Black History Month Classroom Ideas from NAfME Members

Looking for classroom ideas for Black History Month?

National Association for Music Education (NAfME) members share ideas they have used in the classroom. Add your ideas on Amplify today.

Black History Month
apitophoto | iStock | Thinkstock

I have used a Sally Rogers song, “What Can One Little Person Do?” copyright 1991, for over 20 years. It refers to the following people who have made a positive influence/contribution to the lives of all people: Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The refrain is easy for the youngest of your students. Add motions and this makes a wonderful addition to any school assembly!

A positive message to students about making a difference in the world! 

–Carol Rossetti, Mary Fisher Elementary School, CT

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony Award-winning writer of In the Heights and blockbuster show currently running on Broadway, Hamilton, posted this song on his Twitter page, along with this video. This song was written by his grade school music teacher, Barbara Ames. My kids loved learning this song in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work! We talked about MLK as well as Mr. Miranda and then started learning song.
–Karen Joy Thomas, Christ Presbyterian Academy, TN


Can a Song Point the Way to Freedom?


Zoonar RF/Zoonar/Thinkstock
Zoonar RF/Zoonar/Thinkstock


Every child likes a good scavenger hunt, and using the Code Songs from the Underground Railroad with your students allows them to discover the rich history hidden in these songs.

Probably the most famous code song is “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” While scholars have mixed reviews on whether this song is historically accurate, it is a great representation of the kinds of songs that enslaved Africans might have heard that point the way to freedom. An introductory video can be found on Brainpop if your school has access to this.

–Joann Benson, Sandymount Elementary School, MD

Visit NAfME’s Black History Month page for more ideas, and please share yours on Amplify.


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February 11, 2016. © National Association for Music Education (