Friday, February 6, 2015

Shout It From the Mountain Tops! Celebrating the Best Teaching Month of the Year!

Yay!  It's Cara here from Creative Playground and I'm so happy to be with you today! It's finally February and this is my absolute favorite teaching month of the year; yes, Valentine's Day is awesome.  Don't get me wrong.  But, to me Black History Month is so  important to also celebrate in our classrooms.  This is a topic I love talking about and I hope you do (will) too!

There are many, many wonderful stories to share in your classroom during Black History Month.  I honestly run out of time each February while teaching about this topic.  There seems like there's so much to teach in so little time!

So today, I'd like to share with you just a little about my favorite Black History Great with you, Henry "Box" Brown!

First of all, if you don't have this book, RUSH out and get it today!  It's entitled, Henry's Freedom Box and written by Ellen Levine.  The illustrator is the award winning artist, Kadir Nelson who has illustrated many books about African Americans.  I use this as a read-aloud, usually the first for Black History Month because it's such a wonderful story!  If you're unfamiliar with Henry's story, here it is in a nutshell...

Henry Brown had been a slave all his life.  When he was younger, he was separated from his family because of slavery.  When he grew older, he met another young slave woman and they married with permission of their Masters.  The couple eventually had two children and were very happy; as happy as slaves could possibly be.
And then something happened that would forever change Henry's life...

Henry was so very unhappy about losing his family and thought and thought about what he could do to make himself happy.  Suddenly he had an idea!  One thing that would make him happy was if he was finally free and no longer a slave.

So Henry bought a box with money he had saved up from working in a tobacco factory.  He climbed in the wooden box with a little bread and water.  His friends sealed him in the box by nailing down the top.  Then Henry was sent in the US Mail to Pennsylvania, where African Americans were free and not slaves.

Henry had friends in Pennsylvania that opened the box when he arrived there in the mail.  He stood up and declared, "I'm finally free!" after he said hello to the gentlemen opening the box.

And that is the story of the most famous slave, Henry "Box" Freedom (or Brown).  Is that not the most wonderful slave story you've ever heard?  I just LOVE it and the kids love it too.  They just can not believe that someone would do this all for freedom.  Honestly, it's hard for me to imagine too!

After doing some research for a product I created, I found out that later, Henry never did find his first wife.  Eventually he remarried and traveled around in Europe doing performances and talks about his adventure in the box.  Students always want to know what happened to him later on so now you can tell them!

The images you see above are in my product, 

The product is around 100-pages in length and has a gamut of activities to do with your students.  There are vocabulary cards perfect for a themed Word Wall and a vocabulary book for students to write down definitions.

There's a Powerpoint that you can show that describes a little about slavery in general and how it relates to Henry Box Brown.

I've also included games, assessments, projects, and printables:

If you're interested in this wonderful set of activities for your students to learn more about Henry Box Brown, you'll find more information here.

As a gift from the Primary Pack to all of its readers, I'm offering the Easy Reader, which I illustrated for the most part, for free!  Just click the picture below and the reader is yours!

I'd love to know your favorite book or topic you use during Black History Month!  Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

Have a wonderful Black History Month my friends and until next time,

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