June 19, 2023

Alveary Lessons - Juneteenth Sneak Peek!

Alveary Lessons - Juneteenth Sneak Peek!Alveary Lessons - Juneteenth Sneak Peek!

This Juneteenth, we are sharing a few selections from our 2023-2024 Alveary curriculum which especially celebrate emancipation and feature several beautiful pieces of literature, music, and art which African Americans have created over the centuries. We hope you enjoy this Juneteenth-themed “sneak peek” of our curriculum, and we invite you to share the feast with family and friends. Learn more about Alveary at alveary.org


Adapted from Alveary Grade 8 Poetry lessons for this blog post


This book [I, Too, Sing America] is a collection of poetry written by African Americans over a span of three centuries.  Each week you will read a short bio and a poem from a different poet. A good principle for reading poetry is to read it once, think about it or discuss it and then reread it. Poetry takes time and more than one reading to appreciate its meaning and beauty. 


Enjoy a brief biography of Lucy Terry, one of the earliest known African-American poets. She also argued a case before the Supreme Court! 

  • Sonnet by James Weldon Johnson (who also wrote the folk song below!)


Adapted from Alveary Music lessons Grades 1-12 for this blog post.


Included in many hymnals, Lift Every Voice & Sing was written in 1900 for Abraham Lincoln's birthday by a pair of brothers. James Weldon Johnson wrote the lyrics and his brother J. Rosamond composed the tune. It was first performed by 500 African-American school children and continues to be performed regularly today, over a century later, by children's choirs, singers like Beyoncé, and everyone in between. You may have heard it on TV this year as it was performed at the 2023 Super Bowl. Sometimes called the Black National Anthem, this sober yet hopeful song has inspired generations and shows, especially as we start our study of the 20th century, the hope and confidence that marked the early 1900s.  


After reading about the song if desired (see Teacher/Student Tip), listen to it several times, then read the lyrics aloud. 


Adapted from Alveary Picture Study lessons for Grades 1-12 for this blog post. 


Look at art quietly for a few minutes; study the work as a whole, then begin to observe details. 

  • ⍞ Art Print: Migration of the Negro, Panel 1 1941, Casein Tempera on Hardwood, 12 in x 18 in, The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C. U.S.A. (included in Our Work Books & Artist Portfolio for Alveary members)

Still looking at art, tell all you notice. Look and listen while others narrate.


Continue natural discussion, using questions to strengthen observational skills and view image. Share about artist's life as opportunities arise.                      

  • What do you see in the painting?
  • What are the people doing? How many people are there?
  • What colors did Lawrence use in his painting?
  • What are the names of the cities on the signs? What states are these cities in?
  • Can you think of a time that you have studied in history or literature that might go along with this painting?
  • Share the title of the artwork. What bearing does it have on the meaning of the art?

∞ Video Link: The Vibrant Legacy of Jacob Lawrence


*May be used as a discussion question or as an assignment in composition lessons.

Pretend that you are one of the people in this painting. Which city would you choose to migrate to and why? Tell all about the life that you are leaving behind and what you are looking forward to in the city you are migrating to. 


*Students may choose to put dates in their Book of Centuries or History Timelines as they desire.

Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000)

Further Resources

*this post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting CMI!

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.