Classroom printables, activities & worksheets

Black History Month 2023 Teaching Resources

Get ready for Black History Month 2023 with hundreds of printables, worksheets, digital activities, and more ways to bring the stories of Black Americans alive in your classroom in February. This collection of Black History teaching resources was created by the teacher team at Teach Starter, with printable and digital options that have been designed to meet Common Core and state standards. The majority include editable options so you can easily differentiate them for your students, and each one has been reviewed by a member of our teaching team to ensure they're classroom-ready — so you can save time on your lesson planning. Teaching about Black History for the first time this February, or simply looking for fresh ideas to bring this topic to life in the classroom? Explore some tips from our teachers!

What Is the Theme for Black History Month 2023?

Each year, the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH) chooses the theme for Black History Month. In 2023, that theme is Black Resistance because — as the ASALH explains  "African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms and police killings." Some ideas to approach the theme in the classroom this year include:
  1. Discuss the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s and the ways in which it continues today.
  2. Host an African American read-in event. Join schools around the US on February 3 by reading books and texts written by Black authors in the classroom.
  3. Focus biography projects on Black Americans. Give your students a list of notable Black Americans who have resisted oppression. Students can fill out biography cubes with details about these history-changing figures. Teacher Note: When you're assigning biography projects during Black History Month or any other time of the school year, make sure your list of historical figures that students can choose to study is diverse and includes Black Americans, as well as other important people of color. 
  4. Set up an interactive bulletin board for students to uncover new facts about Black Americans who have been activists and changemakers throughout American history.
  5. Explore the poetry of Black Americans. From protests against  slavery through spirituals to the use of powerful spoken word poetry today, oral poems have long been a means of resistance for Black Americans.  Turn your ELA lessons to Black poets and the oral tradition this month.

Who Started Black History Month?

If you're looking to teach students the background of Black History Month itself, you'll need to start with Carter G. Woodson. Known as the father of Black History Month, Woodson was a historian and author whose establishment of Negro History Week in 1926 paved the way for the federal declaration of February as Black History Month some 50 years later. The founder of the ASALH — which today determines the theme for each Black History Month — Woodsen never meant for the study of Black history to be limited to just a week, or even just a month. Woodsen’s work until his death in 1950 and the work of the ASALH since has been to promote the “year-round and year-after-year study of African American history.”

When Did Black History Month Start?

Although Woodson laid the groundwork in the 1920, Black History Month would not officially start until 1976 when President Gerald Ford became the first president to declare February as Black History Month.
32 of 102 teaching resources for those 'aha' moments