Skip to main content

The Black History Month Project

I have taught second through fifth grade. I have a love of children's literature in which I treasure sharing with my students.

Choosing a Great Individual

During February, I try to share with my students the many ways that African Americans have made significant contributions to our society. I am always amazed that they have a limited knowledge of anyone still living that has made an impact on the world. Of course, they have some basic knowledge about people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Rosa Parks. Now, I'm not trying to discredit how these remarkable individuals helped to shape America into what it is today, but there are other people that are still making a difference today. Living, breathing people who are changing the way we do things today and in the future.

Honor the Living

During this time, my students are required to research and present information about a living African American that is currently making a difference in our world. There are many areas of interest that these individuals contribute from sports, entertainment, business, fine arts, science, medicine, and more. Here is a list of possible candidates for research:


  • Ben Carson
  • George Carruthers
  • Mae Jemison


  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Jay Z
  • Spike Lee
  • Sidney Poitier

Politics and Activism:

  • Colin Powell
  • Condoleezza Rice
  • Barack Obama
  • Michelle Obama

Education and Literature:

  • Maya Angelou
  • Marva Collins
  • Nikki Giovanni


  • Venus Williams
  • Serena Williams
  • Lynette Woodward
  • Michael Jordan
  • Charles Barkley

Of course, this list barely touches the tip of the list. There are so many people that should be recognized. For additional names, you can link to this biography website.

Sidney Poitier

Project Outline

Here are the requirements for the project. I go over all of the expectations with my students, including possible choices (I give them a list to get them started), due dates, and a copy of the rubric. This project is great for students at the fourth-grade level and up.

Black History Month Project


Choose an African American that has made a significant impact on today’s society (refer to attached list). The person that you choose must be living. You may choose someone that has made an impact in the area of politics, education, entertainment, literature, business, or sports. Your choice must be preapproved and there may be no duplicates of people. If you turn in a project to someone that does not have preapproval, your project will be reduced by one letter grade. You must include both a poster (visual representation of your person) with a written component included on the poster. The rubric for your project is as follows.

Selection due date:___________________________

Name of person:_____________________________

Project due date: ____________________________

Project Rubric

 Project GuidelinesPoints Possible Points Earned 

Pictures of your person  



Title for your poster  



Education of your Person 



Early Life



Accomplishments/Contributions to Society



How this person influences you to do better.



Neatness and Creativity



Rubric turned in with project.



Total Points




antonio on February 05, 2018:

i know right

Betial on January 23, 2018:

It’s amazing!!! This is helpful and very thoughtful. Keep up the great work! God bless you!!

cardelean (author) from Michigan on June 19, 2012:

Thanks for your kind words Lastheart. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord on June 18, 2012:

Voted up and all the rest (except funny). Very professional. Thanks for sharing.

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 23, 2011:

It is not just my job Kristine, it is my pleasure. I know that there is a place to learn about and appreciate the rap industry but there is so much more for kids to learn about. I try to really encourage that for my students but it is sometimes a struggle. They are very focused on the rap and music industry and think that this is the only thing to strive for. I try to show then that there is so much more out there for them. Thanks for your positive feedback, I appreciate it.

Kristine Manley from Atlanta, GA on July 22, 2011:

Great project. In my community a lot of times the only things that are brought to the forefront are the rappers, low hanging pants (which I can't stand), and crime, but there are wonderful success stories in the African-American community. Thank you for helping to empower and educate everyone who will lend an ear. Blessings!

cardelean (author) from Michigan on February 11, 2011:

Thank you Pmccray. It is so nice to hear those words of encouragement because often times teaching is a thankless job. We are blamed for many of the problems of society. I completely agree that lack of knowledge promotes ignorance. Knowledge is power and by empowering my students to know that they are still able to make important contributions to society, it gives them goals to work toward. Thank you for stopping by, reading and commenting.

pmccray on February 11, 2011:

Kudos to you and your project. If we had more teachers of your ilk our educational system would not be in the shape it's in.

I feel it is very important that ALL our children are informed of ALL the contributions made by people of color in our society. As a product of the 50s my generation was taught only of the mainstays of history as you've mentioned.

It was not until I became a mother in the early 70's that I learned of the extended history of Blacks and their contribution to the shaping of this nation.

The lack of knowledge promotes ignorance. My people are seen as slaves, and no more. Your project, and others like it, will spread the truth and hopefully bridge the racial gap between our nation's citizenry.

Voted up, marked useful, awesome, beautiful and shared.

cardelean (author) from Michigan on February 01, 2011:

Thank you, glad you enjoyed it!

EdieMarie from USA on January 31, 2011:

Great hub!

cardelean (author) from Michigan on January 31, 2011:

Thanks for the positive feedback. It is so helpful for both teachers and students to know exactly what is being graded. It eliminates the "guessing game" that so many teachers expect their students to do.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on January 31, 2011:

I liked the hub because it showed the actual explanation and project paper. Leaves nothing to the imagination. I also liked your link on the rubric, since I was not familiar with that term. Thanks. Nicely done.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on January 30, 2011:

Sounds like a great project and I love the idea of focusing on those who are still living and making significant contributions.

I also like the way you outlined the project and think other teachers will find it very helpful to incorporate into their own lesson plans.

Cool hub. I'm rating it up and useful.

cardelean (author) from Michigan on January 30, 2011:

Thanks, I appreciate the kind comments. That is the whole point. Our children are so unaware of the current world around them. The art of conversation has been taken over by games systems, tv, and running our kids from one place to the next. Children don't realize that history is being made every day.

Danette Watt from Illinois on January 29, 2011:

Great project for kids. I like that the focus is on people still living. It brings a greater awareness to your students of the world around them and current events. Despite the many challenges I know you face both professionally and personally, I can tell you are an awesome teacher - by how you speak of your students and the care you take in teaching them information relevant to their lives. I have picked up a few tips from you for my own classes. I gave this an up vote and said it was useful.