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Black British History

Black British History

Subject: History

Age range: 7-11

Resource type: Unit of work

toyindairo

Last updated

4 October 2021

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black history lessons ks2

Are you tired of rehashing the same content every year for Black History Month? Do you want content that is most relevant to the children you teach? Download this resource file to gain access to resources that will redefine how you look at Black history.

Black History is British history, it shouldn’t be confined to one month, however we as educators should use this month to promote the most relevant and decolonised material possible. The Breakdown of the lessons:

  • EYFS: Influential Black Britons
  • Year 1: Black British Art
  • Year 2: The Windrush Generation and the establishment of Notting Hill Carnival
  • Year 3: Black Tudors and Black Romans in Britain
  • Year 4: Racism in Football and Famous Black British Footballers
  • Year 5: The British Empire and Black people’s contributions to the Industrial Revolution
  • Year 6: The Power of Protest; How the Black British community have resisted racism
  • Musical Truth KS1 and KS2: A musical history of Modern Britain inspired by Jeffrey Boakye’s book. If you do decide to use these resources, all I ask is that you kindly share the lesson outcomes with me on Twitter @ToyinDairo24

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catherine2009

A wonderful variety of resources that some of our young people are using for a series of whole-school assemblies. Thank you!

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Thank You!!!!!

Fantastic resources - thank you for providing these.

Excellent coverage of Black Britons through history. Lots of fact that I, as a Lady of Colour was not aware of. Fascinating, informative and enjoyable. Thank you.

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Black History Month UK Ideas and Activities for Primary Schools

Black History Month UK is a celebration of black history that takes place 1-31 October every year. This year (2020), the 33rd UK Black History Month will be celebrated. The first was in 1987.

It's not always easy to prepare effective, engaging learning for special days and events. To help, here are some Black History Month ideas and activities for schools and teachers.

Click to go straight to the activities…

What is Black History Month UK and why is it celebrated?

Black History Month in the UK celebrates the history, arts and culture of black British people. Awareness of, and education about, the history of white British people is well-established, but black British history is underreported and underrepresented. Dedicating a month to it every year helps redress that balance, and helps us all learn more about our shared History as Britons.

How is Black History Month UK celebrated?

Throughout October there are typically many newspaper and magazine articles as well as TV programmes about Black British history. Black History Month Magazine is central to the celebrations. They select a focus for the celebrations each year.

The focus for Black History Month UK 2020 is on the role and contributions of black women.

There are a number of events such as talks, discussions and debates held around the country.

Black History Month in schools

In schools, children are taught about the history of black British people. Typically, the achievements of inspiring black British role models such as athletes, authors, poets, actors and musicians are celebrated, too.

As teachers, it's essential to ensure that children know what Black History Month actually is and why it is celebrated. Explaining this to children might seem straightforward, but there's actually a lot for young learners to unpack and understand.

A differentiated, age-appropriate approach to teaching the meaning of Black History Month is necessary to ensure all primary children can learn something – and celebrate Black British history, too.

Black History Month KS1 Ideas and Activities

A simple, straightforward approach to teaching about Black History Month UK is best for younger children in Years 1 and 2. A quick discussion about why it's good to see a range of people with different skin tones and appearances in books, TV programmes and films will get children thinking about why visibility of minority ethnic groups, including Black British people, is important.

Talk about why Black History Month is celebrated

Try to draw out these key points during class discussion:

  • Everyone is different in our own communities, so it's nice to see that difference in the books we read and the things we watch!
  • It's also nice to see people who look like ourselves in books, films and television.
  • Because many books, films and TV programmes are created by white people, black, asian and mixed-race people are often shown less.
  • Minority ethnic groups, including Black British people, are also represented less often because they are in a minority: there are less black, asian and mixed-race people living in Britain than white people.
  • Black History Month is important, because it is a time when we learn about Black British people, who are not represented as much as white people in books, films and television.

Experience Black British arts and culture

Although some aspects of British history (particularly those beyond living memory) are difficult to teach young children, focusing on arts and culture is a great way to help children learn about more recent events – post-war history, particularly.

Try these Black History Month UK activities with your KS1 class:

Listen to reggae, 2 Tone, ska!

Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, The Specials, The Skatalites or Toots and the Maytals are good starting points. Describe what you can hear and how it makes you feel. Dance and sing! Show pictures and share information about influential Caribbean and Black British artists, and British bands that were influenced by Caribbean sounds.

Alternatively, listen to—and learn about—some more modern, reggae-influenced r&b by artists such as Soul II Soul, Sade or Estelle.

The Specials performing at Brixton Academy London, May 2009

The Specials performing at Brixton Academy, London, May 2009 as part of their 30th anniversary tour

Read books about black history, and books by black writers

Take some time to read books to your class. Reading to your class is a fantastic shared experience, and a great way to share black history with young children in an accessible way.

Make sure you have some good-quality, age-appropriate books in your book corner, too. There are a number of children's book lists of varying quality out there, but I particularly like this excellent Black History Month Booklist by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE). It includes Unheard Voices – short stories and poems from modern authors – collected by former Children's Laureate, Malorie Blackman.

Malory Blackman

Malorie Blackman OBE

Black History Month Lower KS2 Ideas and Activities

In Years 3 and 4 (lower Key Stage 2), children are ready to learn about Black British history in greater depth.

Black History Heroes

Focusing on black history heroes is a great way to celebrate the contributions of Black Britons to society, art and culture.

Looking at inspiring role models is also great a great way to teach lower KS2 children about the discrimination that historically significant black figures experienced, and how they overcame this adversity.

Learn about the lives and achievements of famous Black Britons

Show pictures of black Britons, famous for their contributions to society, sport, art and culture. It might be interesting to include some figures from more than 60 years ago, as well as black Britons in living memory. You might include:

  • Malorie Blackman (author)
  • Mary Seacole (historic figure)
  • Diane Abbott (politician)
  • Tessa Sanderson (athlete)
  • Naomie Harris (actor)
  • Heather Small (musician)

Tessa Sanderson

Tessa Sanderson CBE

(We've included a list of women here, but 100 Great Black Britons has a great list of women and men you can draw inspiration from!)

Black History Month Upper KS2 Ideas and Activities

Children in Years 5 and 6 (upper Key Stage 2) are more experienced historians, and as such, ready to be challenged with some deeper learning about Black British history!

Learning about how communities of black Caribbeans arose in areas of Britain after the end of the Second World War—and Windrush—is a great way to teach children about how modern Britain has been shaped by black culture.

Caribbean Culture and the Notting Hill Carnival

We've got a great lesson all about the Windrush Generation (part of a larger post-war British history unit of work, Rebuilding Britain ). It's a perfect way to look at how various aspects of black, Caribbean culture have influenced British society as a whole, so I'd highly recommend it!

Whether you use our resources or not, focusing on Windrush, and the growth of Caribbean communities in parts of London such as Notting Hill and Brixton is a great way to teach children about how black Caribbean culture has influenced—and become a part of—British culture as a whole.

Key concepts and questions to touch upon in your lessons

Why Caribbeans concentrated in specific areas of London. Many were poor and rent was cheap in areas such as Notting Hill and Brixton. As is human nature, Caribbeans wanted to belong to a community, so chose to live close to one another.

How black Caribbeans were treated by white British people when they arrived. You could start with a brief explanation of the Notting Hill Riots, then ask your pupils to consider why they might have happened.

Why the Notting Hill Carnival began. As a response to the riots – an opportunity to celebrate peace, unity, and Caribbean culture with the whole community.

Aspects of black Caribbean culture that came with the new arrivals. Look at the food, music, poetry and fashion of black Caribbean communities in the United Kingdom.

It might be interesting for children to consider the things that black Caribbeans both wanted and needed when they came to Britain. For example, British cuisine used different ingredients than Caribbean cuisine. Being able to buy and eat Caribbean food would have made the new arrivals feel more at home!

When black Caribbeans began to arrive in Britain there were very few hairdressers specialising in black hair, as fewer black people lived in Britain before the war. Black barbers and hairdressers sprang up in the London boroughs where Caribbean communities were growing, as did shops selling makeup for black women. Caribbeans opened grocers, clothes shops and record stores selling the things that Caribbeans wanted and were familiar with. Non-Caribbeans bought things there too, contributing to the influence of black Caribbean culture on wider British society.

Why do you think that Black British history is less well-known than the history of white Britons? Discuss as a class.

Why do you think events like Black History Month and the Notting Hill Carnival are important? Guide discussion about why we study history, and why knowing about the history and culture of all Britons—not just white Britons—is important for helping us understand the world around us.

Nottinghill Carnival

A participant in the Notting Hill Carnival

More resources for Black History Month from PlanBee

Here's our collection of teaching resources for Black History Month  UK.

More resources for Black History Month on Twitter

The Official UK guide to the events and people who make every October worth celebrating each year.

@TheVoiceNews

Britain's leading black newspaper bringing you news, sport and entertainment with an African and Caribbean perspective.

@BHMLambeth

Lambeth's inspirational, fun & thought provoking programme of events to celebrate Black History.

@BristolBJourney

Bristol Black Journey promote information, resource and content that enable people to learn about the contributions made by the African, Carribean and Asian communities.

@bcaheritage

Follow Black Cultural Archives' journey, the UK's first national Black heritage centre.

@BlackBritHist

Beyond slavery, colonisation & immigration, @michael1952 & @MirandaKaufmann on #history of Africans in Britain and how it is presented to students & the public.

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Black History Month - lesson plans for primary schools

We’ve designed these lesson plans to give you some guidance on having an lgbt-inclusive black history month. choose the activities that best suit the needs and abilities of your class as well as the time you have available..

Each lesson has its own PowerPoint to assist with whole class teaching. Any other suggested resources are be noted in each lesson plan. 

We have also developed lesson plans on this theme for students with SEND/ASN .

Click the links to download the resources.

Lesson packs:

Black History Month Lesson Packs Reception and Key Stage 1 P1 to P3

Black History Month Lesson Packs Key Stage 2 P4 to P7

PowerPoints:

Black History Month PowerPoint - Reception or P1

Black History Month PowerPoint - Year 1 and 2 or P2 and P3

Black History Month PowerPoint - Year 3 and 4 or P4 and P5

Black History Month PowerPoint - Year 5 and 6 or P6 and P7

black history lessons ks2

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black history lessons ks2

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  • Black History Month Basquiat Art Lesson

Black History Month art – Basquiat KS2 lesson plan

Kezia McInroy

PDF lesson plan

Art is a great way to express emotions and tell a story. Through teaching children about Black artists and the stories they tell, we can help them appreciate the beauty, resilience, and strength of the Black community, especially during Black History Month.

In this Black History Month art session for KS2, we will look at the life and work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, arguably the most influential Black artist of all time.

Basquiat told stories of his experiences through his paintings and continues to inspire people today. Children can access his art because it feels familiar, as his drawing style is very childlike, and his work has a sense of freedom.

What they’ll learn

  • About the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • To draw from observation and imagination
  • How to practise abstract techniques
  • To experiment using a range of materials
  • To describe and evaluate art

Black History Month art starter activity

Prepare for the lesson by creating a slideshow about Jean-Michel Basquiat. Find a lot of info at Art History Kids . Try and include facts about his life, key questions and pictures of his work, including his collaboration with Andy Warhol.

This will help to show his art from a different perspective than his solo output.

You could also read the Little People, Big Dreams book about Jean-Michel Basquiat by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara with your class.

Gather a range of materials including oil pastels, crayons, acrylic paint, watercolours, marker pens and colouring pencils, ready to get creating. It is important to give children different options so they can experiment and see what materials work best for them.

National curriculum art KS2

The national curriculum for art KS2 states that pupils should be taught to:

  • develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design;
  • create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas;
  • improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay];
  • understand great artists, architects and designers in history.

Use this lesson plan to help pupils develop their materials techniques, and engage with Black History month at the same time.

Kezia McInroy is an artist in residence at St Jude’s C of E Primary School in South East London. She is also a freelance illustrator specialising in portraits. See more of her work at planetkez.com . Browse more Black History Month activities .

Black History Month art lesson plan

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Art Projects for Kids

28+ Black History Month Art Projects and Drawing Ideas for Kids

black history lessons ks2

Below you’ll find 28+ black history month art projects for kids, with drawing ideas from artists that will soon be a favorite with your elementary school students.

Black History Month Art Projects for Kids

One of the best things about working with Black History Month is that art lessons so easily overlap with it. Any one of the projects shared below can teach students some valuable art skills AND share more about some African Americans who have (and are ) contributing to the history of our country. Learning what these men and women have accomplished is a wonderful way to start classroom discussions and maybe even provide inspiration for your student‘s own future artwork. Another benefit about this particular collection is that most of them are based on drawing, and come with a step-by-step tutorial. So even if teaching art feels a bit out of your comfort zone, these are easy to do, and require only simple supplies of pencil, paper, marker and crayons. (Please note there are also a couple of painting projects, for those that would like to get some practice in with that too!)

Black History Month Art Ideas for Kids

black history lessons ks2

Black History Month Artists

A great place to start Black History Month is to work with projects that specifically connect to black artists that you would like your students to know more about. This Black History collection includes projects inspired by artists like Alma Woodsey Thomas, Lois Mailou Jones and Romare Bearden. When students try out some of the ideas these black artists were famous for, they will learn some new art techniques while gaining insight about the ground these African American artists were breaking. Alma Woodsey Thomas, for instance, was the first African American woman to have a solo exhibition at New York’s Whitney Museum of American art, and she exhibited her art at the White House three times. Lois produced work that echoed the bold qualities of African art and was the first African American to graduate from the school of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Mass. As a brilliant black female artist, she made major artistic and cultural contributions to the Harlem Renaissance. And, not everyone of note is from the past . It’s also good for students to know that there are many important black artists still on the scene today too. Faith Ringgold has been making story quilts since 1992, and is now also famous for illustrating her very popular book “Tar Beach”. The women of Gee’s Bend also continue to make quilts, and you can find quite a few interviews with them on YouTube. It’s very inspiring, and a wonderful message about making the most with what you have. Sadly, Jean Michele Basquiat is not alive, but he made his mark on the art world not that long ago, during the 1980s. Basquiat went from selling drawings for $50 to being an artist that hung out with Keith Haring and Andy Warhol and broke auction records for the sale of his art. Amanda Gorman, is a very accomplished artist in that she is the youngest inaugural poet in US history, as well as an award-winning writer. There’s a tutorial to help students draw a portrait that looks just like her!

Black History Month Art Projects Inspired by Black Artists

Art by Alma Thomas, a famous Black Artist that students should know about.

Benefits of a Black History Art Projects Curriculum

Art lessons are also great for connecting students to history through the civil rights movement. This collection includes tutorials for how to draw Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou and more. When students learn how to draw a good likeness of these people, they can remember them and all their accomplishments in a much more vivid way. Some recent figures who broke political glass ceilings are included, such as Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and Nelson Mandela. There are many more exciting black artists coming on to the scene every day, so you can count on this collection of art lessons as a resource that is going to continue to grow. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope your students find lots of inspiration in the Black History art lessons shared below.

Easy How to Draw Bessie Coleman and Bessie Coleman Coloring Page

Easy How to Draw Bessie Coleman and Bessie Coleman Coloring Page

Easy How to Draw Ruby Bridges Tutorial and Ruby Bridges Coloring Page

Easy How to Draw Ruby Bridges Tutorial and Ruby Bridges Coloring Page

Easy How to Draw Jackie Robinson Tutorial Video and Jackie Robinson Coloring Page

Easy How to Draw Jackie Robinson Tutorial Video and Jackie Robinson Coloring Page

Black History Month: How to Draw a Dancing Lady like Bernard Hoyes

Black History Month: How to Draw a Dancing Lady like Bernard Hoyes

How to Draw Cassie from Tar Beach Tutorial and Cassie Coloring Page

How to Draw Cassie from Tar Beach Tutorial and Cassie Coloring Page

Easy Lois Mailou Jones Mask Art Project

Easy Lois Mailou Jones Mask Art Project

Lois Mailou Jones Coloring Page

Lois Mailou Jones Coloring Page

How to Draw Rosa Parks – Easy Step-by-Step Art Lesson + Coloring Page

How to Draw Rosa Parks – Easy Step-by-Step Art Lesson + Coloring Page

Easy Draw Like Romare Bearden Tutorial and Coloring Page

Easy Draw Like Romare Bearden Tutorial and Coloring Page

Black History Month Artists: Horace Pippin and a Horace Pippin Coloring Page

Black History Month Artists: Horace Pippin and a Horace Pippin Coloring Page

Alma Woodsey Thomas Coloring Page

Alma Woodsey Thomas Coloring Page

Alma Woodsey Thomas Art Lesson Plan for Kids: Painting Project

Alma Woodsey Thomas Art Lesson Plan for Kids: Painting Project

Easy Jean-Michel Basquiat Art Project for Kids Tutorial and Coloring Page

Easy Jean-Michel Basquiat Art Project for Kids Tutorial and Coloring Page

Ode to Jacob Lawrence Art Project for Kids Tutorial and Coloring Page

Ode to Jacob Lawrence Art Project for Kids Tutorial and Coloring Page

Easy Kehinde Wiley Art Project

Easy Kehinde Wiley Art Project

MLK Coloring Page

MLK Coloring Page

How to Draw Martin Luther King Jr. – Easy Directed Drawing Lesson for Kids

How to Draw Martin Luther King Jr. – Easy Directed Drawing Lesson for Kids

Easy How to Draw a Self Portrait Tutorial like a King or Queen

Easy How to Draw a Self Portrait Tutorial like a King or Queen

Juneteenth Art for Kids and Juneteenth Coloring Page

Juneteenth Art for Kids and Juneteenth Coloring Page

Gee’s Bend Quilt Art Lesson: How to Make a Paper Quilt Project Tutorial Video

Gee’s Bend Quilt Art Lesson: How to Make a Paper Quilt Project Tutorial Video

Black History Month - lesson plans for primary schools

We’ve designed these lesson plans to give you some guidance on having an lgbt-inclusive black history month. choose the activities that best suit the needs and abilities of your class as well as the time you have available..

Each lesson has its own PowerPoint to assist with whole class teaching. Any other suggested resources are be noted in each lesson plan. 

We have also developed lesson plans on this theme for students with SEND/ASN .

Click the links to download the resources.

Lesson packs:

Black History Month Lesson Packs Reception and Key Stage 1 P1 to P3

Black History Month Lesson Packs Key Stage 2 P4 to P7

PowerPoints:

Black History Month PowerPoint - Reception or P1

Black History Month PowerPoint - Year 1 and 2 or P2 and P3

Black History Month PowerPoint - Year 3 and 4 or P4 and P5

Black History Month PowerPoint - Year 5 and 6 or P6 and P7

black history lessons ks2

IMAGES

  1. Black History Month Activities For Kids: Fun Shape Facts

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  2. Teach child how to read: Free Printable Black History Comprehension

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  3. Teaching the Past, Creating the Future: Black History Month Art Lessons

    black history lessons ks2

  4. Elementary Black History Lesson Bundle

    black history lessons ks2

  5. Celebrating Black History Month: Part 2

    black history lessons ks2

  6. Kostenloses Black History Lesson Plan

    black history lessons ks2

COMMENTS

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    Black History Month activities and resources Black History Month art lesson plan. Use this KS2 art lesson to look at the life and work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, arguably the most influential Black artist of all time. Basquiat gained recognition as part of the New York graffito duo SAMO and went on to receive critical acclaim.

  11. Black History Month Activities for Primary Schools

    Black History Month Lower KS2 Ideas and Activities. In Years 3 and 4 (lower Key Stage 2), children are ready to learn about Black British history in greater depth. Black History Heroes. Focusing on black history heroes is a great way to celebrate the contributions of Black Britons to society, art and culture.

  12. Black History Month Resources for KS2

    For more Black History Month resources to support your teaching, we recommend checking out the following activities: Help children explore issues around racism and learn how they can help to actively combat racism with our KS2 Anti-Racism Scenario Cards. Ideal for your Black History Month KS2 lessons, you can learn all about significant Black ...

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    Here are a couple of our favourite Black History Month KS2 resources: To get going right away, take a look at our comprehensive KS2 Black History Month Resource Pack. With a variety of engaging class activities and information about famous figures, including Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Mary Seacole, this pack contains all the Black History ...

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    Black History Month PowerPoint - Year 3 and 4 or P4 and P5. Black History Month PowerPoint - Year 5 and 6 or P6 and P7. We've designed these primary lesson plans to give you some guidance on having an LGBT-inclusive Black History Month. Choose the activities that best suit the needs and abilities of your class as well as the time you have ...

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    KS1 Black British History - Windrush - Jobs of the Windrush Generation - Lesson 2. LKS2 The Windrush Differentiated Reading Comprehension Activity. The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 KS2. 5.0 (2 reviews) The Windrush Page Borders. Sir Mo Farah Whole School Assembly Pack.

  19. Black History Month art

    PDF lesson plan. Key Stage. KS2. Age. Years 3-4. Subjects. Art & Design. Art is a great way to express emotions and tell a story. Through teaching children about Black artists and the stories they tell, we can help them appreciate the beauty, resilience, and strength of the Black community, especially during Black History Month.

  20. KS2 Black History Month Resource Pack

    This fantastic resource pack contains everything you need to teach your class about Black History Month. The pack includes writing frames, comprehension activities, timelines, PowerPoints and more! Easy to you, simply click download above to begin using these carefully designed and beautifully illustrated resources.

  21. Black History Month Art Projects and Black History Month Drawings

    One of the best things about working with Black History Month is that art lessons so easily overlap with it. Any one of the projects shared below can teach students some valuable art skills AND share more about some African Americans who have (and are) contributing to the history of our country.Learning what these men and women have accomplished is a wonderful way to start classroom ...

  22. Black History Month

    Use this Daily NewsRoom Pack to teach children aged 7 to 11 about Black History Month and the statue of Betty Campbell in Wales. Black History Month in the UK is a time to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of Black Britons. It is celebrated each year in the UK in October and started 35 years ago in 1987. The news story in this pack focuses on the statue of teacher Betty Campbell in Wales ...

  23. Black History Month

    Black History Month PowerPoint - Year 3 and 4 or P4 and P5. Black History Month PowerPoint - Year 5 and 6 or P6 and P7. We've designed these primary lesson plans to give you some guidance on having an LGBT-inclusive Black History Month. Choose the activities that best suit the needs and abilities of your class as well as the time you have ...

  24. LGBTQ+ History Month 2024

    Newsround: LGBT+ Coming out stories. video Newsround: LGBT+ Coming out stories. In this Newsround video aimed at 6-12 year-olds, well known LGBT+ figures Michael Cashman, Lady Phyll and Sue ...