Teaching October 2023

by Ted Levine

Welcome to October! The stores are full of Halloween and Fall decorations, but we know this month is so much more than All Hallows Eve. While you are lesson planning and thinking of interesting topics for your students, mark your calendar for these 8 important dates. Have a wonderful October!

Blindness Awareness Month

Around the world, there are over 285 million individuals with a visual impairment. Because October is Blindness Awareness Month, it’s also the perfect opportunity to teach your students about how their eyes work, develop, and how to protect them. Our Eyes Unit offers all of these Topics and more!

October 9 – Indigenous People’s Day

On this holiday, we honor all Native American peoples around the country. This is an opportunity to introduce new cultures to your classroom through our Native America Unit. We also offer specific Units by region, including the Plains Indians, Northwest Coast Peoples, and Southwest Peoples 

October 9 – Columbus Day

This federal holiday marks the anniversary of the day that Italian explorer Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas. While many view this day as an opportunity to celebrate Italian-American heritage, it also brought an age of exploration–and in turn, colonization in the Western Hemisphere. Along with our suggested Units above for Indigenous People’s Day, consider sharing our Exploring the Americas Unit to show your students multiple perspectives on colonial history.

October 14 – Chuck Yaeger Breaks the Sound Barrier

On this day in 1947, Air Force pilot Chuck Yaeger became the first person in history to break the sound barrier. That means he was traveling at Mach 1, or as fast as the speed of sound, creating a sonic boom. This was an incredible feat for mankind as it proved that humans could travel that fast without injury and helped us move one step closer to the possibility of reaching space. For all of the inquisitive scientists in your class, share our Sound Unit

October 27 – Teddy Roosevelt’s Birthday

While he would eventually become one of our most universally loved presidents, Theodore Roosevelt was born on this day in 1858 in New York City. A lover of animals and a champion for the environment, his life was one action-filled adventure. In our Teddy Roosevelt Unit, you can learn all about the man behind the rimless eyeglasses and maybe be inspired by our 26th president.

October 28 – Statue of Liberty Dedicated (1886)

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” On this day in 1886, the Statue of Liberty was officially dedicated, serving as a welcoming beacon to those coming to America through Ellis Island. We offer three different Units highlighting this American experience: Ellis Island, Immigration, and the Statue of Liberty. For your younger readers, they’ll love our new Units on U.S. Symbols and Flags and Other Symbols. Use this time to have your students explore their own genealogy and discover where their family originally came from.

October 29 – Big Cat Day

Lions, and tigers, and leopards… Oh my! One of the most beloved groups of wild animals are big cats. In our Big Cats Unit, students will personally get to know the “Big Six” that star in every trip to the zoo. Can they name them all? They may look cute and cuddly, but these fierce predators are more than meets the eye. 

October 31 – Halloween

Don’t let this candy-fueled holiday get away from you and your students. After the celebration, have students read through some of our spookiest Units. Bones, Spiders, and Mummies, oh my! Don’t worry, these Units have no trick and are all treat! 


Ted Levine