With Veterans Day approaching--and a day where students are often out of school, educators are looking for ways to commemorate this important day in American history. Originally designated as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War 1, the day as we know it became officially celebrated in 1954.Veterans Day is a time to celebrate, acknowledge, and honor the endless commitment many people made by dedicating their lives to military service. We at Big Universe seek to help educate our students by highlighting some of our available resources as well as lesson seeds you can use in teaching and learning more about Veterans Day.
- Read about Veterans and then do a class animated video about what Veterans Day means to them. Two books in our over 10,000 collection are Celebrations in My World: Veterans Day by Robert Walker and Veterans Day by Rebecca Pettiford.
- Alternatively, students can read about poets who wrote during times of war, then write poems similar to the style of the poet surrounding what they learned about Veterans Day or the author. One such person is Phillis Wheatley, a Revolutionary war poet who wrote about George Washington and other things occurring during that time. Phillis Wheatley: A Revolutionary War Poet is a book available through our website as well!
- Host one or several veterans at your school. Listen to their war stories, how life changed before and after their service, and their hopes for the future. The ceremony can be as simple as a classroom visit or as grand as a school-wide assembly.
- Do kind deeds for our servicemen, both past and present. Write thank you to active military members. Make care packages for wounded veterans at a local hospital. Lay flowers at a local military memorial ceremony. These are just a few examples of how we can honor veterans.
- Research the famous people who also served in the military at some point in their careers. NBA great David Robinson and singer Elvis Presley are just two examples of people who served in the Navy and Army, respectively. Then make a visual display of the people researched and their military service.
- Visit local, state, and/or national monuments dedicated to the different wars, learning about their construction and the concept behind the monument's design. This may take some research to see where the closest monuments are to you, but it can be an educational and a rewarding experience for you as well.
Share your creative ideas below. We would love to read more about how you teach your students about this holiday.