I did not know much about Juneteenth until I watched an episode of Blackish a couple years ago. When I started researching for this post, it turns out that I wasn’t the only one who learned about it from watching that episode!
Since I originally wrote this post in 2020, Juneteenth has now become a Federal holiday and many more people are now aware that it marks the day in 1865 when Union troops rode into Galveston, TX and read federal orders letting the enslaved people there know that they were now free.
The Emancipation Proclamation had been signed two years earlier, but the news was slow to travel around the country. The people of Galveston were the last to hear about it.
If you want to teach your kids about this important day then use the videos, books, hands on activities and virtual museum tour below! And, if you want a more in-depth unit study that you can download to your computer, then check out this Juneteenth Unit Study.
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Videos About Juneteenth
This video gives a good overview of the history of Juneteenth. (Approx. 3:30 minutes.)
Here is another short video that shares a little more of how the celebration of Juneteenth has changed throughout history. (Approx. 2 minutes)
Books About Juneteenth
There is a new book from our favorite series! Our full Juneteenth Unit Study is based on this book.
Here is a list of 10 books about Juneteenth from picture books to young adult books to books for adults.
And another great list of books including choices for elementary, middle and high school.
Download a free reading passage with vocabulary for middle schoolers.
Khan Academy also has an informative write-up about Juneteenth for older students. It includes some first hand reactions from people who were freed to the news that they were freed.
Hands On Activities
Grab this following direction activity to review the surrounding history in a fun hands on way.
Juneteenth Music Lesson
Music in Our Homeschool has a lesson for Juneteenth where they share three ‘Freedom Songs’ with you. Check out the free lesson here.
Include a virtual museum tour in your study. A great resource for this is exploring the various collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Have other activities for learning about Juneteenth? Share them below!
In-Depth Unit Study
If you want to go deeper into this holiday, check out our full Juneteenth Unit Study based on the book What is Juneteenth? It is 33 pages long and downloadable to your computer.