Free Lesson Plans, Teacher Resources and Student Activities Bring Black History Month to Life at Thinkfinity.org

NEW YORK - Educators can find a plethora of free lesson plans, teacher resources and student activities at Thinkfinity.org to bring the lessons of Black History Month to life.

From the inspirational message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to the musical history of the blues, to the story of Shaundra B. Daily, a 29-year-old doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is working to develop programs to help machines understand human emotions, Black History Month presents a tremendous opportunity for teachers to share these valuable lessons with their students.

Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's comprehensive Web site containing more than 55,000 educational resources, including standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans, online educational games and videos for teachers, students and parents.

The Thinkfinity.org home page features a variety of resources for Black History Month, which is observed in February.  Among the resources are:

  • Blues Journey - With this resource developed by ARTSEDGE, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, students listen to informative interviews and music clips to trace the history of the blues from its beginnings in the South after the Civil War to its global impact on music today. The resource also includes links to several related lesson plans. http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/3948/

  • Spotlight on African-American Scientists - With this resource from the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science NetLinks, students learn about 13 current African-American scientists, including Daily.   The resource includes audio stories of each scientist. http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/tools.cfm?DocID=150

  • MLK Jr. Remembered - This video from National Geographic gives students an overview of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/news/history-archaeology-news/mlk-day-vin.html

"Technology is a tremendous tool to bring the valuable lessons of history to life for today's students," said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. "Through Thinkfinity.org, every teacher in reach of the Internet has immediate access to compelling resources to engage and inspire his or her students."

Content for Thinkfinity.org is provided through a partnership between the Verizon Foundation and 11 of the nation's leading organizations in the fields of education and literacy: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Council for Economic Education, International Reading Association, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Center for Family Literacy, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Geographic Society, ProLiteracy and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits.  Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 80 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 224,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.