February 03, 2015

Six Reading Passages in Honor of Black History Month


Black History Month is not only a time to learn about influential figures in the war against racism, segregation, and voting inequality, but also a time to celebrate those who have inspired us throughout history and who will continue to inspire us in the present day.

In honor of Black History Month, we at Reading Horizons have compiled the following passages from the Reading Horizons Reading Library to make your classroom planning for February as easy as possible. Grade and Lexile® Measures have been identified for each passage.

If you don’t have Reading Horizons in your classroom, here's a free sample passage about Harriet Tubman along with corresponding comprehension questions and answers.

Black-History-Month-StudentsWilma Rudolph

Book 1 ∙ Page 16 ∙ Lexile 310L

Wilma loved to run! In 1956, she ran in the Olympics. She did well. In 1960, she ran in the Olympics again. This time, she hurt her ankle. But she won three races! She won three gold medals! She was the fastest woman in the world!

Black-History-Month-readingMuhammad Ali

Book 1 ∙ Page 96 ∙ Lexile 540L

Many boxers train to be the best they can be. They must be in good physical shape. They work hard so they can be the champ. Muhammad Ali was a champ not once but three times! “I am the greatest!” he said.

Black-History-Month-booksNelson Mandela

Book 2 ∙ Page 55 ∙ Lexile 780L

Nelson Mandela was born in 1918 in a small village of South Africa. He was the first person in his family to go to school. He studied law and earned his degree in 1942. In 1944, Nelson joined the African National Congress (ANC). Among other things, he spoke out against Apartheid policies of the government.

Black-History-Month-schoolHarriet Tubman

Book 2 ∙ Page 59 ∙ Lexile 790L

Harriet Tubman lived in a time when slavery was still practiced in parts of the United States. But she escaped to her freedom and helped many others to do the same. All of her life, “the American Moses,” as she came to be called, fought for her country – in more ways than one.

Black-History-Month-Martin-Luther-King-Jr.Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Book 3 ∙ Page 29 ∙ Lexile 870L

Martin’s efforts helped lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A new Voting Rights Act was also passed in 1965. Across the nation, he became a great hero to many. He was also known internationally as a fighter for the equal rights of all. In 1964, Martin was given the Nobel Peace Prize. At the age of 35, he was the youngest man to receive the award.

Black-History-Moth-Jackie-RobinsonJackie Robinson

Book 4 ∙ Page 77 ∙ Lexile 1110L

Jackie Robinson was the first African-American player in Major League Baseball in modern times. When Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, he ended 60 years of racial separation in the sport. He broke what is called “the color barrier” in baseball, making it possible for other African-American athletes to eventually join Major League Baseball.

Reading Horizons Reading Library Books

The passages are all from the Reading Library Books that correspond with the Reading Horizons Elevate reading intervention program. Contact us at 800.333.0054 for order information, or you can locate the representative for your area here: www.readinghorizons.com/contact-us

Learn more about Reading Horizons' structured literacy program.

Share Your Story:

Do you have fun Black History Month ideas for your classroom? Share your ideas by posting under the comments section. We'd love to hear from you!

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