Teaching about diversity and inclusion in our classrooms is one of the most important things that we can teach our students. The curriculum is one thing, but teaching students about empathy and equality is far more important especially when it has the ability to do good in our community.
That being said, sometimes it can be challenging to find good resources in French to teach about sensitive topics so I will share some of my favourite activities that I like doing with my students during Black History Month.
Biography Writing Lapbook
This is a great opportunity for students to learn about influential icons and people of colour. Since I teach in Canada, I usually focus on African Americans and Canadians. I provide students with a list of people to choose from and ask them to do a little research about them online. I give each student the lap book package to help them determine which information to research. For example, they are expected to research the level of education, prizes awarded, family information, etc.
I like to use a file folder to display the biographies. The students really enjoy the hands-on portion of the activity and they make a really cute display that is easy to ready for anyone walking by.
Martin Luther King Jr. Craftivity (French & English)
This is a craft that I do with my students in January for Martin Luther King Jr. Day but that doubles well as an activity during Black History Month. The craftivity is a great way to introduce the topic of diversity, inclusion, and equality in your classroom. Not sure how to start that conversation? Oui Madame Wee does a great job explaining How to Teach Anti-Racism in Early Childhood Education in her blog post.
In addition to it being a fun craft, it also includes three different writing options for various levels of French and all of the parts required to build Martin Luther King Jr. You are not obligated to do all three activities. You can choose to do one, two or all of them. I just recommend that when you glue the parts, you glue them to the back of the last activity page (see my example for reference).
The written components included in this craft are:
1) Je fais un rêve/I have a dream
2) Three definitions and examples (justice, equality & peace)
3) Une rencontre avec Martin Luther King Jr./A Meeting With Martin Luther King Jr.
Task Cards Freebie
This is a fun and free activity that you can do with your students. It includes 20 task cards about influential African American icons. Each card includes one or two sentences about the person and one reflection question. These questions are great for journal writing or even to initiate small group or classroom discussions.
Here are a few fun ways that you can use these cards:
- Spread the task cards around the classroom and give each student an answer sheet. Students have to walk around and find the “hidden” cards and answer the questions on their sheet.
- You can also use these for your journal writing prompts. Display the cards on a board and ask students to choose 3 (or however many!) questions to answer in their journals.
- You can present and focus on one card/person per day, for every day of the month.
Build a Diorama
This is a really fun culminating activity to do when your students know more about some of the biggest influential people of colour. Students will be able to make a better-informed choice and have an easier time completing this task with the knowledge they gathered from the previous activities.
They will choose one person and design and create a diorama that represents the person of choice. The diorama will reflect what this person is best known for and their accomplishments. Each student will bring in a box or shoebox. They are free to bring material from home or use what we have in class to build their diorama. Here are a few pictures of the ones my students did a few years ago.
I hope you find these activities helpful! Let me know in the comments which ones you tried with your students! Click here to shop my store for other Black History Month or winter-related resources.