How will you celebrate black history month?
This month, teachers across Minnesota are finding their own ways to celebrate Black History Month. How will you teach this important topic? This history of African Americans in Minnesota can be approached from numerous perspectives, and we are here to help. You and your students can tap into the following resources:
African American Stories in Minnesota Curriculum Kit
This curriculum kit tells eight stories of African Americans in Minnesota, from fur trader George Bonga to political activist Nellie Stone Johnson. The kit promotes student literacy through cassette recordings, reading comprehension questions, and writing exercises. Upper elementary grade levels.
Duluth Lynchings Online Resource
Visit this award-winning web site for an opportunity to remember and learn from this tragic incident in Minnesota history. Photos, articles, audio clips, and interviews are included. Content may not be appropriate for students below middle school. Middle and high school grade levels.
History Player Thomas Lyles
Put a human face on the past by inviting costumed History Player Thomas Lyles to your classroom. Lyles, an African American entrepreneur who lived in St. Paul at the turn of the last century, will teach your students about his fight against racial discrimination. Grades 3-8.
History Player Emily Goodridge Grey
Sundays in February, meet History Player Emily Goodridge Grey at Mill City Museum. She and her husband were among St. Anthony's earliest African American settlers. In 1860, the Greys played a key role in freeing a slave named Eliza Winston.
The script draws largely from newspaper accounts and Grey's memoir. Performances begin at 1:20, 2:20, 3:20, and 4:20. Included with regular museum admission.
Northern Lights Minnesota History Curriculum
Northern Lights Chapter 18, "Taking a Stand," explores the 1969 student activist takeover of a University of Minnesota administration building. Explore how this demonstration helped spur the creation of the university's African American studies department. Use this gripping Minnesota story to introduce your students to our nation's civil rights movement. Grades 5-8.
Two Homes, One Dream: The Somali in Minnesota Documentary
The Twin Cities metro is home to the nation's most diverse black community. One out of five black Minnesotans emigrated from Africa. Studying the black community in Minnesota means understanding what's happening to specific groups of people within the broader group.
The new documentary "Two Homes, One Dream: The Somali in Minnesota" explores cultural identity and adjusting to life in the United States. Created by 15 young Somali women from St. Paul public schools, this innovative film follows the journeys of Somali teens, teachers, and elders living in the Twin Cities. The 45-minute "Two Homes" film is followed by the 8-minute video poem "What's with the Hijab?" To order this free DVD for your classroom, contact Andy Wilhide at 651-215-6844 or by email.
history day regionals begin next month
Have your students participated in National History Day yet? Thirty thousand Minnesota students can't be wrong. Join them and experience History Day yourself! Like a science fair for history, this popular academic challenge allows students to create topical projects. Their enthusiasm shows through in imaginative documentaries, performances, exhibits, and papers.
The statewide schedule of regional events is now online. Next month is the time to visit an event near you. Put it on your calendar.
Want to be History Day judge? We'll train you and give you treats, but the students are the ones who will inspire you. Sign up today! Contact Mollie at 651-297-3870 or by email.
students discover minnesota inventors
"He was trying to find a way to keep people's hearts beating right," explains a fourth-grader to her classmates. Pointing to a photo of a pacemaker, she shares a few details she's just learned about Earl Bakken, the Medtronic scientist who helped develop the pacemaker in 1957.
Bakken is just one of several Minnesota inventors who are the focus of the History Center's newest classroom lesson: "How Did You Think of That? Minnesota Invents." Written for grades 4-8, the lesson allows students to tinker and play, in order to discover famous inventions that came from "just playing around."
Like all classroom lessons at the History Center, "Minnesota Invents" brings students in contact with the real stuff of history--documents, photos, objects, and more. Lasts one hour. To schedule, call us at 651-297-7258.
northern Lights Minnesota history Curriculum
This week we are starting "Chapter 6: The Land Changes Hands." After opening the chapter with some reading, map work, time line references, and attention to vocabulary, we will use the Minnesota Historical Society's web site on treaties, which graphically shows the disappearance of Indian-held land as a result of the series of treaties. Our middle school technology colleague works with us to create lessons which dovetail with the textbook material.
As we go through the Northern Lights chapters, we hope that various personalities will jump out as topics for a long-term research project we do at the end of the year. Each student does a research project that includes note-taking, paper writing, and a 3-5 minute presentation. We've had great work from students on Jane Grey Swisshelm, Henry Sibley, and other locals.
--Judy Johnson, Grade 6, St. Paul Academy and Summit School
Do you have a classroom idea you'd like to share with other educators? Please contact us with your idea. If your idea is chosen, we'll send you a free book from the Minnesota Historical Society Press.