Free October 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 October. All of the holiday dates given are for 2022. Because the dates of some holidays vary, I will update this post each year. For other months, see this page.
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National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th to October 15th)
National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. The start date was chosen because Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua all celebrate their independence on September 15th. Also, Mexico’s Independence Day is on September 16th.
- Woo! Jr. Kids– lesson plan and worksheets
- Classroom Doodles– worksheets and coloring pages
- National Hispanic Heritage Month– teacher’s guide
Italian-American Heritage Month (all October)
Italian-American Heritage Month honors the achievements and contributions of Italian immigrants and their descendants living in the United States. This heritage month was first celebrated in 1989 when it was proclaimed by President George H.W. Bush and Congress.
Family History Month (all October)
Family History Month is a time to focus on learning about and recording your family history for future generations.
- Teachers Pay Teachers– family tree project
- Teachers Pay Teachers– family traditions worksheets
- Teachers Pay Teachers– family stories printable set (created for Cub Scouts, but may be used by anyone)
- Education.com– family tree activity
National Pizza Month (all October)
National Pizza Month began in October 1984 and was created by the publisher of Pizza Today magazine and pizzeria owner Gerry Durnell. Celebrate by making or ordering a pizza this month.
- Family Consumer Sciences– pizza lesson plan with lab
- Family Consumer Sciences– pizza ingredients lesson plan
- Teachers Pay Teachers– how to make a pizza writing activity
National Popcorn Poppin’ Month (all October)
National Popcorn Poppin’ Month is a seasonal celebration of one of America’s most popular snack foods. The month was made official by then Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman in 1999, though it’s been observed unofficially for much longer.
Homemade Cookies Day (October 1st)
National Homemade Cookies Day is a fun excuse to bake a batch of cookies. Make your favorite cookie recipe, or try a new one.
World Vegetarian Day (October 1st)
World Vegetarian Day was established by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 to promote vegetarianism and bring awareness to the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.
- Family Consumer Sciences– e-learning activity
- Family Consumer Sciences– lesson plan
- Insanely Good Recipies– kid-friendly vegetarian recipes
National Child Health Day (October 3rd)
National Child Health Day recognizes the care and guidance children need to grow strong and healthy. The day is observed on the first Monday of October.
- Freedom Homeschooling– health and P.E. curriculum
- Freedom Homeschooling– first aid learning resources
Yom Kippur (sundown on October 4th to sundown on October 5th)
Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is a time when members of the Jewish faith forgive the sins of others and repent for their own sins against God. Yom Kippur is observed on the 10th day of Tishrei, which is the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. Yom Kippur occurs sometime during September or October on the Gregorian calendar.
- The Lookstein Center– lesson plans, activities, and articles
The Great Chicago Fire (October 8th to 10th)
The Great Chicago Fire burned in Chicago, Illinois, from October 8th to 10th, 1871. Legend holds that the fire was caused by a cow kicking over a lantern, but the exact cause is still unknown.
Fire Prevention Week (October 9th to October 15th)
Fire Prevention Week is a time to focus on earning how to prevent fires and stay safe during a fire. It is observed during the week which October 9th falls. This date was chosen to commemorate The Great Chicago Fire.
- National Fire Protection Association– lesson plans and teaching tools
- Fire Department of New York City– FDNY Fire Saftey Coloring Book
- Prevention 1st– lesson plans
Leif Erikson Day (October 9th)
Leif Erikson Day honors the explorer credited with bringing the first Nordic people to America around the year 1000. October 9th is not associated with any event in Erikson’s life. Instead, the date was chosen because the ship Restauration from Norway arrived in New York Harbor on October 9, 1825, beginning a wave of immigration from Norway to America.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day (October 10th)
Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrates and honors Native Americans’ culture and history. It is observed on the second Monday of October.
- Teachers Pay Teachers– eBook and printables
- Teachers Pay Teachers– lessons and worksheets
- The Homeschool Mom– learning resources
Columbus Day (October 10th)
Columbus Day commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas (the Bahamas) on October 12, 1492. Columbas Day is observed on the second Monday of October.
Farmer’s Day (October 12th)
Farmer’s Day is a day to recognize and appreciate the hard work of farmers throughout the country.
- Growing Minds– farm to school lesson plans
- American Farm Bureau– lesson plans and other resources
- Tons of Thanks– write a thank you note to a farmer
World Egg Day (October 14th)
World Egg Day celebrates the versatility and nutritional benefits of eggs. This holiday is celebrated on the second Friday in October. It was established at an International Egg Commission conference in Vienna in 1996.
Dictionary Day (October 16th)
Dictionary Day celebrates the birthday of Noah Webster, father of the American dictionary. He was born on October 16, 1758.
- Ben & Me– Noah Webster unit study
- DIY Homeschooler– Webster’s American Dictionary unit study
- 123 Homeschool 4 Me– dictionary skills lesson
World Food Day (October 16th)
World Food Day commemorates the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on October 16, 1945. The day’s goal is to promote global awareness and action for those suffering from hunger and highlight the need for healthy diets.
- Free Rice– answer trivia questions to earn rice that’s donated to the World Food Programme
- Global Table Adventure– recipes from every country in the world
- Peter Menzel Photography– pictures of families around the world with a week’s worth of food
Diwali (October 23rd to October 27th)
In the Hindu religion, Diwali (or Deepawali ) is a festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. The word “Deepawali” refers to rows of diyas or clay lamps. Diwali takes place on the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartik, which overlaps October and November on the Gregorian calendar.
- Nurture Store– unit study
- Teachers Pay Teachers– virtual field trip and worksheets
- Teachers Pay Teachers– lesson plan and printables
Red Ribbon Week (October 23rd to October 31st)
The purpose of Red Ribbon Week is to raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse. Red Ribbon Week also commemorates the life of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Enrique Camarena, whom drug traffickers murdered in 1985.
- Just Think Twice– drug abuse learning resources
- National Institute on Drug Abuse– drug abuse learning resources
- Teachers Pay Teachers– reasons to be drug-free worksheet
- Classroom Doodles– coloring pages
Black Thursday (October 24th)
Black Thursday refers to October 24, 1929, the day when the New York Stock Exchange crashed, leading to the Great Depression.
- Homeschool Giveaways & Freebies– Great Depression unit study
- Federal Reserve Bank of Saint. Louis– Great Depression unit study
- Teaching With Jennifer Findley– Great Depression poster project
Statue of Liberty Dedicated (October 28th)
The Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States, was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland on October 28, 1886.
- National Park Service– lesson plans and activities
- Homeschool Share– lapbook unit study
- Teachers Pay Teachers– lesson plan
- Teachers Pay Teachers– virtual field trip with printables
Nevada’s Statehood (October 31st)
Nevada was admitted into the Union on October 31, 1864, about a week before President Lincoln’s reelection.
Reformation Day (October 31st)
Reformation Day commemorates when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses (list of objections to the Catholic Church) to the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517. Many consider this event the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
- Freedom Homeschooling– Reformation Day videos
- Homeschool Share– Reformation unit study
- Proverbial Homemaker– Martin Luther unit study
Halloween (October 31st)
Halloween activities include dressing in costumes, trick-or-treating for candy, and carving jack-o-lanterns. Some Halloween traditions originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.
- Woo! Jr. Kids Activities– history of Halloween lesson and worksheets
- Homeschool Den– writing scary stories lesson plan
- We Are Teachers– Halloween candy science experiments and activities
- Teachers Pay Teachers– Halloween costumes character traits lesson
Pumpkins are harvested in mid-fall, often in October, making them a popular topic to learn about this time of year.
- Mama’s Learning Corner– pumpkin life cycle worksheets
- This Reading Mama– printable activities
- The Curriculum Corner– pumpkin themed worksheets
Have fun learning this October! I will add more unit studies and lessons next year. Be sure to pin this post so you can find it next October.
Note: This post was originally published on August 30, 2021, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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