Black History Read Alouds for the Primary Classroom

Hey guys and dolls, how’s it going? February came quickly, and out of nowhere! I feel like we barely got back to school, and poof! There went January! February is one of my favorite months, not only because of Valentine’s Day but also because of Black History Month! It also means that spring is on the way! I love to introduce topics by utilizing read alouds, and I want to discuss some of them with you today!
I like to begin with books that talk about how even though our skin and hair might be different from others, we’re still the same! Before we read books that focus on people like Harriet Tubman, Coretta Scott King, etc., I like to read books that feature the perspective of children.
I’ve found that they relate to it more easily! I do not wait until the calendar changes to February.
I start reading these books at the beginning of the school year! When February comes we just
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The Crayon Box that Talked is a great book that begins with a box of crayons who do not like each other. By the end of the story, they realize that their diversity is what makes that so great! From there, we move on to our next book, which just happens to be one of my faves!
We extend our learning from the crayon box book, and we read The Skin You Live In. This book talks about how all shades of skin are wonderful, from cinnamon spice skin, all the way to lemon tart bold skin. I love how it then keeps going, about it’s not dumb skin, or smart skin or I’m lesser than you skin. It’s so important that our kiddos hear this message!
The Colors of Us follows Lena as decides to paint herself and people in her neighborhood. She thinks that all she has to do is to pick the color brown because brown is brown. As they take a walk, Lena’s mother shows her that there are many different shades of the color, and that they are all perfect!

I Love My Hair is all about self-acceptance. I think that I love this book because it reminds me of myself as a child! I HATED to have my hair done. I kind of tolerated my mom doing my hair,but my grandmother was RUTHLESS!!! She didn’t care if it hurt, she just got it done! Though it does bring back fond memories!

After we talk about how we all look different on the outside, and the shades of our skin are wonderful, we start to get more into The Underground Railroad. I love to introduce this movement by reading Henry’s Freedom Box. They can’t believe people used to own other people,like a piece of clothing or toy. They’re also very interested in the fact that Henry mails himself to freedom! This book begins with Henry as a child, and then follows him through adulthood.

Goin’ Someplace Special tells the story of ‘Tricia Ann, a little girl growing up in the South during the 1950s, a time when segregation was legal and enforced. She begs her grandmother to go on a trip to Someplace Special, all by herself. With some reluctance, her grandmother agrees. While traveling, ‘Tricia Ann is always reminded of where she can’t go, where she can’t sit, and more. Then she remembers what her grandmother told her, to always walk with her head held high, because she is somebody! And then she finally arrives at Someplace Special, the library! I love this story because the library was always my favorite place to go as a child, and it still is.

I’m not even sure when I ran across this book, but once I read it, I knew that A Taste of Colored Water had to have a place in my classroom library. This book is slightly different, as it is from the perspective of white children. It’s all Abbey Finch’s fault! Lulu and Jelly just have to visit town, because they want to see the colored fountain! They’re imagining all the flavors, cherry, lemon, orange, apple-you name it! Once they arrive in town, they happen upon a protest, marching singers, police and their dogs, as well as firemen and their hoses. Their world is turned upside down when they
You can find all of these books and more by clicking on each of the pictures, which will take you to Amazon. Alright, so those are some of my favorite read-clouds begin learning about black history. For even more books please visit my Amazon page and click on black history and diversity. If you’re looking for a black history resource, you can find that here.
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Read alouds are a great way to encourage discussions on black history and diversity throughout the year!
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