Saturday, January 21, 2012

Black History Unit: Day 2...The Arts!!

Today we study famous African Americans  that made wonderful contributions to the arts  I’ve selected a musician, poet, opera singer, and dancer to guide us through our day dedicated to the arts! 

Today is the day we set up learning stations where we sing, do reader’s theater, write poems, paint, and dance!
Above is a great books that kids love to read as they chant the repeating line, "Rap a tap tap- think of that!" It's a great story about the famous Bill "Bojangles" Robinson- who is known for his movies dancing with Shirley Temple!

After Reading Rap a Tap Tap...they couldn't help themselves...they had to tap!

I've included profiles on Duke Ellington, Jazz Musician, Opera Singer, Marian Anderson, Poet, Langston Hughes and Tap Dancer, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.

I'll share one of the activites I did with music to celebrate Marian Anderson. I wanted to get some comparing and contrasting practice in, so I thought it would be fun to compare and contrast different styles of music!  You could do this ativity at a center with a tape deck/CD player…but I did it whole group. It was hilarious!
First I asked them to close their eyes and move their arms in the way that the music made them feel.  I played some Marian Anderson  and I asked them what color they felt like, and they were dead on: “bluuueeeee, greeeeeen…..” was the response. 

Then I played some heavy metal and the photo shows how they were feeling: “RED!!!!!” Which I thought was so funny! 

Then, using a Venn Diagram, I told them they could use words, colors, or pictures to show how the songs were different.  They came up with GOOD words!

Excuse the handwriting…modeling in front of kiddos can be tough! J  

In the end, we found that both sounds  made us have strong feelings when we heard them.

The day was spent realizing that many African Americans made wonderful contributions to the Arts and we wanted to honor them by immersing ourselves in the arts for awhile.

Stayed Tuned for Day 3: A day full of African American Inventors!


  1. Looks like an awesome day for your kids!! Tons of learning!!
    First Grade Blue SKies

  2. Love it! I'm sure your kids had a blast.

    Fun In First

  3. This looks like a bunch of fun! You can just see it from the pictures!

    I have a Groundhog & Hibernation Freebie on my page is you're interested!

    Randi @ Teach It With Class
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