25+ Free and Frugal Unit Study Resources for Black History Month

Unit studies are an awesome way to teach kids about the meaning of and history behind the holidays that we celebrate. They are especially good because the whole family can work on a unit study, learning about the holidays together.

As February rolls around, and we near Black History Month, unit studies are a great way to look at black people who have made contributions to society and a way to learn about the significance and purpose of Black History Month.

Black History Month unit study resources
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These unit study resources are free or frugal (I’ve tried to indicate whether they are free or not.) and can be used throughout Black History Month for great thematic learning opportunities. You can use this free unit study planner to help you use these resources to plan your own unit study.

Black History Month Books

A Child’s Introduction to African American History: The Experiences, People, and Events That Shaped Our Country by Jabari Asim– Jabari Asim goes beyond what’s taught in the classroom to reveal a fact-filled history of African American history through politics, activism, sports, entertainment, music, and much more.

100 African Americans Who Shaped History by Chrisanne Beckner– Teeming with interesting nuggets of fact and information, 100 African Americans Who Shaped American History includes such legendary men and women as Benjamin Banneker, Dred Scott, Mary Church Terrell, George Washington Carver and Bessie Smith. Also included are Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall and many, many more.

Black Pioneers of Science and Invention by Louis Haber– A readable, perceptive account of the lives of fourteen gifted innovators who have played important roles in scientific and industrial progress. The achievements of Benjamin Banneker, Granville T. Woods, George Washington Carver, and others have made jobs easier, saved countless lives, and in many cases, altered the course of history.

Little Leaders: Black Women in History by Vashti Harrison– An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.

Black History: Kids’ Edition by Stephen Jones Sr.- Black History is World History. This book is intended for kids to enjoy. It is my intentions for parents and teachers to read along with kids and explain any difficulties they may run across.

Bedtime Inspirational Stories: 50 Amazing Black People Who Changed the World by L.A. Amber– Simply, this beautiful book is about the potential within each of us to pursue our dreams and shape our own paths. It is a treasure to cherish with your family forever. We hope that you find inspiration in these pages, whether you’re a girl or a boy, a parent or a teacher! These women and men are black heroes, and they’re part of our history and culture. And no matter who you are, you have a special mission on this planet.

A Kid’s Guide to African American History: More than 70 Activities by Nancy I. Sanders– For parents and teachers interested in fostering cultural awareness among children of all races, this book includes more than 70 hands-on activities, songs, and games that teach kids about the people, experiences, and events that shaped African American history.

28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World by Charles R. Smith Jr.- Each day features a different influential figure in African-American history, from Crispus Attucks, the first man shot in the Boston Massacre, sparking the Revolutionary War, to Madame C. J. Walker, who after years of adversity became the wealthiest black woman in the country, as well as one of the wealthiest black Americans, to Barack Obama, the country’s first African-American president.

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly– In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA, known as “colored computers,” and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career.

Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamia Wilson– Meet 52 icons of color from the past and present in this celebration of inspirational achievement—a collection of stories about changemakers to encourage, inspire and empower the next generation of changemakers.

Black History Month Lesson Plans and Printables

The NEA has a large collection of lesson plans for Black History Month divided by grade level. (free)

Ed Helper has a huge collection of lesson plans and printables. (free)

Scholastic has a lesson plan for grades 1-5 that gives you twenty-eight days of people and events for Black History Month. It’s based on the book 28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World. (free)

Teacher Vision has a collection of resources that include videos, printables, slideshows, and more. (free)

ABCTeach has a collection of printables for Black History Month. Many are free to all; some are for paid mambers. (free/paid)

Education World has a great collection of Black History Month resources. (free)

Mr. Donn’s American History site has Black History Month resources that include interactive sites for kids, links with information about famous black Americans, lesson plan resources for teachers, African-American literature, and more. (free)

PBS Newshour Extra has a collection of Black History Month lesson plans for grades 7-12. (free)

Resources for Learning About Specific Black People and Events

In All You Do has a collection of printables to help kids learn about Martin Luther King Jr. (free)

The Homeschool Mom has a Martin Luther King Jr. unit study, and there is a PDF version available for subscribers. (free)

Kids can learn about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Barack Obama, Harriet Tubman, Lyda D. Newman, and Bessie Coleman with this printable pack from 3 Dinosaurs. (free)

Teaching With Children’s Books has a free printable pack to teach kids about the life of Ruby Bridges. (free)

These Calendar Connections Cards from 1+1+1=1 are great for learning about Black History Month people and events each day of the month. (free)

You can get a free Rosa Parks mini unit at Teachers Pay Teachers. (You do need a free account to get it.) (free)

Black History Month unit study resources

Lapbooking and Notebooking Resources for Black History Month

3 Boys and a Dog has free Rosa Parks handwriting pages to print. (free)

WriteShop has a free Martin Luther King Jr. writing prompt. (free)

You can find free Martin Luther King Jr. copywork here at Homegrown Learners. (free)

You can find a lapbook for Black History Month at Teachers Pay Teachers here. (paid)

This Celebration of Black History Month resource uses timelines, lapbooks, and mini books to teach black history. (paid)

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