Free May Unit Studies and Lessons
Planning lessons around holidays, historical events, and seasonal themes can be a fun way to homeschool. It’s an excellent way for kids to learn about the world around them, including topics that aren’t usually covered in a textbook. Our family has enjoyed occasionally adding seasonal and holiday-themed lessons to our homeschool routine.
Below is a list of free unit studies, lesson plans, and activities for May. All of the holiday dates given are for 2023. Because the dates of some holidays vary, I will update this post each year. For other months, see this page.
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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (all May)
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a time to recognize the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history and culture of the United States.
- Asian Pacific Heritage– information and teacher resources
- National Education Association– lesson plans
- Teachers Pay Teachers– lesson plan
Jewish American Heritage Month (all May)
Jewish American Heritage Month Pays tribute to the generations of Jewish Americans who have contributed to American history and culture.
- Jewish Heritage Month– information and teacher resources
- Facing History– lesson plan
- Weitzman National Museum of Jewish American History– virtual tours and online exhibitions
National Bike Month (all May)
National Bike Month’s purpose is to showcase the benefits of cycling and encourage more people to give the activity a try. Communities across the country have celebrated this month since 1956.
- KidsHealth– bike safety lesson plan for kindergarten through 2nd grade
- KidsHealth– bike safety lesson plan for 3rd through 5th grade
- KidsHealth– bike safety lesson plan for middle school
- KidsHealth– bike safety lesson plan for high school
Healthy Vision Month (all May)
Healthy Vision Month encourages people to prioritize eye health and take essential steps to protect their sight.
- Learn Bright– eye lesson plan
- KidsHealth– vision lesson plan for kindergarten through 2nd grade
- KidsHealth– vision lesson plan for 3rd through 5th grade
- KidsHealth– vision lesson plan for middle school
- KidsHealth– vision lesson plan for high school
National Physical Fitness and Sports Month (all May)
National Physical Fitness and Sports Month was started by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition in 1983. This advocacy month aims to encourage Americans to adopt healthy lifestyles.
- Freedom Homeschooling– health and physical education curriculum
- Freedom Homeschooling– dance and exercise videos
National Photography Month (all May)
National Photography Month was officially recognized by Congress in 1987. It’s a great time to sharpen your photography skills, celebrate photography as an art form, or learn about the history of photography.
Get Caught Reading Month (all May)
Get Caught Reading Month is a campaign that encourages people of all ages to get caught reading.
- Freedom Homeschooling– ebooks
- Freedom Homeschooling– vintage graded readers
- Freedom Homeschooling– grade level reading lists
National Pet Week (May 7th to 13th)
National Pet Week celebrates pets and encourages responsible pet care. The week is observed during the first full week of May.
- American Veterinary Medical Association– daily themes
- The Homeschool Mom– pet unit study
- Homeschool Share– cat lapbook
- American Kennel Club– dog lesson plans
National Postcard Week (May 7th to 13th)
National Postcard Week’s purpose is to promote the use of postcards. It’s the first full week of May and has been observed since 1984.
Teacher Appreciation Week (May 1st to 5th)
Teacher Appreciation Week was started in 1984 by the National PTA as a time to honor teachers. The week, observed during the first week of May, is also a great time to recognize teachers of all types- home educators, extracurricular activity instructors, Sunday school teachers, etc.
National Children’s Book Week (May 2nd to 8th)
Children’s Book Week is a celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. Established in 1919, it is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the United States. The week is observed in both May and November.
Bird Day (May 4th)
Bird Day is a day dedicated to our feathered friends. Celebrate by birdwatching or studying birds.
- Freedom Homeschooling– learning resources and a printable bird watching journal
- Happy Hooligans– bird feeder crafts
Mother Goose Day (May 1st)
Mother Goose Day recognizes Mother Goose, the imaginary author of a collection of nursery rhymes.
- The Real Mother Goose– ebook of nursery rhymes
- The Truth About Mother Goose– Disney video
- State of Louisiana– printable nursery rhyme mini books
May Day (May 1st)
May Day was traditionally the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. There are many ways to celebrate, including dancing around a Maypole, making a May basket, and bringing flowers into your home.
- Almanac– information about May Day
- DLTK Kids– crafts and activities
- Teachers Pay Teachers– May Day basket printables
- Teachers Pay Teachers– reading comprehension worksheet
National Sun Day (May 3rd)
Sun Day was designated by President Jimmy Carter in 1978 to advocate for solar power.
National Weather Observers Day (May 4th)
National Weather Observers Day recognizes those who assist the National Weather Service with their observations and reports.
- Learn Bright– weather lesson plan
- A Little Pinch of Perfect– weather chart
- Simply Kinder– weather journal
Star Wars Day (May 4th)
Star Wars Day is an unofficial commemorative day for fans to celebrate the popular movie series. May the 4th be with you!
- Science Buddies– STEM activities
- Star Wars in The Classroom– teaching ideas and lessons
- In All You Do– writing worksheets
- In the Playroom– activity sheets
Cinco de Mayo (May 5th)
Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration that commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, during the Franco-Mexican War. Though many people outside of Mexico confuse the two holidays, Cinco De Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day.
- The Homeschool Mom– information and lessons
- Teachers Pay Teachers– craft and writing printable
- Teachers Pay Teachers– webquest activity
National Space Day (May 5th)
National Space Day celebrates the achievements made in space exploration. The day’s goal is to encourage math, science, technology, and engineering education in young people hoping that they’ll choose a career related to space. The day is observed on the first Friday of May.
- Learn Bright– International Space Station lesson plan
- Learn Bright– solar system lesson plan
- Peanut Butter Fish Lessons– solar system unit study
- NASA– lesson plans and activities
Kentucky Derby (May 6th)
The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky. It is almost always on the first Saturday in May, concluding the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival.
Mother’s Day (May 14th)
Mother’s Day is a day set aside to celebrate mothers and motherhood. In the United States, the holiday is observed on the second Sunday of May. The holiday is also celebrated on different dates in other countries worldwide.
Clean Up Your Room Day (May 10th)
Clean Up Your Room Day is a time for us to focus extra attention on cleaning and organizing our rooms.
- The Spruce– room cleaning tips
- House Beautiful– cleaning games to play with kids
- The Organized Mom– printable chore charts
Minnesota’s Statehood (May 11th)
Minnesota became a state on May 11, 1858.
International Nurses Day (May 12th)
International Nurses Day is celebrated on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. The day honors the contributions of nurses around the world.
- Florence Nightingale Museum– videos, activities, and printables
- Teachers Pay Teachers– notebooking pages
Limerick Day (May 12th)
National Limerick Day celebrates the birthday of poet Edward Lear (in 1812). Lear is best known for writing Limericks, which he popularized.
- Poetry 4 Kids– limerick writing lesson
- EDSITEment!– Edward Lear and limericks lesson plan
- Saved You a Spot– Edward Lear lesson and PowerPoint
National Police Week (May 14th to 20th)
National Police Week honors and remembers officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. It is the third full week of May each year.
- Teachers Pay Teachers– thank your letter writing activity
- Teachers Pay Teachers– lesson (dates given are for 2016, but the lesson is still useable)
- Teachers Pay Teachers– lesson and activities
L. Frank Baum’s Birthday (May 15th)
L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wizard of Oz, was born on this day in 1856.
- Homeschool Share– Wizard of Oz lapbook
- Learn for Your Life– Wizard of Oz unit study (click on the worksheet images to download)
International Museum Day (May 18th)
International Museum Day promotes the role of museums around the world. Each year’s event focuses on a relevant theme or issue museums currently face.
- Teachers Pay Teachers– museum field trip worksheets
- Freedom Homeschooling– virtual field trips, including many museums
Mount St. Helens Erupted (May 18th)
Mount St. Helens, located in Skamania County, Washington, underwent a catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980. An area of 230 square miles was completely destroyed, and 57 people were killed.
Armed Forces Day (May 20th)
Armed Forces Day is a day to honor and thank the men and women currently serving in all branches of the armed forces. The holiday is celebrated on the third Saturday in May.
- The Homeschool Mom– information, activities, and lessons
- Teachers Pay Teachers– letters to the military templates
American Red Cross Founded (May 21st)
Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., on May 21, 1881. The American Red Cross provides emergency assistance, disaster relief, and disaster preparedness education.
- Year Round Homeschooling– Clara Barton lesson and notebooking pages
- Heritage Letter– Clara Barton lesson plan
National Backyard Games Week (May 21st to 27th)
National Backyard Games Week is a fun time to gather with friends and family to play backyard games. This week is observed during the last full week before Memorial Day.
Margaret Wise Brown’s Birthday (May 23rd)
Margaret Wise Brown, a children’s book author, was born on this day in 1910. Two of her best-known books are Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.
South Carolina’s Statehood (May 23rd)
South Carolina was admitted into the Union on May 23, 1788.
First Telegraphic Message Sent (May 24th)
Samuel F.B. Morse sent the first telegraphic message on May 24, 1844. Morse sent it from the U.S. Supreme Courtroom in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Golden Gate Bridge Opened (May 27th)
The Golden Gate Bridge, located in San Francisco, California, opened to vehicular traffic at noon on May 27, 1937. At 4,200 feet, it was the longest bridge in the world until the completion of New York City’s Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1964.
Rhode Island’s Statehood (May 29th)
Rhode Island became a state on May 29, 1790.
Wisconsin’s Statehood (May 29th)
Wisconsin was admitted into the union on May 29, 1848.
Memorial Day (May 29th)
Memorial Day is a time for remembering and mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the armed forces. It is observed on the last Monday of May.
- Year Round Homeschooling– unit study
- National Constitution Center– lesson plans
- Teachers Pay Teachers– lesson
- Teachers Pay Teachers– lesson
World No Tobacco Day (May 31st)
World No Tobacco Day’s goal is to educate the public about the dangers of tobacco use.
- KidsHealth– lesson plan for kindergarten through 2nd grade
- KidsHealth– lesson plan for 3rd through 5th grade
- KidsHealth– lesson plan for middle school
- KidsHealth– lesson plan for high school
Have fun learning this May! I will add more unit studies and lessons next year. Be sure to pin this post so you can find it next May.
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