Interactive ‘Periodic Table of Black History’ teaches Orlando elementary students

East Lake Elementary students learn about Black pioneers through the interactive display

ORLANDO, Fla. – Fifth grade students at East Lake Elementary have spent the last few weeks learning more about Black history and the many pioneers with lasting legacies.

For this assignment only, students got to use their cellphones or tablets to scan the QR codes on a Periodic Table of Black History.

They learned facts about Black activists, artists, athletes, authors, musicians and so many others throughout Black History Month.

Alex Lapierre is so grateful for his teacher—Ms. Connie Harris—who brought the idea to his school.

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“I learned about Frederick Douglas. I learned that he fought for slavery,” said Lapierre, who wants to someday work in the STEM field. “Martin Luther King, he fought for equal rights.”

He said the assignment is different and a very fun, interactive and creative way to learn. The periodic table was open to all students at the school to use.

Harris said she got the idea from an online Facebook teacher’s group, adding it made her smile.

During Black History Month, fifth grade students at East Lake Elementary learned more about Black history and the many pioneers with lasting legacies in a new and creative way. (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

“I wanted them to have the choices for people to learn about and be interactive,” Harris said.

She said the feedback from students was great.

“I had one kid come in and say, ‘Ms. Harris, did you know that James Earl Jones was the voice of Darth Vader?’ And I was like, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Did you also know he was the voice of Mufasa in Lion King?’ So, he was just super excited,” Harris said.

She also had her students learn more about Historically Black Colleges and Universities or HBCUs.

Principal Elizabeth Bounds said the East Lake Elementary School Eagles are continuing to soar and it’s all because of her staff and great students like Lapierre.

“It brings back the research-based component. During the pandemic, a lot of our families have shunned away from technology so this was just a nice way to bring a little bit back in, not only (for) our fifth graders, but (for) our entire community,” Bounds said.

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About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.