What’s Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
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Take part in the African American Read-In!
|Grades||K – 12|
|Calendar Activity Type||Literacy-Related Event|
Celebrate Black History Month by taking part in the National African American Read-In. Sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and NCTE, and endorsed by the International Reading Association, the goal is to document readers making the celebration of African American literacy a traditional part of Black History Month activities.
The National Director has extended the African American Read-In for the entire month of February, beginning on Saturday, February 1, 2014 and ending on Friday, February 28, 2014.
Schools, churches, libraries, bookstores, community and professional organizations, and interested citizens can make literacy a significant part of Black History Month by hosting and coordinating community Read-Ins.
Hosting a Read-In can be as simple as bringing together family and friends to share a book or as elaborate as arranging public readings and media presentations that feature professional African American writers.
To be counted as a participant, simply:
- Select books authored by African Americans;
- Conduct your Read-In(s) on the days designated; and
- Report your results by submitting the African American Read-In Host Report Card.
- 2014 National African American Read-In
This webpage from the National Council of Teachers of English is the official homepage for the African American Read-In. Included are details on the role of a host, how to submit the report card, background materials, and booklists for all ages.
- African American Read-In: Suggested Activities
This University of Minnesota resource provides a list of activities for the Read-In.
- African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship
This Library of Congress exhibit features documents that tell the story of the African American experience, from slavery to civil rights.
- African American World
This PBS website offers an extensive collection of articles, classroom resources, and reference materials related to African American history and culture.
Grades 5 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  October 8
Students use Ringgold's books as a springboard for a discussion of race, gender, and civil rights, and then write and illustrate original picture books on these topics.
Grades 5 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  August 11
Students explore their own roots by interviewing family members and use their family history to write a fictional account of their roots.
Grades 3 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  April 27
Students do a book report assignment based on a current or past winner of the Coretta Scott King Book Award.
Grades 3 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  May 10
Students brainstorm a list of civil rights-related issues and use the Acrostic Poems interactive to create poems.
Grades 9 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  September 18
Students brainstorm the kinds of stories they know and where these stories come from. Students return to these questions as they begin reading Hurston's novel.
Grades 1 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  October 17
Books and webpages are gathered that focus on the work of African American poets and students explore the resources and find a poem to contribute to a poetry reading.
Grades 3 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  February 18
After retelling a familiar fable, students discover the differences in one of Morrison's retellings of a fable.
Grades 7 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  July 16
Students brainstorm a list of human rights issues, research their group's issue in depth, examine the way journalists cover a story, and create articles for a classroom newspaper.
Grades 5 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  May 19
Students write about the origin of their name and explore the names that Malcolm X used during this life.
Grades 1 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  September 16
Book clubs are created within the classroom or with a grade level or different classes.
Grades 7 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  April 9
Students view Eleanor Roosevelt's resignation letter to the DAR in response to Andersen being denied permission to sing. Students write a letter to a newspaper editor about social injustice.
Grades 7 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  February 1
Students examine the poem "Dreams" and identify metaphors in each sentence. Groups of students then compose poems with metaphors for dreams.
Grades 3 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  August 12
Students discuss how the form of a film script affects the story, why the author may have selected this writing style, and write a story using a similar format.
Grades 7 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  April 4
After hearing Maya Angelou's poem, "On the Pulse of Morning," students infer information about the speaker and her feelings about America and reflect on how one's life and experiences can influence one's writing.
Grades 1 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  June 7
Using the poem "My First Memory (of Librarians)," students connect memory, their senses, and the language of poetry.
Grades 7 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  August 4
Students are introduced to a passage by President Barack Obama in his book Dreams from My Father and are encouraged to engage in an examination of the ways they are portrayed by the media.
Grades 3 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  October 3
After students have read and discussed several poems from Brooks' collection, they create a poetry anthology for their own family, neighborhood, or classroom.
Grades 9 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  February 9
After students read the novel The Color Purple, dialect is discussed and students write a short piece of fiction or poetry using the dialect of their peer group.