UPDATE: Additional Services at OPL Branches – Starting Feb. 22


Starting Monday, February 22:

  • 25 of our 28 open branches will offer returns and holds pick up inside the branches, as well as browsing, and use of public computers.
  • Rosemount, Orléans, and Metcalfe branches will offer contactless returns and holds pick up inside the branches.
  • The Bookmobile will offer browsing of a small collection at all stops.
  • Hours of operation will remain the same.
  • Mask wearing inside the branches, and outside in line, remain mandatory.

For more details, go to the OPL blog.

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Teacher’s Toolkit: Black History Month



The Assembly: A gathering of community through the art of stories


   Black History Month Teacher’s Toolkit

            Resources for teachers, educators and caregivers


Every February, Canada celebrates Black History Month. This is a chance to honour and remember notable Black figures in our history; and an opportunity to celebrate the many Black cultures and up-and-coming figures of our day.  

Here are some online resources, books and activities for Black History Month! Our biggest desire is to help educators and their students from grades 1 to 4 explore the various themes that exist within this subject.


      1. Online resources: teaching tools


Looking for Canadian Black History month activities? These posters come with supporting curriculums and other many other helpful resources. If curriculums interest you, check out these ones about black Canadians (bilingual). This edition of Kayak will give your group a great visual as well! 


OCDSB offers a great tool (bilingual) featuring resources to help out with this years’ planning!

National Geographic Kids is informative on an elementary level— perfect to look through with the kids!



      2. Online resources: activities


Looking for activities? These posters come with supporting curriculums, and many other helpful resources. If curriculums interest you, check out these ones about Black Canadians (bilingual).

An uber-cute freebie will get the littles thinking about a very important figure. And share this fun quiz!

Have a peek through this picture-filled biography of Viola Desmond (bilingual). It even includes an archived notebook written in by Desmond herself. On that note, don’t miss out on this interactive experience (bilingual) that goes through each detail featured on the $10 Viola Desmond banknote. Make sure to have a read through the learning lessons at the end, too!





      3. Videos: experiences, people, books (and other!)


Help the kids in your life understand the meaning of Black History Month… all while having a chance to “meet” several contributors in this sweet little cartoon. And don’t miss out on this animation about Elijah McCoy

Also, why not check out this engaging storytime-meets-puppet-show series?! It is sure to settle into the minds and hearts of your little ones.





      4. Culture: art, songs and dance


One of the best ways to celebrate?… taking a deep dive into the historical and cultural side of Black History Month.

Start off with some creative movement! This dance tutorial will teach the kids how clocks work while they move and groove to African beats. 

Geared toward a younger crowd are these video guides through Afro-Brazilian Samba and Afro-Cuban Cha-cha.




Your next stop could be more vocal! Follow the drinking gourd was a song that Black slaves sang on their trek through to freedom. A theatrical version of the song (featuring original poetry!) by children is a good option to share, too. Or how about some Black History Month rap songs? Including this playlist about American Black History… and this song, too!


Or get artsy with some activity sheets and colouring sheets. Or make African collar necklaces and Kente cloths.





      5. Podcasts for kids


We have something in store for your auditory learners as well! The kids will love listening to these African folktales… and this background info on Black History Month. You’ll also find a few podcasts for grades 3 and up here.








      6. Events


See this blog for OPL children’s events this Black History Month, including our assembly! 


      7. A selection of books




Click the images! Or simply look below. You’ll have access to two booklists featuring titles that spotlight Black History Month themes.



Black History Month for Childrenby Collection_Development

Celebrate Black History Month with some great children's titles from the Ottawa Public Library

Le Mois de l'histoire des Noirs pour les enfantsby Collection_Development

Célébrons le mois de l'histoire des noirs avec ces titres fabuleux de la Bibliothèque publique d'Ottawa