Sunday, February 24, 2019

Resources for Black History Month in Canada

Barely squeaking it in before the end of February, I have just updated the LINKS page of to include the resource links that Irene Moore Davis gave to attendees of her presentation to TESL Windsor, "Creative Strategies to Teach Black History in ESL Settings."

Hopefully we will all remember that they are there when February rolls around again in 2020. Or perhaps we won't limit ourselves to only covering African Canadian history one month of the year!

Do you have any good resources to add to that list?


  1. Claudie here...
    Two old time "ESL" resources:)
    Guenther Zuern's wonderful Ontario Reader! 2014 - Page 53/54 "Black History in Canada" (**two stars difficulty rating - Level Two/Three. But good warmer/filler for higher levels. Feb is BHM - "Time to learn about and honour Canadians who are of African ancestry." Time line of important events in the history of black Canadians. Has check facts; check grammar; definitions. (I always smile when I see OR readings used as "assessments" in students' My Portfolios. The gift the keeps on giving! Probably would be nixed by the Binder Police - but I love the focus, content, humanity)

    Canada From Eh to Zed. Book one: Things (David DeRocco & John F. Chabot.1994) (Series edited by none other than John Sivell!) (Please let him know that I am looking at my copy with tears in my eyes. THIS is REAL WORLD language learning. Presented with intelligence and respect. "Vivid and authentic" - how not to get excited about learning English with this? This is how to present Canada to newcomers so they will understand and love it.)
    Page U1 U: Underground Railroad. Difficulty? Says for false beginners or true beginners who have had about eight months of instruction in the language (well, that was then, this is now...Level 2/3...and up..?)

    Kelly - I loved that the list began with Ancient Africa for kids.

    As an African myself (South) I'd like to see inclusion of "African" awareness and topics and issues - in BHM - or African Heritage month as it also is in my head! An opportunity to also inform ourselves of an amazing continent....

    I used to do a "Task Based Project" getting the students to take books connected with BHM, the Underground Railroad, Famous African Canadians etc - out of the library and reading them and then doing "book reports' - which were then displayed for the whole school to read and enjoy.

    And a last suggestion - for any time.

    The beautiful Viola Desmond $10.00 bill! It is remarkable. It encapsulates Canadian values in the many images front and back: Courage and Dignity - Viola Desmond. The Historic North End of Halifax where she lived and worked. A Record of Democracy - The Library of Parliament's vaulted dome ceiling...."The Laws of the land are shaped by the knowledge housed in this institution of democracy". “Our Rights Enshrined” – The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    I created a “reading and labelling” activity (no, I didn’t “rubric” it). I printed out and numbered the descriptions of all the images and their meanings. Had a black and white copy of the note – front and back with lines to the features. The students worked in pairs to read the descriptions and label the images. “OH, here’s the Canadian Flag!” It was fun, relevant and very meaningful as we discussed what the note represented.

    1. Very cool. Thank you for sharing this. --KM


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