Who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball?
Which Black American was born into slavery, educated himself even though it was against the law, and eventually became an advisor to Abraham Lincoln?
Serna Elementary School students answered questions like these during a Black History Month-themed scavenger hunt across campus. Each answer sent them on to the next question and a new African American author, abolitionist, athlete, musician or important figure to learn about.
Activities like this one allow students to be active participants by engaging directly with Black History Month through a fun challenge. There are also bulletin boards around campus highlighting black authors, illustrators and other important historical figures. Second grade teacher Sarah Parsons spearheaded these activities and even collaborated with Makerspace teacher Kylar Flowers so students could make portraits of important historical figures and modern history-makers ahead of the North East ISD Young Masters art contest in March.
Parsons is excited to tell her class about Ida B. Wells, who was born into slavery and later became a journalist and activist in the Civil Rights and Women's Suffrage movement. This year, she has something very special to go with the lesson – an Ida B. Wells doll from the Barbie Inspiring Women Series.
"This fits in perfectly with our biography unit in Reading, so I'm super excited to share my deep admiration of Ida B. Wells with my students," said Parsons.
She also brought an Ella Fitzgerald Barbie from the same series to show her students. Fitzgerald is one of the most prolific jazz singers in history.