I can remember my first year of teaching quite well. I often heard one comment from students over and over: "You can't teach that!" Being a history teacher, and one that is adamant that it is important to tell all sides of all stories, I often rocked the boat. I knew this, and even after many calls from parents and to the principal's office, I still felt it was important to teach my students to think for themselves! That is the "social" part I want them to study.
As holiday's approached, I always rejected the administrations demands that I "take a day" from my regularly scheduled lessons to address the topic or focus of the year. I explained that every person should be taught every day, and that isolating groups for a holiday is the same as isolating them in general. So, to be defiant, while complying (advice from my mentor), I did things my own way!
Holidays such as "Black History" or ML King Day or President's Day do not need to be a rehash of one person's biography year after year. It should be a celebration of the contributions made by every day people in our every day world, those significant individuals included.
In addition, we must remind our students, and ourselves, that movements can be started by one, but to get them finished, they must involve many. Change can start will just one drop of water, but the waterfall is going to create the movement of the mountains!
Here are a few activities (Which each offer many ideas for implementation) from my TpT Store for the coming ML King Holiday, Black History Month, or President's Day:
Important African-Americans Bio Activities Set
Important Activists & Leaders Activities Set
President's Centers or Small Group Activities Set
American Presidents Facebook or Pinterest Activity Set
American Presidents Walking Tour Centers Activity
The Presidents Matching Card Game Set