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What to Teach in Septembr

What are you teaching in September?

What to Teach This Month: September

September 1, 2023

What to Teach This Month: September

What are you teaching this month? Check out some September highlights.

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School is in session! Now that we’ve jumped head-on into the new academic year, Share My Lesson is taking another look at what lessons educators and parents can share with students this month.

For many, September marks the beginning of lively classrooms full of excited students and the end of those long and lazy summer days. With this in mind, there are fresh opportunities to set a positive and inclusive tone in your classroom for the months ahead. This month is full of historical, cultural and social themes that can be woven into lessons across all subjects, from history and social studies to literature and the arts and even economics! Integrating these important historical ideas and events that have shaped our society not only makes learning relevant and engaging, but also helps students connect classroom knowledge with real-world applications. Read on to review this month’s highlights! 

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Do you have any recommendations about what to teach in any specific months of the year? Let us know your ideas in the comment section below. Or, if you upload a lesson to Share My Lesson, share the link below.

Labor Day

Labor Day for many is the official end of summer—one last chance to scarf down some hot dogs and laze around in the pool before we gear up for the chill of autumn. But do your students know that Labor Day is much more than just another long holiday weekend?

On the first Monday of September, we commemorate the labor movement's efforts in establishing fair wages, reasonable hours and safe working conditions. By understanding the struggles and triumphs of workers, students can cultivate a deeper appreciation for the rights and privileges they enjoy today. Teaching about Labor Day fosters a sense of social responsibility and connection to community values, and it also promotes awareness of ongoing labor issues, encouraging the next generation to remain vigilant in upholding the principles of social justice and human dignity in the workplace.

Emmett Till

How can we use the past to help students understand the origin of today’s social movements and political issues? On Sept. 3, 1955, Emmett Till was buried, and his funeral reignited a widespread passion for the civil rights movement. Teaching about the murder of Emmett Till and the history of racism in America is important in developing a nuanced understanding of our nation's complex social fabric. Exploring this painful chapter provides students with an opportunity to reflect on the systemic injustices that have shaped the experiences of Black Americans and other marginalized communities, and it encourages critical thinking about the American legacy of discrimination and the ongoing struggle for equity.

By teaching hard historical facts and truths, educators can promote a more inclusive and compassionate perspective, helping to build a future that recognizes and challenges racial inequity.

Sept. 11 / Patriot Day

Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001? I was a freshman in high school getting on my morning bus when I heard over the radio about the towers falling; it's a profoundly tangible memory I revisit every September. 

So how do you reflect on the tragedy of 9/11 in your classroom? All of our students in preK-12 classrooms today were born after the attack. What ideas come to mind when they discuss what happened that day? Share My Lesson has an entire collection of resources from partners like the 9/11 Memorial & Museum that cover the events of that day, how we can build compassion and tolerance for others, and understanding the importance of historical memory. You can also learn about related days of service with our partner 9/11 Day.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Do your students know the difference between describing someone as Hispanic or Latino? Can they name a type of music or dance from a Hispanic country? 

Teaching about Hispanic Heritage Month is essential in promoting cultural awareness and fostering a more inclusive and empathetic society. The celebration, observed annually from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, honors the contributions, history and cultural richness of Hispanic and Latino Americans. During this time, students can engage with the different traditions, foods, music, dance, stories and vibrancy of Hispanic culture. Highlighting these unique contributions to society encourages a more comprehensive and compassionate worldview and helps us break down stereotypes and prejudices. Use celebrations like Hispanic Heritage Month to empower students to recognize the value in all cultures, fostering a community where differences are not just tolerated but celebrated.

Welcoming Week

How are you making all your students feel welcomed and included during the back-to-school season? Welcoming Week (September 8-17, 2023) is an annual celebration of communities becoming more welcoming to immigrants, and we have resources to provide ideas on how you can institute this celebration in your classroom. A diverse and inclusive classroom is a better classroom for everyone, and when students feel like they belong, they are more likely to thrive.

Constitution Day

Do you know that Constitution Day, recognized on Sept. 17, is more than just a historical commemoration, but a crucial part of ensuring our students understand the importance of a functioning democracy? Constitution Day provides both an annual opportunity to highlight the importance of the principles and values that shape our American government and to learn more about the history behind this nation-defining document.

The resources in this collection are designed to empower educators in shaping a new generation of informed and engaged participants in our democratic society by using resources and lesson plans curated to underscore the significance of the Constitution; the need for active citizenship; and the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion.

National Voter Registration Day

Do your students know that as many as one-quarter of eligible Americans are not registered to vote? Each year, millions of Americans discover they’re unable to vote because of a missed deadline, or aren’t sure how to register to vote at all.

So why should you talk about this with your students?

  1. Voting is a fundamental right and responsibility that belongs to all citizens.
  2. Young people’s voices are often underrepresented in government.
  3. Students can appreciate being civically engaged and becoming active citizens.

National Voter Registration Day (September 19, 2023) is a great opportunity for students to learn about the importance of voting and how to register to vote. Share My Lesson has resources not only for high school students, but also for students of all ages to understand the importance of voting in every election.

U.N. Climate Council Events

Have your students heard of the U.N. Climate Council, also known officially as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change? This September, there are several dates you can take advantage of to highlight the importance of climate education and sustainability. Whether you’re looking to teach about clean air and blue skies, the preservation of the ozone layer, sustainable development goals (SDGs), or explain the importance of the Climate Ambition Summit, Share My Lesson has a rich collection of resources to support you.

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Andy Kratochvil
Andy Kratochvil is an SML team member who loves hiking, video games, scary books, Mexican food, and finding great content for the Share My Lesson community. He studied political science and French at California State University, Fullerton and received his Master’s in International Affairs from... See More
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