We'll start with two activities that we've done past Februarys, because they involve presidents or famous African Americans. Both were completed with second grade
The first promotes timeline skills. We've varied it a bit from year to year but the basis has pretty much always started with materials from the H.I.P. Pocket Change site. It's old now ... started with the new quarters ... but I like it.
Some years we've directly used their penny images. Even read their info. Kids didn't do much but color the page and put the pennies into chronological order according to his life but hey, that's a start.
Other years we've used the David Adler picture biography. I gave them sentences and dates (cut apart) and they had to work together to match up the date and the sentence. They would glue the sentence on the bottom of an orange piece of construction paper. Then they'd cut out the outline of a penny (is it terrible I did that? Used their outline but covered up the picture inside, so that all that copied was the "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ONE CENT E PLURIBUS UNUM"?) and illustrate their date/sentence. Then they would display the illustrations in timeline order outside their classroom.
The general activity idea was the same. They had to match up dates and sentences from a David Adler picture book biography. Glued them on the bottom of a piece of green construction paper. To be honest I don't remember where I got the general outline for a dollar. Thought it was on the H.I.P. site but apparently not. Anyway. That was copied minus the center picture. Kids illustrated their sentence inside the oval on the dollar image and then worked together to put their sentences (ie Washington's life) in chronological order.
For Black History Month we started with an adapted organizer from Mailbox.
Some years they were completed independently. Others it was more of a group activity. Sometimes it was a challenge to find enough simple biographies that the kiddos could read them. Now that we have PebbleGo it's not an issue! Though computers working always are. :/
Some years it's just been the organizer. Other years we then took that info and wrote a short paragraph and designed a commemorative stamp with a picture of their person.
This year we are using these. I don't want to become a walking advertisement but that is what we used! The cover page prettier than when I first pinned this but I don't want to be an annoying person who even repins their own stuff.
My favorite part was the little girl who was studying Martin Luther King, Jr. Her thing that was the same or different about his life and hers? "He made good speeches and I like to speak." She was cute. She MC-ed our school talent show. Second grade!