TeachersFirst's Veterans Day Resources
Explore these resources for ideas you can use to connect classroom curriculum to Veterans Day. Whether you choose to focus on Veterans 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.
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomWhen introducing a new unit, show students photos from the era and have them describe what they see and what period they think it is. Find plenty of questions and activities (including a blank analysis organizer for students) in the Teacher's Guides. Also look at Library of Congress: for Teachers, reviewed here. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted for reproduction), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Slidestory, reviewed here. This site allows you to narrate a picture modifying student learning. Include this site on your class webpage for students and parents to access as a reference.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a World War II unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Extend learning by having students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a soldier, commander, or loved one during the D-Day invasion. Modify learning by challenging students create timelines (it can include text, images and collaboration) using Sutori, reviewed here. Make your D-Day lessons interdisciplinary by sharing the Hands on Science and Technology lesson with science teachers at your site.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomFeature this site during a single lesson on D-Day or as part of any World War II unit. Redefine student learning by challenging students to make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here. A few of our favorites would be to create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Alternatively, use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of local landforms (with audio stories and pictures included)! Or, extend learning and have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a soldier, leader, or politician involved with D-Day events.
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 Pen.io, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. 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.
Grades7 to 12
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In the ClassroomView images on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as primary sources for World War 2 information. Share a few images a day during your unit about the war. Use these online images to show WWII veterans and spark conversations in face to face interviews. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a World War 2 event, soldier, or Commander after viewing and discussing the site's images. Be sure to discuss acceptable use policies and how to give credit when using images found on the Internet. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, 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.
GradesK to 1
In the ClassroomHave students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group 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. If you don't have the time to complete online books, have students share the definitions using a class wiki. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles!
Grades9 to 12
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