Juneteenth is an important holiday in the USA that celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people. It was first celebrated on June 19th, 1865 in Texas after the civil war.
If you’re looking for some of the best Juneteenth lesson plan ideas, you’re in the right place. We have activities, worksheets, vocabulary words, lesson plans and more! Keep on reading for the best ideas for talking about Juneteenth with students.
Juneteenth Classroom Activity Ideas
Let’s get into the best Juneteenth activities.
This is a challenging listening activity for higher-level students. Find, or write a passage talking about Juneteenth and read it out very quickly. Students have to listen, take notes and compare them with a partner. Read it out again, quickly and students attempt to recreate what they just heard. Find out more: Dictogloss.
#2: Plan an ESL Speaking Lesson Plan
It’s easier than you might think to plan an ESL lesson for just about any topic, including Juneteenth. There are a few simple steps you can follow to put together an excellent lesson. Have a look here:
#3: Juneteenth Videos
One of my favourite things to do for holidays is to have students learn about their history. There are many excellent options on YouTube. Have a search and you’re sure to find one that’ll work for the age and level of your students. Once you’re done that, here are some of my ideas for how to use video in the classroom.
#4: Consider Task-Based Activities
I love task-based activities because students are able to have some degree or freedom and can learn what they want to learn. This increases motivation in a big way. Check out some of my ideas for this kind of lesson. Many of them will work well for a Juneteenth lesson. Have a look: Task-Based Teaching.
#5: Word Association
This is a nice activity if students are already quite familiar with this holiday. This helps students activate their prior knowledge before teaching them any new information about it. Try it out:
#6: Juneteenth ESL Reading Lesson Plan
It’s quite easy to design your own reading lesson plan. Find a passage talking about the history of Juneteenth or the experience of the modern-day holiday. Then, set the context, and some reading tasks and go from there. It’s easier than you might think and the best part is that the lesson is tailored to the exact needs of the students. Find out more: ESL Reading Lesson Plan Template.
#7: Concentration ESL Vocabulary Game
There are lots of words associated with this holiday that students may not be familiar with. A fun way to review them is with this matching memory game. Find out more here: Concentration Game.
#8: Odd One Out
This is a nice warm-up or review activity and works well for Juneteenth vocabulary. Have a look:
#9: Flyswatter Game
This is another fun vocabulary game that works as a nice review activity. If you want to create a bit of excitement in the class, this is the activity for you! Find out how it works here: Flyswatter Game.
This is a simple writing activity that I often use for vacations but it can work well for this holiday. Have students pretend that they are one of the enslaved people who were set free and they can write a postcard to a friend or family member. Students can get creative and draw a picture on the front of it.
#11: Use an ESL Listening Lesson
Check out these simple steps you can follow to plan an entire lesson around Juneteenth. Try it out and you’ll see how easy it is. The benefit is that the lesson can be tailored exactly to students’ needs.
#12: Picture Prompt
This is a simple warmer activity. Put up a picture that represents Juneteenth and have students shout out some words that they know. It’s a nice way to help students activate prior knowledge before jumping into the heart of the lesson.
#13: Presentation Project
A nice group project is to have students research one aspect of this holiday and then do a short presentation about it. I generally have students brainstorm some things they could learn about and then have them pick one of them, avoiding repeats. Then, students have to make a poster or PowerPoint slide and teach the rest of the class about it.
#14: Juneteenth Running Dictation
This is one of my favourite activities for creating a little bit of excitement in the classroom! Students can learn some of the history, or dictate conversation between two people talking about Juneteenth. Find out all the details:
Check out Discovery.com and their Puzzle Maker (do a simple Google search) and you can make your own word puzzles. This is a fun way to review some new vocabulary and students really enjoy doing it.
#16: Art and Craft
Have students create artwork or crafts inspired by Juneteenth. This could include drawing, painting, or making a collage that represents freedom and emancipation.
#17: Music and Dance
Play traditional African-American music or songs related to freedom and emancipation. Encourage students to move to the music or learn a simple dance step.
#18: Food and Culture
Discuss traditional Juneteenth foods, such as barbecue, red soda water, and sweet treats. Students can learn about these foods and their significance in African-American culture.
Divide students into groups and have them role-play a scene from history, such as slaves receiving news of their freedom on Juneteenth.
At the end of the lesson, have students reflect on what they have learned about Juneteenth and how it relates to their own lives and experiences.
Here are some of the most common words associated with Juneteenth:
Here are some of the top options for worksheets for Juneteenth:
Lesson Plans for Juneteenth
If you’re a teacher, then you already know how much time it can save to use a lesson plan that another teacher has made. Here are some of the top picks for Juneteenth lesson plans:
More Ideas for Great Lessons
The key to better English lessons is a wide variety of interesting and engaging games and activities. Your students will learn the grammar and vocabulary in a fun and effective way, which will keep them coming back for more!
Check out this book with dozens of top-quality TEFL games and activities: 101 ESL Activities for Teenagers and Adults. Pick up a copy of the book today and get ready for better English classes tomorrow:
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 148 Pages - 03/09/2016 (Publication Date)
FAQs about Juneteenth for English Learners
There are a number of common questions that people have about this holiday. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated in the United States on June 19th to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
Why is Juneteenth significant?
Juneteenth is significant because it marks the day when news of the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves, reached the last enslaved African Americans in Texas.
When did Juneteenth become a federal holiday?
Juneteenth became a federal holiday in the United States on June 17, 2021, when President Joe Biden signed it into law.
How do people celebrate Juneteenth?
People celebrate Juneteenth through various activities such as parades, cookouts, music performances, historical reenactments, and educational events that highlight African American culture and history.
What is the significance of the Juneteenth flag?
The Juneteenth flag, also known as the “Freedom Day” or “Liberation” flag, is a symbol of the holiday. It features a star in the middle, representing Texas, with a burst that symbolizes a new dawn of freedom and a new beginning for African Americans. The colors red, white, and blue are a reminder of the American flag and the Union Army, which played a role in enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth Activities and Lesson Plan Ideas: Join the Conversation
Do you have any ideas for talking about Juneteenth with students? Leave a comment and let us know about it! We’d love to hear from you.
Last update on 2022-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API