Matt Homrich-Knieling May 31, 2024

Sunday Scaries June: Lesson Plans & Strategies for June

Matt Homrich-Knieling

Writer and Educator

We’re in the homestretch of the school year! Are your final units coming to a close? Not sure how to use these last few weeks for meaningful learning? Looking for engaging and relevant lesson plans? We’ve got you covered! June is filled with celebrations and observances that can facilitate excellent learning experiences for all classrooms.

We’ve developed a list of innovative and educational lesson plans created by BetterLesson Master Teachers that will engage students at every grade-level throughout this month’s observances. 

We’ve also put together a series of lessons and activities to facilitate end-of-year reflection for all students!

Father’s Day (June 16th)*

Lesson Plan: Sentence Practice to the Moon and Back!
Grade Level: Elementary
Big Idea: After reading Eric Carles’ Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, students will identify parts of a sentence and reconstruct a sentence that makes sense. This sentence practice project doubles as a Father’s Day card! 

Lesson Plan: Observing Stars, A Fiction Connection
Grade Level: Elementary
Big Idea: In this lesson, students read How Many Stars in the Sky, a children’s book where a boy and his father try to count the stars. After reading, students will describe the setting using key details and illustrations.

Lesson Plan: People, Places, and Objects That Will Help Us Write Meaningful Memoirs
Grade Level: Middle
Big Idea: In this lesson, students generate ideas from their own lives about people, places and objects and turn them into small meaningful moments. (Note: this lesson can be modified to focus specifically on fathers/father figures.)

Lesson Plan: Comparing and Contrasting Abraham and Okonkwo’s Sacrificial Acts
Grade Level: High School
Big Idea: In this lesson, students explore the complexities of faith and the responsibility of fatherhood.

*Consideration: Some students might not have a father, have lost a father, or have a complicated relationship to/with their father. Use appropriate discretion/modifications when engaging in these lessons.

Juneteenth (June 19th)

Lesson Plan: African-American History Game
Grade Level: Elementary
Big Idea: In this lesson, students assess their knowledge of African American history by playing a Jeopardy-inspired game.

Lesson Plan: Black History Photo Story Research
Grade Level: Elementary
Big Idea: In this lesson, students research and plan topics for a Microsoft Photo Story to document major events and highlight influential people in African American history. 

Lesson Plan: Harriet Tubman
Grade Level: Elementary
Big Idea: In this lesson, students deepen their knowledge of African American history by reading about Harriet Tubman.

Lesson Plan: Who is Crispus Attucks? A Unknown Hero
Grade Level: Middle
Big Idea: In this lesson, students determine a theme or central idea of a piece of text and provide an objective summary of how Attucks is an American hero during the American Revolutionary time period. 

Lesson Plan: Characters & Motives: Using Annotation To Understand Decisions of Slaves in “Runagate Runagate”
Grade Level: Middle
Big Idea: In this lesson, students express central themes of the Underground Railroad and explain how characters’ actions show their personality and motivation in life to be FREE.

Lesson Plan: Understanding Word Choice and Zora Neal Hurston’s Feelings About Herself in How it Feels to be Colored Me
Grade Level: High School
Big Idea: In this lesson, students study the word choice, and interpret the author Zora Neal Hurston’s feelings behind the ideas she expresses in How it Feels to be Colored Me by answering integrated text dependent questions.

Lesson Plan: Every Detail Matters: The Slave Narrative
Grade Level: High School
Big Idea: After reading an excerpt from Solomon Northup’s 12 Years a Slave, students infer what the text is saying, both implicitly and explicitly, and support their inferences with text evidence.

End-of-the-Year Activities (all month)

In addition to the lesson plans below, you can also review this list of reflection-based end of the school year projects.

Lesson Plan: Did You Know??
Grade Level: Elementary
Big Idea: In this lesson, students will be able to communicate interesting science facts from their third grade year. 

Lesson Plan: Summer Break
Grade Level: Elementary
Big Idea: In this lesson, students share their ideas about what will happen over their summer in a narrative using temporal words.

Lesson Plan: Favorite Summer Activity
Grade Level: Elementary
Big Idea: In this lesson, students will interview their classmates about their favorite summary activity, organize the results, then answer questions about their findings.

Lesson Plan: End of the Year Reflection
Grade Level: Middle
Big Idea: In this lesson, students reflect on the end of the year and share their favorite memories out loud.

Lesson Plan: The End Of Year Book Project in Action
Grade Level: Middle
Big Idea: In this lesson, students compare texts they’ve read throughout the year in order to analyze common themes, genres, or characters. 

Lesson Plan: Reflecting on a Year of Writing
Grade Level: Middle
Big Idea: In this lesson, students analyze their writing for patterns of strength and weakness, while choosing a piece to “deeply revise.”

Lesson Plan: Speaking and Listening: End of the year reflective exit interviews
Grade Level: High School
Big Idea: In this lesson, students participate effectively in conversation and adapt language to fit the formal nature of the conversation by answering questions during an end-of-year exit interview.  

Lesson Plan: What is your passion? Make a five year plan.
Grade Level: High School
Big Idea: In this lesson, students examine the complex idea of passion and explain passion’s role in their life by writing an essay describing a five year plan to develop their passion.  

Lesson Plan: Reflective Writing: A letter looking back at Sophomore year
Grade Level: High School
Big Idea: In this lesson, students examine complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content by writing a letter to their teacher explaining successes and failures of sophomore year. (This lesson can be used in all high school grades)