Black History Month Resources for Elementary Students

Share the importance of the heroes of Black History 

Black History Elementary Lesson Plan
Credit: MY HERO

Use Art to Teach Students About Important Figures in Black History: Past and Present

Sojourner Truth

By: Robert Shetterly

Harriet Tubman

By: Robert Shetterly

Frederick Douglass by Robert Shetterly,

By: Robert Shetterly
Portrait of Civil War era African American hero Frederick Douglass by Robert Shetterly, Americans Who Tell the Truth

Shirley Chisholm by Robert Shetterly,

By: Robert Shetterly
"Prejudice and hatred built the nation’s slums, maintains them and profits by them…. we are exposed as hypocrites when we talk about making people free."

Malcolm X

By: Robert Shetterly
African-American leader and prominent figure in the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X articulated concepts of race pride and black nationalism in the 1950s and '60s

Fannie Lou Hamer

By: Robert Shetterly

Langston Hughes

By: Robert Shetterly

Claudette Colvin

By: Robert Shetterly
Robert Shetterly of Americans Who Tell the Truth has painted a portrait of the brave young African-American girl who would not give up her bus seat in 1955

Ms. Rosa Parks by Gail Slockett

By: Gail G. Slockett
Portrait of Rosa Parks by Gail Slockett

Thurgood Marshall - Reigning Supreme

By: Michael Mahue Moore
I've been with you from the beginning

Barack Obama- Martin Luther King Jr. by Ben Heine

By: Ben Heine from Belgium
Ben Heine pays homage to great African-American civil rights heroes Martin Luther King and Barack Obama

Ray Charles

By: Marilyn Huerta
Portrait of the singer, songwriter and musician Ray Charles by Marilyn Huerta

Bessie Coleman

By: Marilyn Huerta
Marilyn Huerta's portrait of Bessie Coleman beautifully depicts the African American aviator

Wangari Maathai by Guinevere D from Henrietta, NY

By: Guinevere Devlin
Portrait of Kenyan environmental and women's activist Wangari Maathai

Maya Angelou

By: Sergio Benenson

George Floyd

By: Giselle Villatoro
George Floyd has become a national symbol against police brutality on the black community. He was killed when a white police officer put his knee on Floyd's neck stood for 8 minutes while Floyd and onlookers shouted that he could not breathe. The Black Lives Matter's movement honors him and fights for injustices against the black community at the hands of the police.

Breonna Taylor

By: Giselle Villatoro
Breonna Taylor has become a national symbol against police brutality on the black community. She graduated as an EMT and was working to fight against the coronavirus pandemic. She was killed by the police while asleep during a raid of her apartment. The Black Lives Matter movement honors her memory and fights against injustices so that there are no more deaths of black people at the hands of the police.

Ahmaud Arbery

By: Giselle Villatoro
The Black Lives Matter movement honors Ahmaud Arbery and fights for injustices against the black community at the hands of the police.

Martin Luther King Jr.- "I Have a Dream Speech" text

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" text.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" Speech
Credit: unknown

Martin Luther King Jr. painted by Marilyn Huerta

By: Marilyn Huerta
Marilyn Huerta paints Martin Luther King Jr's portrait as a civil rights leader and non violent activist

Amanda Gorman made history as America's First Youth Poet Laureate and read her poem "The Hill We Climb" at Joe Biden's Presidential Inauguration.

Listen to Amanda Gorman reciting "The Hill We Climb".

Celebrating We the Future-Amanda Gorman by Kate Deciccio

By: Kate Deciccio

Amanda Gorman, Young Leader of Social Change, was named 2015 National Youth Poet Laureate and author of 'The Hill We Climb'. Art for the Amplifier Foundation.

The Hill We Climb by Poet Hero Amanda Gorman

Audio of The Hill We Climb "For there was always light. If only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it." 

Stories with Text and Audio Allowing Students to Listen or Listen as They Read Along

Neil deGrasse Tyson

By: Daren from Hawesville
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist, cosmologist and science communicator.

Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland has paved the way for other African American ballerinas.

Ruby Nell Bridges

By: Madison
One of the most important heroes in the fight against segregation in America was a six-year-old girl, Ruby Nell Bridges.

George Washington Carver

By: Christian from Las Vegas
George Washington Carver was born an African American slave but became a renowned scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor.

Maya Angelou

By: Mayandra from San Diego
"How important is it for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!" (Maya Angelou)

Duke Ellington

By: Wynton Marsalis
The legendary Duke Ellington with his love of life, his intelligence, and his dedication to American music inspires musician and educator Wynton Marsalis.

Althea Gibson

By: Tori from Peach Tree
Althea Gibson was an American tennis and golf player who broke the color barrier in professional tennis.

Katherine Johnson

By: Kyra from Ankara, Turkey
Her story was hidden for decades: Katherine Johnson plotted multiple flight courses for NASA, including the Apollo 11 spacecraft, the first spaceship to reach the moon.

Mary Jackson

By: Diana from San Diego
Mathematician Mary Jackson was one of the "human computers" who worked at NASA as an aeronautical engineer, performing calculations.

Stories and Art by Younger Students and Ideas for Student Projects to be Submitted for Publication on MY HERO

Mae Jemison

By: Chase, Robert, Logan and Kyleigh from Reeds Spring

Use this example about Mae Jemison to model how students can write one or two sentences about a hero from Black History and draw a picture to submit to MY HERO.

Upper Elementary students can take different parts of their hero's life to illustrate and write a few sentences or a paragraph about that time in their hero's life. 


Upper Elementary Students: Students choose a hero, creates a piece of art representing their hero and writes one or multi-paragraphs about their hero. This example includes a graphic organzier the student used when writing their essay. 

Viola Desmond

By: Julia Sawyshyn

Students choose a hero from Black History and create a poster that includes why that person is a hero. These are three examples of posters explaining why their hero should get a day named after them. 

Ruby Bridges

By: Sarah from Cherry Hill

Barack Obama Day

By: Marcus from Cherry Hill

Rosa Parks Day

By: Xavier from Cherry Hill

Students create drawings of their hero, using the medium of their choice, to submit to MY HERO. 

Wangari Maathai

By: Sahba from Laguna
Portrait of Wangari Maathai by a young artist.

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

By: William, Anthony Joey

Students of all ages are invited to submit their stories, art, short films and audio honoring heroes to MY HERO using the Create Program. 

How to use MY HERO's Create Program to Publish Stories, Art, Film and Audio for Students

Tutorial for students: Publish written stories, film, original artwork and audio in MY HERO's multimedia library.

Create Program
Credit: MY HERO


Laura Nietzer

The Black History lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

Organizer created on 2/9/2021 2:46:17 PM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 2/2/2023 11:31:51 AM by Laura Nietzer