Day In History: May 1-8

Present an event which occurred in history to your students each day. Develop background knowledge as you discuss the event. Use the free online resource to supplement your resource.

In this blog post: Osama Bin Laden, Kentucky Derby, Freedom Riders, Cinco De Mayo, Henry David Thoreau, Palace of Versailles, Mount Everest

May 1–May Day

May 1 has the distinction of both celebrating the change of season and as an International Workers Day

This PBS video will explain the Haymarket Incident, one of the catalysts to the International Workers Day. For Part I, click here and Part II, click here.

May 2–Osama Bin Laden

Osama bin Laden, founder of Al-Qaeda was killed May 2, 2011 by US Navy Seals in Pakistan. offers free resources including lesson plans, videos, primary sources, and virtual classes. It requires a registration which is free. The lesson “Osama Bin Laden Killed, 2011: Archived Papers” includes a gallery of front pages from newspapers.

May 3–Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby was televised nationally on CBS for the first time on May 3, 1952.

The Kentucky Derby Museum has a collection of downloadable activities which would be appropriate for classrooms. This includes Kentucky Derby Trivia and Fun Facts, vocabulary of common words associated with horses and racing, a coloring sheet and a seek/find, a geography Winner’s Circle lesson, A lesson on Great Horses of the Kentucky Derby, and a lesson on events that affected the race. Several lessons also include downloadable powerpoint.

May 4–Freedom Riders

May 4, 1961 the original group of 13 Freedom Riders left Washington DC bound for New Orleans.

EDSITEment is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Trust for the Humanities. It offers free resources for K-12 in history, social studies, literature, foreign languages, arts, and culture. The lesson, “The Freedom Riders and the Popular Music of the Civil Rights Movement.” includes background, standards, lesson activities, discussion questions, list of songs to analyze, and step-by step plans for the lesson.

May 5–Cinco de Mayo

May 5 is the Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, a holiday celebrated in the US and Mexico in honor of the military victory of 1862.

ABC News has a short video that gives a brief history of Cinco de Mayo.

May 6–Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau, the renowned author, transcendentalist, abolitionist, and naturalist died May 6, 1862.

Here’s another good activity from readwritethink.. This involves a discussion about Henry David Thoreau, a nature was, and using the ReadWriteThink “printing press” to complete a focused writing. .The printing press website allows students to create a newspaper, brochure, flyer/sign/poster.

May 7–Palace of Versailles

Louis XIV of France begins construction of the Palace of Versailles May 7, 1664.

A free virtual tour (360 degrees) is well-labeled and easy to navigate. Students will have an opportunity to experience and explore the Palace online.

May 8–Mount Everest

May 8, 1978, Mount Everest was ascended for the first time without supplemental oxygen.

A series of lessons from Montana State University will provide interactive activities for your students. There are 8 lessons, each lasting approximately 45 minutes. Pick and choose based on the needs of your students. Handouts, multimedia presentations, maps, and photographs.

Looking for additional resources on any of these topics? Check out these differentiated passages and comprehension questions available from Reading Specialty, my TPT store. Click on the titles from the bulleted list below to see my resources.

Click on the topics below to see details of the resources.