Saturday, June 19th, is Juneteenth Day, a commemoration of the freeing of slaves in the United States. Signed into law in 2021 and first observed on June 18, 2021, it is now a federal holiday. This holiday reminds all of the Civil War era, when slaves were declared free on June 19, 1867. In this blog entry, you will explore a variety of teaching resources for Juneteenth, a portmanteau of the words “June” and “nineteenth.”
For those looking to integrate this national celebration into the classroom, there are a number of great digital resources available. Let’s explore a few.
About the Word
As an ELA teacher, one of the most fascinating aspects (after historical significance) is the word itself. If you are not familiar with the term “portmanteau,” you will recognize many examples. A portmanteau is a word formed when two words are merged together. Consider the combination of “breakfast” and “lunch” to form “brunch.” Even movies can be portmanteaus, “two meanings packed up into one word” (source).
Examples of portmanteaus, like Juneteenth, exist all around us as digital explorers:
- Email is formed of “electronic” and “mail,” or Gmail is “Google” plus “mail.”
- Malware is the beginning of “malicious” and the end of “software.”
- Wi-Fi is “wireless” and “fidelity.”
- Webinar is “web” and “seminar” together.
- Netiquette is “internet” plus “etiquette.”
As you can imagine, there are many examples, such as spork, smog, velcro, turducken, madcap, and slacktivism (source. See this Seesaw Library activity for example of a lesson on portmanteau.
Why not learn more about Juneteenth through a digital scavenger hunt? In this example, you can explore a Wakelet Collection to learn more about Juneteenth. Accompanying each task is an informational website, video, or resource students can view. Students can record their takeaways and reflections with Flipgrid, a free tool available to all educators. You can make a copy of the Wakelet Collection and modify it for your own use.
View it online at https://tinyurl.com/juneteenthfliphunt
Curious about the origin of fliphunts? Kathi Kersznowski decided to create an internet scavenger hunt that relies on Flipgrid. You can find many examples online via the Twitter hashtag, #Fliphunt.
Use this Fliphunt to learn more about Juneteenth (use the join code: b5147640) and celebrate the emancipation of slaves. For each response, use the title hashtag (#freedom for Task 1) as the title of your video. For each task, students have up to 90 seconds to share their response.
Juneteenth Lesson Plans and Resources
In this Wakelet Collection, you will find a variety of digital resources and activities for Juneteenth. Some of those include the following:
- Using Historical Fiction to Learn About the Civil War
- Teaching About Juneteenth
- Teach for America Speaker Series
- Juneteenth Activities for the Classroom
- FreshPlans Collection of Juneteenth Activities
There are ample resources for teaching Juneteenth. Explore them in the Wakelet below.
See it online at https://tinyurl.com/tceajune19r
Don’t forget to explore our list of civil rights and civic education resources, “Understanding This Moment through Civic Education.” You can also utilize other TechNotes articles, like “Exploring Civil Rights History with Digital Resources” and “Digital Resources for MLK Day.”