Lesson Plan: Celebrating Freedom (Grade 3)


In this lesson, students will define emancipation, research and describe Juneteenth, and design a freedom or Juneteenth banner. Includes AASL, CCSS, McREL standards.



• Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge. (AASL 1)

• Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge. (AASL 2)

• Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society. (AASL 3)

• Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. (CCSS 5)

• Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur). (CCSS 6)

• Use electronic media to get information (e.g., databases, Internet, CD-ROM, television shows, videos, pull-down menus, word searches). (McREL 3)

• Use word reference materials (e.g., glossary, dictionary, thesaurus) to determine the meaning, pronunciation, and derivations of unknown words. (McREL 4)

• Summarize and paraphrase information in texts (e.g., includes the main idea and significant supporting details of a reading selection). (McREL 9)



• Define emancipation.

• Research and describe Juneteenth.

• Design a freedom or Juneteenth banner.


1. The social studies teacher briefly guides the student to use a dictionary to search the word “emancipation.”

2. The school librarian reads and discusses a book on Juneteenth or a fiction source on the topic.

3. Teachers guide students to research online and print Juneteenth resources for small group work. Students give personal thoughts also.

4. The class will discuss their worksheet answers.

5. The art teacher will guide students in the design of a Juneteenth or freedom banner.

Teaching Team

Art, school librarian, and social studies teachers.

Suggested Sources

Acosta, Teresa Palomo. Juneteenth. Handbook of Texas Online. Updated 2015. Retrieved from https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/lkj01

Coleman, Wim. Follow the Drinking Gourd: Come Along the Underground Railroad. Concord, MA: Red Chair Press, 2015.

Cooper, F. Juneteenth for Mazie. Mankato, MN: Capstone, 2015.

Johnson, Angela. All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014.

Merriam-Webster Incorporated. Learners Dictionary. Updated 2006. Retrieved from http://learnersdictionary.com

Additional Selections from SLC:

Bolden, Tonya. Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty. Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2013..

Kingfisher Children’s Illustrated Dictionary & Thesaurus, 2nd ed. Kingfisher, 2011.

Krensky, Stephen. The Emancipation Proclamation. Benchmark Books, 2011.

Merriam-Webster Children’s Dictionary. DK Publishing, 2015.

This lesson plan is excerpted from Standards-Based Lesson Plans for the Busy Elementary School Librarian by Joyce Keeling. Libraries Unlimited. Copyright © 2017.

About the Author

Joyce Keeling, EdS, is a school librarian and teacher for elementary and middle school library students at Clarion-Goldfield-Dows Schools, Clarion, IA. She holds a batchelor’s in elementary teaching, a master’s in K-12 library, and a doctorate in curriculum and teaching.

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