Celebrate Veteran’s Day with Your Class
November 11th is the day America sets aside to honor and recognize our veterans. PBS LearningMedia offers a wide variety of classroom resources for teachers to use to celebrate with their students.
Younger students can color Sesame Street finger puppets and then cut them out to host a Parade of Pride for local veterans. Sesame Street also has Veterans Day coloring sheets that can be made into cards to thank our veterans.
For our school-age-students, help them understand how Veterans Day originally began as Armistice Day on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. All About the Holidays, Veteran’s Day is a quick video that helps explain why we celebrate Veteran’s Day today. Another great activity is to have the students complete a biographical poem about what a solider means to them. These poems can be dropped off to your local VFW or American Legion to be shared with veterans or the poems could be mailed to soldiers that are currently serving. You can visit your local recruiting office to get a mailing address to send the poems. If you have a local memorial or museum nearby, take them on a field trip to visit these sites.
For older students, making a personal connection can be invaluable. If they have family members that have served or are currently serving, have them interview them to learn more about their experience as a soldier. If they know the spouse of a soldier, have them interview them to learn about what life was like being a partner to a soldier and how they were affected. If you are interested in taking a different angle, The Greatest Sacrifice-A Lesson Plan for Veteran’s Day is a PBS News Hour extra lesson plan that helps students explore the challenges facing our nation’s veterans today including long wait times for treatment and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Lastly, if your students do not have access to veterans or their families, The Soldier’s Experience in Vietnam is a collection of videos and lesson resources that will help students learn about the experiences of soldiers from the Vietnam War.
For some, Veterans Day just means a chance to enjoy an extra day off from school or work. As educators, we can spend a few minutes on its true purpose by paying tribute to the men and women who have served in our armed forces.