KinderGals: Teaching Young Children About Veterans Day

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Teaching Young Children About Veterans Day

This post shares many ways to explain Veterans Day to your young children. It is a day of honor and pride for our country to celebrate the many men and women who serve and project our country so that we can be free.
Veterans Day reminds me of  my dad. Born into a large coal mining family in the hills of West Virginia, my dad quit high school and joined the USAF.  A proud military man, he served our country as a medic in several wars earning many awards and the rank of Chief Master Sargent.  But, his proudest accomplishment were his 5 girls.  He loved us all!  The third of the five, I was his first family member to attend college. He told EVERYONE I was in college.  I love and miss him everyday, so I am so proud to celebrate this day of honor for all of those who have served and sacrificed for our country. God Bless the USA!
I made a Veterans Day unit a LONG time ago. It was in major need of an update. The activities are the same, just a clean, brighter, more attractive appearance. Patterns and "ready to print" pages have been added to make it easier to use. The post shows From this...(older version) To this...(updated version).
Flag Brace Map
We made a flag brace map to learn the parts of the flag and what each part means.  I had a parent volunteer paint their hands to make the flag.
Prior to each child making their brace map, we made one together. 

Making a Soldier
After learning many facts about Veterans Day, the kids made a non-fiction book about their learning.  Since we are learning about labels in reading, we put a label on each page. For example, if we put the word "poppy" on the page, the children drew a picture to match the label and then either wrote or dictated information in their book.
Then, we made a soldier to hold our book. In the new unit, I added easy to reproduce patterns. Just put the paper on the copier and hit print!
Label a Hero
By labeling a Hero, we were able to, once again, connect our social studies standard to our reading standard.  The newer version of the Hero contains more vocabulary words related to the actual uniforms worm by military men and women. You can also think about beginning sound as you match the labels. As you are matching the label to the various parts, think about which word it could be by saying the word and identifying the beginning letter. Then, look at your words to find a word that begins with that letter. Great way to teach the strategy, "good readers get their mouth ready."
Wreath Cookies
I love cooking with kids. We do a cooking activity every Friday.  The older version of the unit, required a lot of cutting and pasting to make the cook book. The cook book is a great way to introduce nonfiction text-procedural.  I am so thankful for the great clip art artists I have come to know.  This book is made using clip art from my friend, Nikki, of Melonheadz.  Now, all you have to do it print, laminate and bind.
After making the cookies, (they are Rice Krispie treats made with Corn Flakes), the children each made their own cookbook.
Veterans Day Parade
Another thing we talked about was the many parades that took place on Veterans Day. You may want to check out youtube or other video sources to find a video of an actual parade. 
As one of our math centers, the kids used clip art to make a parade. Then, they sequenced their ordinal numbers. Next, they used the paper clip art to glue down their pattern. Finally, using the clip art and the ordinal numbers, they completed the recording page. I think the cool part is that each child sequences their own parade. This means that each recording page will be different!
Making Connection to Veterans
Teaching children to make connections is one way to increase a child's potential to comprehend a selection of text. When children make connections it helps them think more deeply about characters or events. It helps them make judgements on their feelings and make predictions on what the character might do next. This can happen in fiction and nonfiction text.  Children can connect nonfiction text to events in their own life, to another source, or to things around them.
After learning characteristics about Veterans, the children thought about how they were like Veterans and recorded their connections. 
Thank a Veteran
The children wrote and drew thank you notes to Veterans. Think about finding a Veterans Hospital or other facility where you could mail your letters. Unfortunately, many Veterans have no family. It would make their day to receive such sweet letters.
One of our science standards is to teach gravity. I decided to cover it during our Veterans Day unit since each of the branches of services use pilots to carry out their missions.  I taught this very complicated science standard in the most of basic ways...Some things are in the sky and they stay there. Some things can go up in the sky, but they can come back down....this is gravity.
After this brief discussion, we sorted pictures to show which belonged in each group. The children then made a gravity book by pasting the pictures and circling if it stayed in the sky or came back down.
Spin a Hero
Graphing is a great way to teach counting, comparing, equal, tally marks, and other number concepts. We usually make some kind of graph every week. The kids love these spin graphs. They simply spin the spinner and tally where it landed. They covert the tally marks to a graph and then do their analysis.
Story Problems
Story problems are at the application level on blooms taxonomy. That alone makes story problems at a higher level than addition, subtraction, etc.  If we ask our kids to "draw" to solve the story problem, some will be successful and some will not. So why is that? Well, one reason could be CPA-conceptual, pictorial, abstract. Before children are able to process the problem and solve it using drawing, they need to be able to manipulate.  Giving them clip art, toy flowers and real pennies, etc. are all at the conceptual level. Conceptual = manipulate! Try it. Reproduce the clip art. Encourage your children to manipulate the clip art to "act out" the story problem.  See what happens!
The Number 11
What better day to talk about the number 11.  Verterans Day is on November 11...11th month, 11th day. Also the Armistice Treaty was signed on the 11th hour of that day!
The ideas in this blog post came from this resource, Hooray for Veterans Day.
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1 comment:

John Macky said...

One of the most popular United States Public Holidays is the Veterans Day. Celebrated on the 11th of November every year, Veterans Day marks the honoring of Military veterans who have served their nation through the United States Armed Forces

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