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3 Ways to use ArcGIS for teaching and learning about Black History

Black History Month is a good time for reflection and learning about the contributions of the people and communities with roots in Africa and the Caribbean. Discover three ways you can bring ArcGIS into student learning about Black History in Canada.

The Black community has made many contributions in Canada and this month we celebrate them. This is also an opportunity to discuss and learn about the history of struggle and perseverance of this community and its individuals who have overcome challenges in the face of racism and inequality.

Image from CBC’s article “23 historical black Canadians you should know.”

A great way to learn and teach about Black History in Canada is with ArcGIS technology. Here are three ways you can use it in your teaching and for student learning:

  1. Create an ArcGIS Online web map that highlights Black History in Canada.

Black female freedom fighters – focus on these women who were leaders in their community.
Black history in your community – focus on prominent black people who once lived there.
Black history in your family – focus on family members.

  1. Create a survey using ArcGIS Survey123 to document black history in your community or another place in Canada. Here are some sample questions that you can use in your survey:

Question 1: Type of location that has Black History (Drop-down question type)
Predetermined answers:

Question 2: Year of significance (Number question type)

Question 3: Person or Group Name of Significance (Single Line question type)

Question 4: Location of place (Map question type)

Question 5: Image (Image question type)

Question 6: Website (add website link with more information)

CBC article on Grade 12 students at Academie Ste-Cecile International School collecting data using Survey123 on black cemeteries. Image from Melissa Nakhavoly, CBC.

3. Create an ArcGIS StoryMap
You can put one together based on a web map you created. Check out the story map tutorial to learn more.

Resources on Black History in Canada

Diversity of the Black population in Canada, Statistics Canada
Black History Month, The Government of Canada
Black History in Canada, The Canadian Encyclopedia

Share your work with us via Twitter @GIS4Teachers and we may highlight it in an upcoming Esri Canada Education and Research blog post.

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.

About the Author

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Specialist in the Esri Canada Education and Research group. She has over 15 years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela focuses on producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum-specific resources, and conducting and creating custom workshops for educators. She manages the GIS Ambassador Program and is the Technical Chair for the annual Skills Ontario GIS competition. Angela also writes monthly posts for the Esri Canada Education and Research blog, highlighting K-12 educators and partners, new ArcGIS resources and GIS-related events.

Profile Photo of Angela Alexander