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Integrating Black History Trivia with SAFMEDS

Updated: Feb 7, 2021

It’s Black History Month all month in February and we have a treat for you!

This month celebrates the brave, innovative and courageous people that were here before us. The people that walked so we can run. These people show us that anything is possible regardless of racial background.

As it is so important to engrain lessons from history into the minds of our children, doing fun black history month activities can be the perfect opportunity to indulge in our roots. Depending on where you are located, black history may or may not be avidly celebrated. For communities of color, remembering and embracing our roots are of paramount importance. Even the child from a predominantly white background should be aware and can benefit from knowing more of black history.

In ABA, we have a teaching method called precision teaching. Basically, precision teaching is a method of teaching that is informed by measured learner performance. Usually learner performance is measured via tests and quizzes. The field of behavior analysts have taken to using the “Say All Fast A Minute Every Day Shuffled” (SAFMEDS) method as a unique avenue to employ precision teaching.

SAFMEDS encourages active and disciplined learner engagement as flashcards become a stimulus for students to regurgitate information which is related to a particular topic. For example, a flashcard can be used to learn the 3 times table. The front would say “3 x 2=” and the back would say “6”. The learner will be forced to read the front and complete the phrase by saying what is on the back. A set of cards will be given and the student will be timed in completing all cards in the space of one minute.

Students typically get very competitive and engaged in performing their SAFMEDS. Especially when a prize is attached to a high grade. Grades are usually scored as the percentage of correct answers per minute out of the amount of cards in total.

Using the SAFMEDS, black history trivia can be learned and enjoyed by students of varying age levels. Please remember, SAFMEDS is an evidence based approach to students’ learning and is not a random method to teach concepts, principles and formulae. With this in mind, can you be confident that the aim which is increased student fluency and learning will be achieved.

Need Ideas for Black History SAFMEDS trivia? Here are a few

  • 30 SAFMEDS cards listing black athletes with their nation. Usain Bolt- Jamaica. Serena Williams – USA. Garfield Sobers – Barbados, etc

  • 30 SAFMED cards listing famous black authors with a book title of theirs. Toni Morrison – Beloved. Maya Angelou- Why the Caged Bird Sings. Ralph Ellison – Juneteenth, etc

  • 30 SAFMED cards with Black National Heroes with their country.

  • 60 SAFMED cards of popular black dishes and the country of origin.

  • 50 SAFMED cards of Birthdays of popular African American figures. Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Whitney Houston, Michelle Obama, Tiger woods, etc.

These are just a few of many ideas to choose from. For middle school to high school children, offer a novel of an African American author to the student to scores the highest, or a poster of their favorite African American singer! They will all be so excited.

Just to be fair, give your students at least 3 weeks of everyday practice before doing a final check out.

If you want you can certainly extend the activity beyond February as Black history is important every day, and not just for one month of the year.

Until next time, Happy Black History Month!

Browse our website for more ABA resources and email with any questions!

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