TeachersFirst's Memorial Day Resources
Explore these resources for ideas you can use to connect classroom curriculum to Memorial Day. Whether you choose to focus on Memorial Day and its history for one class period or to include a special curriculum project in honor of veterans, these ideas and resources will get you started.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is a must-see for any teachers of World War II history. Take students beyond the information about battles to learn about individuals and their role and sacrifices. Be sure to take advantage of the extensive information included in each activity including assessments, lesson extensions, and adaptations. Have students choose one of the stories, then research the battle to learn more about the event's relationship to the war. Extend student learning by having them create maps using Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose various locations on a map of battle locations to tell the story of fallen heroes. Ask local veterans to visit your classroom and share their stories with your class.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this archive for rich, authentic primary source material on the lives of women in the military. Consider having students, individually or in groups, choose a veteran and present her story to classmates. Replace paper reports by using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free), reviewed here. Supplement classroom materials associated with a wartime era with the photographs, posters, and diaries provided here. Use these stories as part of a special focus for Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or Women's History Month. The archive would also be a particularly rich resource for students considering National History Day Projects.
Grades7 to 12
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In the ClassroomWatch the news together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to watch independently on laptops or at a learning station. Use any video or article as a current events writing prompt. Challenge students to create blog posts about them. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, replace pen and paper and have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Webnode, reviewed here. Don't forget the many free lesson plans (already aligned to Common Core standards). Click on the Lesson Plans link to explore the countless topics available (Poetry, Veterans, Elections, Ebola, Civil Rights, and more). For articles and videos about conflicts and tension, you might want to modify student learning by having your students engage in a debate using a tool such as Virtual Debate, reviewed here, which has online examples and resources for conducting virtual debates. Keep your class up-to-date on the news using this site. Provide this link on your class website for students (and families) to access both in and out of your classroom.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomShare stories from the Unsung Heroes project on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Discuss traits that make a hero and find inspiration to search for heroes in your everyday lives. Use this site as a starting point for individual or group projects. All types of classes can complete a project about an unsung hero. P.E. classes can find out about veterans, surfers, or car accident victims who have lost limbs and used their challenges to make a difference. Math and science students can complete an Internet search for high school inventors. Students could also search through old Scholastic Scope magazines for articles about young people who have overcome adversity. Instead of a paper and pen written biography, extend students' learning by using Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a hero they have chosen. Modify student learning by challenging them to create an annotated image of a hero including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site! This would be a great resource on a unit about patriotism, nationalism, or even Veterans day itself. Have students make an interactive book about a national symbol or holiday using Bookemon, reviewed here, and share it with "little buddies" in a lower grade class.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse one of the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector to deliver a quick lesson on the history of Memorial Day. There are also links to good content on military history, military leaders, and the various physical memorial sites that honor US military veterans.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you study Veterans Day, the effects of war, or people with disabilities. Ask students to discuss a time when they have seen service animals and how they have been used to help someone. Discuss the information on the site and locate the countries where the veterans served on a map to help students understand what it means to go to war. Ask students to choose one slide and write a story based on what they see in the image. If your school is looking for a schoolwide service project, consider raising funds for service dogs.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe History Channel is providing a lot of support for teachers who can use video clips for lesson introductions or reinforcement. At the very least, the teachers' study guide will provide you with some new ideas or resources! Share the relevant video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or, have cooperative learning groups each view individual videos and do a little more research substituting pen and paper notes with online notes using SuperNotecard, reviewed here, that can then be used as a storyboard to create a presentation about their topic. How about extending student learning by challenging them to create an interactive online brochure highlighting the important facts learned from the video and their research? Use a site such as Sway, reviewed here, for this.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomHave students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group responsible to find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. And of course, don't miss the interactive word puzzles!
GradesK to 8
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In the ClassroomEnhance your reading program with music. Have students listen to the songs while following the lyrics. Keep this site handy for those patriotic holidays. Use this site in social studies classes to learn the meaning behind some of the most popular patriotic songs. Play the sound in the background during class skits for Presidents' Day or other patriotic occasions.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans and activities on this site! There are also some practice quizzes and puzzles that would be fun ways to assess students, or have them use the tools to help review the content.
Grades9 to 12
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