Black History Month Book Spotlight
Black History Month is a yearly celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Our desire at Project Play Therapy is to encourage and support families in celebrating diversity, honoring history, and participating in meaningful conversations and growth opportunities. One way this can be done is through reading. The theme for Black History Month 2021 is The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity. Check out the list from one of our Speech Therapists on books that highlight this theme.
The Importance of Reading
Reading with and to children helps in stimulating their imagination, expanding their understanding of the world, introducing new vocabulary, and strengthening their listening skills. Books can serve as important tools that allow children and adults alike to be exposed to information that is not regularly present in daily life. By choosing to read books containing diverse representation, children’s perspectives, acceptance of others, and critical thinking skills are expanded upon and strengthened.
Tips for Reading Together
- Encourage children to ask questions. This skill can be modeled for them while reading (example: “I wonder what will happen next?”)
- Allow children to hold the book or turn the pages
- Discuss or describe the pictures/scenes before turning the page. Important things to note can include facial expressions, scenery/weather, body language, or clues as to what might happen on the next page.
- When finished reading, ask a few follow up questions. Examples of questions can include: what was your favorite part? What did you learn? Did the ending surprise you? Who was the story about?
Book List & Graphic Organizer
In honor of Black History Month, Project Play Therapy has compiled a list of books that feature black historical figures, culture, and heritage. The accompanying graphic organizer is a tool designed to assist in organizing thoughts, asking questions, applying information, and reinforcing important points from the stories. The books listed can be found on amazon, at local retailers, and/or as read-alouds on YouTube.
Black History Month Book List
Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad
- By Ellen Levine
This Jazz Man
- By Karen Ehrhardt
Look What Brown Can Do
- By T. Marie Harris
- By Alan Schroeder
- By Margot Lee Shetterly
Bippity Bop Barbershop
- By Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
- By Vashti Harrison
The Story of Ruby Bridges
- By Robert Coles
Mae Among the Stars
- By Roda Ahmed
Juneteenth for Mazie
- By Floyd Cooper
The Snowy Day
- By Ezra Jack Keats
- By Matthew A. Cherry
The ABCs of Black History
- By Rio Cortez
We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song
- By Debbie Levy
Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman
- By Kathleen Krull
We hope you enjoy reading these books as much as we do and for more Black History Month fun follow us on our social medias!
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