Welcome to 2019! If the “holiday hangover” is still causing your brain to move a little slower, fear not–because we’ve got you covered. Here are some relevant historical dates and anniversaries to teach this January. Make 2019 the year you captivate your classroom!
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for updates on daily Free Topics, Lesson Plans and other teaching inspiration.
January 3 – Leonardo Da Vinci Tests “Flying Machine” (1496)
Although the test proved unsuccessful, it was over 400 years prior to the Wright Brothers’ first flight. While Da Vinci might be most well-known as an artist, he also had numerous inventions you might not be aware of. He was a true Renaissance Man! Which is why he has his own Unit on Kids Discover Online.
- Unit Topics: Leonardo’s Inventions, Leonardo and the Renaissance
- Related Units: Inventions, Middle Ages
- Print Title: Leonardo da Vinci
- Free Lesson Plan: Teacher’s Guide: Leonardo da Vinci
January 5 – First Female Governor is Elected in U.S. (1925)
Nellie Ross was sworn in as Wyoming’s 14th Governor. Coming only five years after women gained the right to vote in the United States, this was a huge step in the right direction for equal rights. In our Unit on Suffragists we examine the hard work and dedication from several generations of women. It’s because of them our country saw major advancements in gender equality.
- Unit Topics: Before the Right to Vote, Highlights of the Suffragist Movement
- Related Units: Revolutionary Women, Rosa Parks
- Print Title: Suffragists
- Free Lesson Plan: Teacher’s Guide: Suffragists
January 5 – National Bird Day
Also on January 5, we celebrate #NationalBirdDay. They’re one of the oldest creatures known to mankind. The first documented bird appeared about 150 million years ago, back when dinosaurs still roamed. They’ve also influenced numerous human inventions we commonly use today, such as the pen and airplane. In our Unit on Birds we cover their evolution and how they’ve nested themselves within various cultures.
- Unit Topics: Feathers & Flight, A Bird up Close
- Related Units: Migrations, Conservation
- Print Title: Birds
- Free Lesson Plan: Teacher’s Guide: Birds
January 11 – Amelia Earhart’s First Solo Flight Across the Atlantic (1932)
On this day Earhart became the first woman to pilot a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Departing from Canada and arriving in Northern Ireland, her flight time was just under 15 hours. The early to mid-1900’s were a pivotal time for advancements in aviation. Not only leading up to her iconic flight, but also following it.
- Topics: Mechanics of Flight, Early Attempts at Flight
- Related Unit: Inventions
January 17 – Ben Franklin’s Birth Date (1706)
In addition to being the 6th President of Pennsylvania and lending his face to the $100 bill, Ben held a lot of titles. Such as author, printer, freemason, postmaster, and scientist–among others. Like da Vinci, he was a modern-day Renaissance Man…and also has his own Unit on Kids Discover Online.
- Unit Topics: Franklin’s Main Contributions, Scientist & Inventor
- Related Units: American Revolution, Colonial America
- Print Title: Ben Franklin
- Free Lesson Plan: Teacher’s Guide: Ben Franklin
January 21 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
MLK Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday of January, because it’s around his actual birthday of January 15. However, did you know the holiday never falls outside of the 15th or 21st of January? In our Unit on MLK Jr., we detail his various efforts that eventually resulted in the passing of the Civil Rights Bill in 1964 (and much more).
- Unit Topics: Race in 19th-Century America, Who was MLK Jr.?, King’s Early Years
- Related Units: Civil Rights, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson
- Print Title: Martin Luther King Jr.
- Free Lesson Plan: Teacher’s Guide: MLK Jr.
January 24 – The California Gold Rush Begins (1848)
Between 1848 and 1858, striking it rich was the dream of many Americans. It’s because of this that thousands of people ventured to California, and changed our country’s history forever. In our NEW Unit on The Gold Rush, you’ll step into a time machine and travel back to that crazy decade. So come see the life and times of the gold-rush in California!
- Unit Topics: Tools of the Trade, A New Economy
- Related Unit: Westward Expansion
- Related Print Title: Westward Expansion
- Free Lesson Plan: Teacher’s Guide: Westward Expansion
January 30 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Birth Date (1882)
Another iconic set of initials–FDR saw our country through some of it’s darkest days. He introduced and implemented the New Deal, which enabled the United States to climb out of the Great Depression. Although at the time he was opposed by some, he ended up winning a record four presidential elections.
- Unit: Great Depression
- Related Topics: How the Depression Affected People, Recovery from the Great Depression
- Related Print Title: Great Depression
- Free Lesson Plan: Teacher’s Guide: Great Depression
We’d love to hear what you thought about our suggested topics to teach in January! Send us a Direct Message on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or drop us a line at Questions@KidsDiscover.com.