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African American Heritage Teaching Resources
February is Black History Month
Georgia Sea Island Singers Each year, the Smithsonian honors Black History Month with a calendar full of activities. Visit the Black History Month website each February for more information on the events in the Washington, DC area.
Black History Month Calendar
The Art and Life of William H. Johnson
The Art and Life of William H. Johnson In this set of four lessons, students examine works by African American painter William H. Johnson to learn about his milieu as well as his style. Younger students list the elements of the pictures, identifying colors and shapes and such objects as farm equipment, crops, and animals.
The Art and Life of William H. Johnson
Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits
Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits Students look at both African American history and the history of portraiture in this set of four lessons. Portrait subjects include Sojourner Truth, Mohammed Ali, Ella Fitzgerald, and Leontyne Price. The youngest students make their own photographic “calling cards.” Older students do research on the portrait subjects.
Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits
Black Wings: African American Pioneer Aviators
Black Wings: African American Pioneer Aviators In this set of four lessons, students examine photographic portraits and biographies to learn about the history of African Americans in the field of aviation. They portray the aviators in drawing, painting, or writing.
Black Wings: African American Pioneer Aviators
African American History Virtual Tour
Bessie Coleman Stamp Discover aspects of African American History that will keep you talking, thinking, and wanting to learn more. Explore a dozen of the Smithsonian's most thought-provoking objects with our online tools and activities.
African American History Virtual Tour
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Scurlock Studio Records The Smithsonian’s newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), was established in 2003 and is scheduled to open on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in 2015. The educator’s page of the NMAAHC website includes lessons in art and science as well as history and culture. Each lesson lists curriculum connections.
NMAAHC Education
The Blues and Langston Hughes
The Blues and Langston Hughes Students learn the structure of the blues stanza—both in music and in the blues-based poems of Langston Hughes—in this set of four lessons. Younger students compose their own three-line blues poems. Older students listen for details of the Great Migration in recordings of rural and urban blues from Smithsonian Folkways.
The Blues and Langston Hughes
Heritage Month on Smithsonian Folkways
Heritage Month on Smithsonian Folkways If you’re interested in that broadest of all musical categories, “world music,” you won’t find a better site than Smithsonian Folkways, which contains 40,000 tracks from the Smithsonian Folkways archives. Albums and individual songs are available for purchase and download. For Black History Month, Global Sound offers free videos, music, and spoken-word recordings. Lesson plans and student activities are included.
Heritage Month on Smithsonian Folkways
African American History and Culture
Frederick Douglass Encyclopedia Smithsonian: African American History and Culture features a wealth of information, including a list of links, exhibitions, and recommended readings.
Encyclopedia
Exploring African American Heritage at the Smithsonian
Girl with Glasses This free visitors guide and map lists exhibitions and works related to African American history and culture across the Smithsonian. Also included is a list of Smithsonian activities and programs designed especially for children. Guide
African American Highlights
African American Highlights Visit the African American Highlights section of the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System. Explore a selection of resources relating to African Americans from archival, library and specialized research collections across the Smithsonian.
African American Highlights from SIRIS
Guide to the Papers of African American Artisits
Sam Gilliam The Guide to the Papers of African American Artists explores the collections of the Archives of American Art that focus on the accomplishments, struggles, and contributions of African American artists. Among the collections in the Archives are the personal papers of more than seventy African American painters, sculptors, and printmakers from the late 19th century to the present, as well as more than seventy tape-recorded interviews of artists.
The Guide to the Papers of African American Artists
African American Inventors: A Bibliography
George Washington Carver The Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture offers a list of books and videos on African American inventors.
Reading List
The Art and Life of William H. Johnson
Ambulance on the Go by William Johnson This Smithsonian American Art Museum guide features lessons based on reproductions of William H. Johnson paintings. It includes a biography, a chronology, and other background material on the artist's life in the South, in Harlem, and abroad.
Guide
Black Wings: African American Pioneer Aviators
African American Pilot This National Air and Space Museum online exhibition includes classroom activities for grades 5-12. The exhibition site itself provides background for the lessons.
Classroom Activities
Bibliography for Young Readers
Girl Laughing The Anacostia Museum's Office of Education offers reading lists for ages 3-10 and 10-up.
Reading Lists
The Harlem Renaissance: A Bibliography
Burned out by William Johnson The Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture offers a list of works by such figures as W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston.
Reading List
National Museum of African Art
Commemorative trophy head, Edo peoples The Education Programs page of the museum's website includes curriculum resources and a calendar of tours and special programs.
Education Programs

National Museum of African American History and Cu

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