Lessons During Black History Month Give Sunrise Drive Students a Musical Perspective
Sunrise Drive Fourth and Fifth Grade students finished the Unit on Black History Month with a musical flair. Throughout the month, classroom discussions focused on recognizing the accomplishments, contributions, and achievements of African Americans in all facets and how much these individuals had to overcome in order to achieve these successes.
Sunrise Drive students began the study by discovering that Black History Month was originally only one week long, started by Historian Carter Woodson in 1926. It was purposefully the second week in February in honor of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass' birthdays. It became a month-long recognition in 1976 when President Gerald Ford made February Black History Month. It has been celebrated ever since. The students continued learning about African-American Icons in Leadership, Sports, Math, Science, Arts, and Culture and culminated the unit with a virtual fieldtrip to the Motown Museum.
Music Teacher Amy Baron had the students navigate the Motown Museum site to read biographies about the artists, look at photographs, as well as watch artists perform the music of Motown, which “… brought people of all ages from all over the world together. We also watched a clip from the Broadway cast of Motown: the Musical. The students were stunned at the actor's likeness to the original artists they were portraying such as Diana Ross and the Supremes and Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five!”
Mrs. Baron enlivened the students’ musical perspective by encouraging them to get out of their seats and perform body percussion to Stevie Wonder's Sir Duke. “We had a fabulous time!”
While the students enjoyed listening and performing to famous artists, one student summarized the musical activity with the realization that "This was like a history lesson!"