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June 29, 2023

What to Teach This Month: July

From shark science to Nelson Mandela to space exploration, get lessons for many exciting topics you can delve into with students in July.


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There were two things that came to my husband’s mind when I asked him what he connected with the month of July as a child: attending baseball games and running through sprinklers. I could definitely relate to that connection. There was nothing quite like being pelted in the face with spraying water and becoming covered in mud from the puddles that formed in my parents’ previously well-manicured lawn. And growing up in Kansas City Royals territory, my parents loved to take us to Friday Buck Nights at the stadium in the summer, when you could get hot dogs and peanuts for just a $1 each. Is it just me, or do hotdogs always taste better at a baseball game?

For me, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of July is fireworks. This is probably due to the fact that I spent several summers in high school and college managing a fireworks tent for a nonprofit. But it can also be credited to the fact that we lived in the countryside, and my father was known for the impressive firework shows he displayed each July. The first week of July can certainly be a fun time, and Share My Lesson has lots of activities to help make the Fourth of July a blast for all. Explore those resources here. Beyond the Fourth of July though, there are many exciting topics that one can delve into in July.

Here are five engaging topics with accompanying resources to explore in July:

Shark Science

Shark Fest starts July 2 for National Geographic; Disney’s Shark Appreciation Day is July 14; and Discovery’s Shark Week starts July 23. You could say that July is “shark”ingly full of events centered on this species. Dive deep into this preK-12 educational collection all about shark science and healthy oceans.

National Parks and Recreation

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, a time to celebrate the amazing individuals who work in parks and rec, and how parks are a vital part of building communities. Plunge into all things parks this month with these resources.

Nelson Mandela

July 18 is Nelson Mandela Day. Mandela was a human rights activist in South Africa. He fought against apartheid, which led to his 27-year imprisonment; he was later released and went on to become South Africa’s first Black president. Learn about Mandela and his legacy with these resources.

Space Exploration

Space Exploration Day is July 20 and celebrates our journeys among the stars. The holiday was created by President Ronald Reagan in commemoration of the first moon landing on July 20, 1969. Engage in exploring space with these fun resources. 

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart Day is July 24. Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. She was a feminist and trailblazer whose actions helped lead the way for many young girls and women to pursue their dreams regardless of gender stereotypes. Learn more about her story with these two resources.

Your Summer of Learning

Looking for summer PD hours, ideas for back to school, or just ways to relax? Visit our 2023 Summer of Learning page for upcoming summer webinars, teaching resources, blogs, self-care ideas and more.

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Megan Ortmeyer

Megan Ortmeyer is an SML Team Member and has worked in the AFT Educational Issues Department since fall 2018. She received her M.A. in education policy studies in May 2020 from the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the George Washington University.

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