Juneteenth is an American celebration marking the end of slavery, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached the last U.S. state, Texas on June 19, 1865.
Read more about the history and traditions of Juneteenth in our article. If you would like to introduce your pupils to the event, these resources will help you.
Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is at the heart of Juneteenth, so you could introduce the topic with our short "Who Am I?" quiz which you can download. (Right-click once the link opens and choose "Save As" to download.)
This is a short video about Juneteenth is a good introduction to the holiday from B1.
Each year, in Galveston, where the original Juneteenth happened, celebrations include a re-enactment of the reading of General Order Number 3, freeing the last slaves in the U.S.A. The video is short and simple, usable from A2. Pupils can be asked to imagine what is happening – they need to understand that it is a re-enactment.
Minnesota is home to one of the biggest Juneteenth celebrations. This video from Minnesota Historical Society is entitled "Juneteenth: Freedom at Last". The first 2'30" is a clear, slow introduction to the history, usable from A2+. In fact the first 30 seconds or so is just images and a song. And from 2'30" there are great images of the modern-day Juneteenth celebration and interesting comments from African Americans on the importance and experience of the event. The comments need more maturity to put into context, but are well adapted to lycée students.
This "Juneteenth Cartoon for Kids" is visually appealing but the language is actually relatively difficult. However, the onscreen text helps back up what is being said orally, so students from A2+ can get a lot of information, while, as usual, reminding them that it isn't a problem if they don't understand every single word.
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