Teaching Students About Benjamin Banneker for Kids
Benjamin Banneker was an incredible man who made significant contributions to our country’s history. He was an African American astronomer, clockmaker, and mathematician who lived during the 1700s. It is important to teach students about him to help them understand the significant impact that African Americans have had on our country’s development. Here are some ways to introduce kids to Benjamin Banneker:
1. Introduce his life story – Begin by telling students about Benjamin Banneker’s background. He was born in 1731 in Maryland to a free African American family. Despite facing many challenges due to racial oppression, he taught himself to read and write and developed a love for learning and knowledge.
2. Discuss his inventions – Banneker built a clock using wooden gears and parts he made himself. He was also a skilled astronomer and published an almanac with astronomical calculations and tide tables. He used his knowledge to predict eclipses, which helped him to gain widespread recognition.
3. Look at his legacy – Banneker’s work influenced many people at the time and remains important today. His expertise in astronomy and mathematics changed the way the world viewed African Americans. He became a symbol of determination and the power of knowledge. Banneker’s accomplishments have inspired other African Americans in their fight against racism and discrimination.
4. Explore his contributions to society – Banneker’s calculations of solar and lunar eclipses helped surveyors lay out the city of Washington, D.C. He also wrote to Thomas Jefferson, challenging him to consider the hypocrisy of owning slaves while advocating for equality and freedom. Jefferson appointed him to the commission responsible for planning Washington, D.C.
By teaching children about Benjamin Banneker’s life and accomplishments, we can help them understand the contributions of African Americans throughout history. Educational resources such as books and documentaries can help children learn more about the legacy of this remarkable man. The story of Banneker is one that can inspire all students to pursue education, overcome obstacles and make a positive impact on our society.