February is Black History Month. A significant subject which the Grade 5-6 students learned about, and deeply reflected upon. They explored the history (i.e. slavery, Underground Railroad), and discussed various recent events (i.e. Black Lives Matter). They expanded their knowledge as they discussed: why February is the month dedicated to Black History; how this initiative to celebrate and learn about Black History and culture by Dr. Carter Woodson went from being a week to a month; how the community has greatly contributed to Canadian community throughout the centuries; who composes the community in Canada (i.e. 45% and more in Quebec are of Haitian origin); and the various inventions invented by the community (i.e. sanitary pad, gas mask).
Additionally, each year I select a specific subject to focus upon with the students. This year, it was hair. The students were baffled and angered by how people’s hair can be a target of and for discrimination. They learned how hair is a form of communication of status, family, emotions, and more. Moreover, how the slaves were forced to shave their heads bare. The students thought it ingenious how people would hide gold and rice in their hair as a preventative measure. Through various passionate discussions and viewing of informative videos and reports, the students learn the complex nexus that is the topic of hair.
To conclude Black History Month, the students selected an individual of the community to research and create a collage biographic portrait.
Source:: GRADE 3 & 4 Blog