I find that January is a great time to begin our African American history unit. It may seem a little early, but in reality there a rich history to study, and one month is never enough time. In addition, it gives my students time to create their research projects, so that we can display our beautiful work during the month of February. Each year, my class and I create a freedom quilt of everyone's research. Most years, my class is large enough that we actually create two. I give each student a piece of scrapbook paper to create their project on (or dimensions, in case they want to create a quilt square out of fabric). I use the same pieces of felt to display the work each year, but each year the work truly takes my breath away.
I have made a freebie for you including the directions, project description, parent letter, and grading rubric. It's a fun project, and one I hope you enjoy with your students as well. Here is the link to my free Freedom Quilt .