Commemorating Juneteenth using CBL & Apple Tools

Apple Maps screen shot of location of announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston Texas.
Apple Maps screen shot of location of announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas.


The newest U.S. National Holiday, Juneteenth, is another wonderful opportunity for student celebration and learning (great for summer programs). Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the announcement of the end of slavery in Texas and encourages reflection and progress on race relations and equity.

A possible Challenge Based Learning (CBL) Scenario

Using Juneteenth as a Big Idea or topic in a Challenge Based Learning activity provides learners with the opportunity to involve and inform their communities about the commemoration. I’m outlining some simple steps to suggest to teachers as starters for a CBL based activity.

  • Create an engaging entry point to the activity using Keynote, Clips or iMovie to introduce the Big Idea. Consider telling the story of the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas.
  • Challenge learner teams to brainstorm questions about the event and select questions to research.
  • Post research and additional questions on a collaborative Freeform. Student teams share relevant primary source documents and historical information.
  • Teams create and refine an essential question such as, “How can we celebrate and inform our community about Juneteenth?”
  • Brainstorm ideas around the essential question, teams continue to research and refine.
  • Determine a project proposal and share idea in Keynote, Clips or iMovie presentations. Teams collect peer feedback and constructive suggestions for project improvement.
  • Teams organize and act on selected solution. Examples of solutions might include a virtual panel discussion, an art exhibition, a poetry slam, or a community service project.
  • Select tools to implement CBL activity. For example:
  •   Pages for community event flyers or informational brochures
  •  Keynote for presentations to engage the community
  •  Numbers to keep track of tasks, budgets, or RSVPs
  •  iMovie or Clips for promotional videos or documentaries about Juneteenth
  • Garageband for podcasts or interviews
  • Freeform for collaborative brainstorming
  • Notes for collecting research information

To assess, use reflective writing with peer feed back that evaluates content learning, project successes and challenges and team organization.

Movie Export of Keynote created timeline with primary sources that inform Juneteenth

I’ve also attached a Pages file that outlines other activities for Juneteenth Utilizing Digital Activities to Learn About & Celebrate Juneteenth. It incorporates listening and speaking practice, note taking, interviewing and community and civic engagement and involvement. (download below).

Let me know what else you would add or what approach would help educators use this holiday as a learning opportunity.

More & new amazing resources on Challenge Based Learning:


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