Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

NOTE TO EDUCATORS:  

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic, Juneteenth, and supports students’ understanding of the significance of Juneteenth in relation to emancipation and modern-day celebrations. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.

 

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display the word “Freedom.”  Ask students these questions:

  • What do you think of when you hear the word “freedom”?
  • What types of freedoms do you enjoy?
  • How would you feel if you did not to have these freedoms?

 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description below the Movie player.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Pair students and have them read one of the two Related Reading articles, then share what they learned with each other.

 

Step 3: APPLY

Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Imagine you are a state legislator sponsoring a bill to make Juneteenth an official school holiday. Make a movie persuading other lawmakers and the governor of the importance of commemorating Juneteenth.
  • Make-a-Map: Identify the events in sequence leading up to Juneteenth, beginning with the Emancipation Proclamation.   
  • Creative Coding: Code a Juneteenth museum exhibit that highlights the traditions, symbols, and customs that commemorate this important day in history.

 

Step 4: REFLECT & ASSESS 

Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they learned about Juneteenth. Prompt them by asking questions such as:

  • Why did it take two years after the Emancipation Proclamation for all enslaved people to be free?
  • Why did newly freed Texans celebrate Juneteenth despite the threat of violence? 
  • How have Juneteenth celebrations changed over time? Which traditions do you, or might you, enjoy most and why?
  • Do you think schools should observe Juneteenth? Explain your answer and use details to support your position.
  • Why is Juneteenth considered a second Independence Day?

 

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Juneteenth Quiz.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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