Veterans Day is a great opportunity to teach students about the importance of honoring and showing appreciation for veterans who have served their country. I’ve found over the years that students often do not know much about Veterans Day other than it is a day out of school. As a teacher, I have to be intentional about providing opportunities to learn about the holiday. I have compiled some activities for Veterans Day in the classroom below.
Veterans Day Classroom Activities
Invite a Veteran to your Class
Chances are staff or family members at your school (maybe even in your class) know local veterans who would love the chance to share their experiences and history with young minds. No better way to impart knowledge than from someone who lived it!
Make Cards, Signs, or Other Crafts
Have your students create patriotic thank you cards, drawings and posters. These can be delivered to local veterans’ centers or hung around campus. Our school hosts a large Veterans Day ceremony each year. Having the hallways decorated for those veterans who attend is really special and meaningful.
Put Together Care Packages/ Letters for Active Service Members
Find a local veterans center and/or military base. See if you can have your students put together small care packages to send overseas to those currently serving in our armed forces. Check with your class family to see if they know someone currently serving. Your class could mail treats, thank you cards and other goodies too, to help brighten their day!
Observe a Moment of Silence
This is a super easy and quick thing to add to your day. After you say your morning pledge observe a moment of silence in honor of those who have honorably served/serve our country. Any age group can do this short activity!
Create a Gratitude Wall
If you are looking for a school wide idea, this is a great one! Create a gratitude wall in the building where students from all classes can add post it thank you notes or small pictures expressing thanks to our veterans. I’d design it in the shape of a heart and put it right by the front doors so everyone who comes on campus can see it and remember to honor our veterans.
Read Veterans Day Books or Watch Videos
There are so many great children’s books out there, including those on Veterans Day. Ask your librarian or do a quick Google search for age-appropriate books to read to your class. One of my current favorites is Twenty-Two Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You can also find kid-friendly Veterans Day videos on YouTube by searching Veterans Day for kids. Make sure you watch or read any materials BEFORE sharing with your class to check for appropriateness.
Learn About Civic Duty
Veterans Day is an opportunity to teach students about their country’s history and the sacrifices made by the men and women who have served in the military. It helps instill a sense of civic responsibility and pride in their nation. It is a great time to teach students about what it means to be a citizen as well as civic duties. Here is a Citizenship Unit that covers it all.
Remember to tailor these activities to your grade level and classroom. If you have students with parents or other loved ones currently serving in the military, be sensitive to their feelings with your discussions and chosen activities. Don’t miss this opportunity to instill a sense of respect and appreciation for our wonderful service members!