Teaching May

by Kids Discover

April showers bring May flowers! For some schools, this is the final stretch until the end of the school year. Even if your school isn’t finished until June, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, give your students something new to learn about with these relevant Units and Topics from Kids Discover.

May 4 – World Asthma Day

More than 25 million Americans have asthma, including 8.4 percent of children. Asthma is a disease that makes it hard for a person to breathe, and many things can trigger an attack, like allergies, a change in the weather, or physical exertion. Help kids learn more about asthma and other lung problems in our Topic Lungs in Trouble. It’s just one of the many Topics from the Lungs Unit.

May 10 – The Transcontinental Railroad Completed (1869)

On this day in 1869, the two sides of the first transcontinental railroad met in Promontory, Utah. What started as a competition between two dueling companies, ended with nearly 2,000 miles of track and the first railroad line that stretched the entire width of the United States. Getting Americans from one coast to another used to take months, and could now be accomplished in just under a week. Trains are magical machines that stimulate the imagination and our Trains Unit explores the railroads of old to their place in modern cities. 

May 18 – Mount St. Helens Eruption (1980)

Mount Saint Helens lies in between the cities of Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. It’s also one of the most famous volcanoes in the United States. An earthquake that hit the area in 1980 ultimately led to its catastrophic eruption. Volcanoes are a force of nature that has fascinated people for generations. Our Volcanoes Unit gives students an inside look at a volcano, how they form, and how we have learned to live with them

May 22 – Pioneers Begin to Head West (1843)

Although Native American tribes have long called western United States home, it took settlers a few generations to begin the journey westward. On this day in 1843, the first major wagon train departed for the west coast on the Oregon Trail. Thousands of more pioneers followed in the upcoming decades. Read about both sides of this great migration. Both our Westward Expansion and Pioneers Units will teach about the Europeans who moved westward. To learn more about the Native American tribes they may have encountered along the way, also read our Plains Indians Unit

May 26 – Sally Ride’s Birthday 

Happy Birthday to Sally Ride! In 1983, she became the first American woman in space, inspiring a new generation of physicists and astronauts. Our Space Unit always continues to inspire students, including Topics on The Solar System, The International Space Station, and beyond. Who knows, there’s a chance that you have a future astronaut or astronomer in your class right now! 

May 29 – Hillary and Norgay Reach the Top of Mt. Everest (1953)

Standing at 29,035 feet above sea level, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. Reaching the top of it has long been considered one of the greatest feats mankind can accomplish. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay have the distinction of being the first-ever to complete this task on this day in 1953. Our Mountains Unit will help your class explore some of the greatest peaks from around the world. This is a reading experience that will take them to new heights! 

May 31 – Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have fought and died for the United States in the armed forces. Services around the country will be held for the men and women who have helped keep America safe. As you discuss this important holiday with your students, begin with The Monuments of Our Capital Topic from our Washington, D.C. Unit. From there, students can explore our Units on the Civil War, World War I, or World War II


Kids Discover For over 25 years, we’ve been creating beautifully crafted nonfiction products for kids. With a specialty in science and social studies, our team of talented writers, award-winning designers and illustrators, and subject-experts from leading institutions is committed to a single mission: to get children excited about reading and learning.