*Swing recommends that substitute teachers get all outside teaching resources approved by the school prior to sharing with students.
As June marks both Juneteenth and Pride Month, now is a great time to reinforce the importance of equity with students through engaging, topical learning experiences.
Also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth, which originated in Galveston, Texas in 1865 and is celebrated annually on June 19th, provides the opportunity to teach students about our nation’s history, as well as to continue dialog around the importance of anti-racism.
Pride Month celebrates the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community and the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, which was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement. Again, this is an opportune time to teach students about equal rights, activism, and important historic milestones.
Below are some timely and relevant resources and lesson plans that can be easily incorporated into end-of-year instruction to teach students about the significance of these topics.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The company is providing a free, downloadable activity in which high school students plan their own Juneteenth learning fair while researching local Black leaders. The company is also sharing three persuasive, research, and creative writing activities best suited for elementary and middle school students.
ReadWriteThink. The site highlights a number of applicable websites teachers can explore with students, as well as resources such as this Civil War lesson that uses historical fiction texts to teach students in grades 3-6 about the war.
New York Public Library. Looking for age-appropriate books to read to students? The library has compiled a list of kids’ books to celebrate Juneteenth. Teachers can pair these readings with a writing prompt, such as “Describe a historical event that you think made the world a better place.”
Google for Education. This free lesson on creating a flyer for a Juneteenth celebration comes with a lesson plan, sample rubric for educators, and certificates of completion for students.
Looking for more inspiration? Teach For America, Edutopia, and Tech & Learning have pulled together additional activities, resources, and ways to honor, learn about, and celebrate Juneteenth in the classroom or at home.
ADL. The site includes a number of LGBTQ Pride Month lesson plans for students ranging from elementary to high school, covering topics such as marriage equality, the Stonewall Uprising, and the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
WeTeachNYC. Educators can access a collection of Pride Month lessons on gender and identity along with articles, videos, and FAQs designed to help foster learning environments in which all students feel safe and respected.
Welcoming Schools. The site offers a number of downloadable lesson plans for grades K-8 to help foster equity and acceptance in the classroom, such as Love Makes a Family for grades K-5 and A Look at LQBTQ History and Prominent LQBTQ People for grades 3-6.
Want more? Educators for Social Change links out to a number of lesson plans, articles, and additional resources to teach about Pride Month and the LGBTQIA+ community. School Library Journal additionally suggests a number of books with LGBTQIA+ characters or themes that are great to read with students this month or anytime throughout the year.
As always, if you have more equity-focused resources to share, drop a comment below!