Want to learn more about Juneteenth or celebrate it with your children or students? Try out this lesson. Wishing everyone a happy Juneteenth!

Sweet Juneteenth

Lesson Type(s) Grade(s) Description

Arts & Crafts, Social Emotional, Service Project, Holiday, Social Studies

K, 1st, 2nd, , 3rd, 4th, 5th

Learn about Juneteenth and celebrate it by making a collage of notable Black Americans.

Activity Prep Materials GGC Heart Badges

None.

Ignite Good!® Jar, Blank paper, Markers/crayons, Pencil

Human Rights


INTRODUCE

  • REVIEW: Every person has a unique superpower to Ignite Good!. You can discover that superpower by using a simple equation: MY TALENT + MY HEART = MY SUPERPOWER!
  • EXPLAIN: June 19th is Juneteenth. It celebrates the day that enslaved Americans in Texas learned about being freed from slavery by the Emancipation Proclamation. Although Juneteenth celebrations started in Texas, the day is now recognized by almost all the states as a holiday to celebrate enslaved Black Americans becoming free people.
  • SHOW: PBS Kids All About the Holidays: Juneteenth: https://www.facebook.com/PBSKIDS/videos/1099805670211491/
  • DISCUSS:
    • Who is a famous or important Black American that you know?
    • Do you know anyone who celebrates Juneteenth? How do they celebrate?
  • EXPLAIN: Today, we are going to share some ideas about how to celebrate and honor Juneteenth.

EXPLORE

  • EXPLAIN: When people were enslaved, they were not allowed to wear nice clothes. So one way that people celebrate Juneteenth is to dress up in nice clothes.  Another way they celebrate is to read the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • INSTRUCT:
    1. Choose a nice outfit that you can wear for Juneteenth.
    2. Listen to a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNexj6zqNpk
  • EXPLAIN: We’re going to make a collage of famous Black Americans that have made our world a better place.
  • INSTRUCT:
    • Research to find your at least 1 person from at least 5 of the categories below:
      • Inventor
      • Author/Poet
      • Performer
      • Athlete
      • Politician
      • Business owner
      • Activist
      • Doctor
      • Teacher
      • Artist
      • Member of the military
      • Musician
      • Any other category you can think of!
    • Fold the paper in half hamburger-style then flatten in back out.
    • On one half of the paper, put the person’s name and a picture. On the other half write something that people should know about that person (or have an adult help you write it).
    • Once you’ve finished at least 5 people, put your paper together in a collage, however you want, but so that you can see each person. You could also set it up as a gallery.
    • Share your pictures and what you learned with other people!
  • DISCUSS:
    • What does it mean to be free?
    • What does it mean to be enslaved?
  • EXPLAIN: Unfortunately, becoming free did not solve many problems. Many freed Blacks had not been taught how to read and had not been given any skills. Also, Black Americans were not given the freedoms that White Americans enjoyed. In fact, they were not even allowed to celebrate the first anniversary – or many anniversaries afterwards – of Juneteenth in a public park. Our country has struggled to overcome slavery and the racism that continued afterwards, but we have not gotten there yet. One way we can continue to work to overcome it is to honor the amazing contributions of Black Americans to our communities and our country.

CONNECT

  • DISCUSS: How can you continue to work toward the end of racism to ensure full freedom for all Black Americans?
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