceptance.  They are always baffled about why people would treat others so differently because of skin color.

…what happens inside of some people that it changes just a few short years later??…I’ve never spoken to a first grader that thought racism was ok…  {stepping off my soap box!}

We charted our learning about Dr. King.

I had planned on having students write about their own personal dreams and make this MLK craft from my American Contributors unit, but time just didn’t let that happen this week!

We wrote about Dr. King in our “bright ideas” booklet.  We added his contribution to our lightbulb chart.  Then, we used our OREO graphic organizer again to write an opinion writing about MLK.

Friday we discussed the difference between fact and opinion sentences {read more details on fact and opinion HERE.}  I have been having students write sentences like, “Martin Luther King fought for equal rights” as their topic sentence for our opinion writing….SOOO…we sorted fact and opinion sentences about our African-American contributors we learned about this week.  We read and sorted the sentences all together at first, but by the time we got to the last two sentences, they were able to sort on their own! We also highlighted the clue words for opinion sentences {best, nicest, like…} I’m looking forward to seeing the big difference this makes in their opinion writing next week!

Grab this black history fact/opinion sort FREEBIE from my store!

Next week we will be talking about the electrical contributions made by inventors {cue the lightbulb and electricity experiments!}

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