As the nation celebrates Black History Month during February, children across the country will have the chance to learn about the many contributions African Americans have made through the years. At Rock and Roll Daycare, we are incorporating Black History Month into our curriculum. We are doing this while keeping the Montessori Method in mind, as we do with our other lessons.
We’re going to take a look at how the Montessori Method and the lessons taught during Black History Month can work together to create interesting and creative ideas for children.
Black History Month Background
The roots of Black History Month date back to 1915. That’s when historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. In 1926, the group sponsored a national Negro History Week, which mayors across the country began to recognize. By the late 1960s, college campuses began to recognize it as well and it evolved into Black History Month. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month. It has been celebrated annually since then.
What is The Montessori Method?
Maria Montessori developed Montessori education in 1907 in Italy. She opened the first Montessori school in Rome. As she started traveling around to tell people about her method, it caught on. Today, the Montessori Method not only still exists, but there are thousands of Montessori schools around the world.
Montessori education focuses on self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. Kids learn not only how to work in groups, but also how by themselves so that they can explore the world around them. They learn how to be creative in all aspects of their learning. These are lessons they can use throughout their lives.
Utilizing The Montessori Method to Teach About Black History Month
At Rock and Roll Daycare, the Montessori Method inspires our lessons. Teaching children about Black History Month is no different.
One of the reasons why the Montessori Method has been able to retain its popularity is that it is child-centered and peaceful. Both children and adults can appreciate this. Children in Montessori-inspired settings are taught by people who embrace the method and want all children to feel like they belong. There’s no judging; all children are treated the same no matter their race.
There were so many African Americans who fought to be treated equally. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks are just two notable names who fought for equality. This type of lesson is one that can be appreciated throughout the year, but especially during February as we celebrate Black History Month.
If you spend time in a Montessori-inspired classroom, you’ll immediately notice a theme of acceptance and calmness. This helps children to be themselves and learn in an environment that is free of chaos and judgment. It also helps teachers to focus on the children and the lessons and values they are helping to instill.
When you approach Black History Month from a Montessori perspective, you are encouraging children to be inclusive. This state of mind is one that people of all ages can take as an example.
At our Central Square location we will continue to teach about Black History Month. To supplement these lessons, there are ways you can use the Montessori method to help teach about Black History Month at home.
Be Creative When Teaching About Black History
Historical dates don’t mean much to small children.But, that doesn’t mean they can’t get a history lesson. It’s all about being creative. Being creative when teaching about Black History Month is important because children will not only be intrigued about what they’re learning, but they’ll also remember it more.
One idea is to introduce them to African songs and dances. This is especially fun for younger students who love to sing and dance. At Rock and Roll Daycare, we’re always using different types of music to teach lessons. Teaching about African-American culture is no different.
You can also introduce them to African food during Black History Month. This is not only a good way to get them to try new things, but to also get them to appreciate different types of cuisine at a young age. This type of acceptance is one of the values that the Montessori Method tries to instill.
Give Them Something They Can Relate To
Finding something kids can relate to is key. When teaching about Black History Month, look for African-American inventors who created something that kids can use. Did you know that the electret transducer technology that is used in the microphones of many phones was co-created by Dr. James West? West had the job of creating a more sensitive and compact microphone when he was working at Bell Labs in 1960. Show any child a phone and tell them who helped to create the microphone inside of it. That will surely get their attention (adults too)!
The Bottom Line
By thinking out-of-the-box, you can help children remember important history lessons.The Montessori Method can be a great tool to help teach children about Black History Month and include people of all backgrounds. Use it to help children learn to be more inclusive while learning about Black History Month and all year long.
We want to know, how do you teach your children about Black History Month at home? Share your ideas with us!