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February 2023

Embedded Image for: February 2023 (20242510747147_image.png)
Dear Twinsburg Schools’ Family,

Each February, our country celebrates Black History Month to honor African American culture.  In the Twinsburg City School District, we are very proud to honor this rich heritage.  Black History Month should not be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history but a vital part of it.

From the History channel:

“Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in US history.  Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.  Since 1976, every US President has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.”

The 2024 theme for Black History Month is:

“African Americans and the Arts”

Each class has been asked to decorate their door to feature ways that African Americans have impacted the Arts and culture in general. In addition, each of our schools has prepared a myriad of activities to celebrate African Americans and to honor the African American culture:

Wilcox Primary School

The theme for Black History Month 2024 focuses on “African Americans and the Arts”. This theme is infused with African, Caribbean, and Black American lived experiences. In the fields of:
  • visual and performing arts,
  • literature,
  • fashion,
  • folklore,
  • language,
  • film,
  • music,
  • architecture,
  • culinary and
  • other forms of cultural expression
The African American influence has been paramount.

  • Classroom doors will be decorated to focus on one notable person in the arts
  • Each morning, information about one famous African American will be shared on the morning announcements
  • A Google slide presentation was shared with teachers with links to videos and read aloud stories that teachers can share with their students. Weekly focus areas include:
    • Patterns (ex: fabric and textiles)
    • Traditional music and dance (ex: drums)
    • I love being me
    •  The art of food
  • There will be a spirit week Feb. 19-23 with students and staff wearing the colors red, green, yellow, and black and dressing either as a famous person or their future self (career connection).
  • Wilcox staff and students will dance to’s “What I Am” song for Dance Party Friday on Feb. 23 (short dance party in classrooms right before dismissal).
  • Twinsburg graduate and author, Amber Hawthore-Spratlen, will share one of her books with preschool students during their Tiny Tiger sessions.

Samuel Bissell Elementary School

The following activities will take place in the month of February:

  • Whole school door decorating
  • Research projects (Famous African Americans)
  • Biography Cubes and presentations
  • Whole school Bingo
  • Whole school scavenger hunt - posters of African Americans displayed around the school
  • Whole school "Quotes" by African Americans (Read over the announcements prompting students to think, act, and respond. Random rewards will be given)
  • Whole school Black History Month links to videos, story readings, and activities for each day in the month of February
  • Classroom readings, crafts, and projects

George G. Dodge Intermediate School                                                                                              

Week 1: January 29th-February 2nd

  • Classroom Project: Door Decorating
    • Students create a patchwork of diversity that represents their classrooms.
  • Introduction to Quilting: An African-American Legacy
    • Underground Railroad and Quilting
    • Narrative Quilting
  • What is Black History Month?
  • Exploring the continent of Africa
  • The Great Migration

Week 2:      February 5th- February 9th

  • Exploring the Art Movement
    • The Great Migration
    •  The Harlem Renaissance
  • Guest Speaker Announcement/Invite: Sandra Noble, Visual Artist

Week 3:   February 12th- 16th

  • Guest Speaker: Sandra Noble, Visual Artist
    • “Little Rock Nine” Quilt Inducted into the Smithsonian Museum
  • Exploring the Culinary Arts: James Hemmings
  • Exploring southern cuisine in association with the Twinsburg High School Black History Club

Week 4:  February 19th-23rd

  • Education: Impact of the “Little Rock Nine”

Week 5:  February 26th- 29th

  • African Americans and Music
    • Performances by choir, general music, orchestra, and the high school jazz band.
  • Literature: African American Folktales
  • The Movement(s): How will you shape your future?

RB Chamberlin Middle School

8th grade Language Arts:

  • PBL - writing response poetry to poems by Langston Hughes, display at Twinsburg Public Library and performances at Coffee for a Cause
  • Harlem Renaissance with an emphasis on Langston Hughes
  • Civil Rights movement, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”
  • “I Have a Dream”
  • Excerpts from various speeches by Malcolm X
  • “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman
  • Poetry of Maya Angelou
  • Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • “Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored”
  • “The Power of Non-Violence”
  • Poetry of Tupac Shakur
  • Articles of the Week
8th grade Science:

  • Students will create a postage stamp honoring a Black scientist.
  • Investigate the story of Henrietta Lacks as an example of scientific racism
8th grade Social Studies:

A culmination of Primary Source readings and activities that include the following:
  • Entrepreneurs, Inventors, Doctors, Business Leaders, Government leaders, etc.
  • Feature Black Historians: Douglas, King, Tubman, Parks, Chisholm, Jordan, Young Jr., Obama, 54th Massachusetts, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown vs. B.O.E. and more, role of character and the process of winning America over in the Civil Rights movement, history of Civil Rights legislations
  • MLK speech, read aloud and group discussion
  • Many Pre-Civil War activities including; abolitionists rise and fall…Sojourner Truth, John Brown’s Raid, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman
  • Black Historians and current leaders…Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Ben Carson, Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, Thurgood Marshall, David Clarke
  • Civil War- regional differences and conflicts…what led to the south seceding from the north.
  • Post-Civil War: Reconstruction and the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments
8th-Grade Math:

  • MAC: Daily Mathematician
  • Mr. Edwards:  weekly video on famous mathematicians: Dorothy Vaughn, Mae Jameson, Benjamin Bannaker.
  • Ms. Coseno: Hidden Figures: Math Activity: The activity gives a description of the three brilliant African-American women at NASA -- Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Students will evaluate expressions preparing for the next spacecraft mission! Students must evaluate each expression and work as "human computers" to calculate important data for the mission.
7th grade Language Arts:

  • Dr. Jimenez:
    • Game changer research CREA using MLK as the model
    • Go! (Wilma Rudolph) - Readers Theatre Version with characterization essay
    • Close reading: Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks
    • Freedom Fighters
    • MLK speech, play
    • Martin’s Big Words
    • African American Poets
    • Civil Right timeline- cause and effect
    • Josephine Baker: The Dancing Spy
  • Ms. Fontana: variety of short stories:
    • Go! (Wilma Rudolph)
    • Making Our Voices Heard (anti-racism protests)
    • The Girl Who Dared (Barbara Posey)
    • The Man Who Saved a Thousand Babies (Vivien Thomas)
    • The Harm Renaissance
    • Fire-Breather (Garrett Morgan)
    • Escape from Slavery (Harriet Tubman)
    • Frozen Dreams (Matthew Henson)
    • This Is What Courage Looks Like (Claudette Colvin)

  • Mrs. Lonczak: Students will read “The Hill We Climb” and analyze examples of figurative language and strong poetry presentation skills.  Students will also read and perform poetry by other African-American poets. Students will research a topic of their choice relating to civil rights (1800s to present) and presented their findings.  
  • Mrs. Wilson:  MLK speech/found poem/extended response, related Civil Rights readings
7th grade Science:

  • Article: Dr. Mae Jemison
  • African American Scientists student sheet
  • The Faces of Science: African Americans in the Sciences website
  • Poster
  • Influential African Americans Research (Daily Google Forms)
  • Hidden Figures Study
7th grade Social Studies:

  • Daily Google Slides of African Americans who made a historical impact
    1.  Identify an African American whose contribution has affected the world today
    2.  Quote
    3.  Picture
    4.  Presentation
  • Black History Lesson
    1.  Understanding heritage, names, foods, culture, etc.
  • Bracket Challenge
    1.  Most influential African American
7th grade Math:

  • Article: 9 Great African-American Mathematicians that Changed the World
  • Feature of 2 each week
  • MAC: African-American Visionaries Wall
7th grade Art One:

  • Small introduction to Martin Luther King and Jay Z (I have a dream speech and A Dream Song lyrics)
  • Discussion of dreams and how it relates to their speeches/song
  • Completing a handout regarding MLK
  • Reading picture book about MLK illustrated by Faith Ringgold.
8th Grade General Music:

  • Social Justice/civil rights songs during the 1950s-2000s.
  • Reflecting on specific songs, and how people’s voice could be heard through music.
  • Motown Record Label Unit- African American Owned Record Label
  • Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Jackson 5, Queen Latifah, New Edition, Marvin Gaye, Bruno Mars, Beyonce
Algebra 1 and Honors Geometry:

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of black women mathematicians who shouldered the burden of number crunching, acted as human computers, freeing the engineers of hand calculations in the decades before the digital age.
  • Students would investigate the mathematics of friction and airflow that lead to differential equations.
8th grade High School Art 1:

  • Read about Isaac Scott Hathaway.
  • Students will: write a brief summary (3-6 Sentences) of the article. Also provide two important facts about Isaac’s life and  describe your favorite photo from the article.
  • After finishing the reading assignment, we will have a class discussion about sculptures and misrepresentation. We will tie this into our upcoming project, Ceramics: Sculpture.
7th Grade Financial Literacy:
  • Daily Bio and discussion of African American Entrepreneurs.
7th Grade World Cultures:
  • Connecting non-violence movements in South Africa / Nelson Mandela to those in the USA (MLK, John Lewis)
Physical Education:
  • Class discussion of famous athletes from the past. (Weekly Sharing)
Introduction to Engineering:
  • 8th grade students will learn about various African American engineers and inventors through a series of videos and presentations. Each week a different engineer or inventor will be featured.
  • This list will include: Dr. Shirley Jackson, Lewis Latimer, Otis Boykin, Lonnie Johnson, and Garrett Morgan. 
7th and 8th Grade Orchestra:
  • RBC Orchestra students will rehearse and perform “Rhythms of Africa” by Soon Hee Newbold.  Students will learn how traditional African folk music influenced modern music and American Jazz.
7th and 8th Grade Band:
  • RBC Bands students will rehearse and perform “Moanin’’ by African American composer Bobby Timmons.  Students will learn how African American musicians created American Jazz.  Students will also cover the folk song “Liza Jane” and spiritual “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,” both of which have been performed in the Jazz setting.
7th and 8th Grade Choir:
  • 7th grade Choir will learn and study the spiritual “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel,” and 8th grade choir will learn and study the spiritual “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho.” Both groups will perform during lunches on February 2nd.
7th and 8th Grade: Room N128:
  • Focus on music - past and present
Media Center:
  • Various displays highlighting black authors
  • Showcase display
  • Black author scrolling presentation (IFP)
  • Book talks celebrating black authors past & present
Mr. Escott:
  • Dr. King’s speech
  • Quote of the day, everyday from famous African Americans
  • Learn about a famous African American each day
  • Videos on Dr. King and Rosa Parks
  • Learning about famous African American musicians
  • Week One:  Coloring Contests, RBC Choir
  • Week Two: Speaker - Dr. Jalil Bishop, Line Dancing, Lunch Speaker, Talent Showcase
  • Week Three: Line Dancing, Lunch Speaker, University of Akron Fraternity
  • Week Four: Line Dancing, Lunch Speaker, Blue Diamonds
  • Week Five: Trivia Contest All Week, Lunch Speaker
Twinsburg High School

Twinsburg High School has multiple and varied activities planned to celebrate and recognize the many achievements of those individuals who have impacted our lives and culture as a nation:
  • Door Decorating participation: “African Americans and the Arts”
  • Black History Menu facilitated by the THS Black History Club and Mr. Bindus:  February 15 & 29
  • Learn to Line Dance facilitated by the THS Black History Club:  January 30
  • Line Dance Fridays facilitated by the THS Black History Club:  February 2, 9, 16, & 23
  • Spirit Week facilitated by the THS Black History Club:  February 5 – 9
  • Black History Club and George G. Dodge Intermediate School Collaboration:  Date TBD
  • Art Club and Iceburg Club Decorations: February 5
Although the shortest month of the year, February is set to be filled with many interesting and engaging learning opportunities for our students as we pause to reflect upon the experiences of our fellow Americans in our efforts to build a better tomorrow.

Yours in education,
Kathi Powers

Kathryn Powers
Administrative Assistant:
Marianne Franko

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