February 21, 2022

Black History Month is an opportunity to understand Black histories, going beyond stories of racism and slavery to spotlight Black achievement.  The following 3 Learnics lesson ideas provide an opportunity for students to gain meaningful media literacy and internet research skills while also learning about the contributions of a black athlete and the mental health issues that still face many black Americans. 

We recommend using the Learnics application during all three activities.  It will hold students accountable, provide a record of the online activity and allow students to reflect on their online activities and search results.  Go to Learnics.com to learn how to get started and request a demo.

Lesson Ideas

Lesson Idea #1- Access To Mental Health Services in the Black Community

Simone Biles, a black gymnast, prioritized her mental health during the summer Olympics.  African American’s can face unique challenges in their ability to access mental health services? 

  1. List 3 barriers that African American face in receiving mental health services and cite the website source of each barrier.  
  1. Click Here to access the American Psychological Association’s Demographics of the U.S. Psychology Workforce.  Interpret the charts and list two discrepancies based on race that you found surprising. 


Lesson Idea #2 - Uncovering Bias in Google Search 

The way you phrase your questions in Google search can significantly impact the result that you see.  Search the following terms while Learnics records your activity.  Click in the first website that appears and spend one minute reading the webpage.  Repeat this process for every search term below, including one of your choosing. 

  1. Simone Biles
  2. Simone Biles Mental Health
  3. Simone Biles Hero
  4. Simone Biles Quitter
  5. Add you own Simon Biles related search term

Question 1 - How did the search terms entered impact the results?

Question 2 - How do you think Google or any other search engine may contribute to biased search results? 

Lesson Idea #3 - Changing Headlines Over Time

Simone Biles has made history as a black gymnast and in 2021 she raised awareness of the mental health needs of black communities.  Let's look at the impact that one person can have over time.  

Step 1 - Do a search for Simone Biles but use Google tools to change the date to a custom date range of 6-1-21 thu 7-15-21.  This will allow you to see headlines about Simone Biles before she withdrew from the summer olympics.  

What are the top 3 headlines at the time prior to her withdrawing? 

Write a brief summary of the perception of Simone Biles during this time period

Step 2 - Change the date back to today. 

What are the top three headlines now?  

How has her legacy changed? 

Step 3  -  When a search is done for Simone Biles on Google in 2050.  What do you think will be the headline of the first article that appears?  Write the headline

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