Foreign Language Courses / Course / Chapter

ESL Remembrance Day Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Remembrance Day is the focus of this lesson plan for ESL students. ESL students will discuss the different names for Remembrance Day, its symbols, and its meaning, and will read poetry written about Remembrance Day.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain the meaning of Remembrance Day
  • identify different names used for Remembrance Day worldwide
  • identify symbols of Remembrance Day
  • interpret the meaning of poetry about Remembrance Day


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • ELP 6-8.1

An ELL can construct meaning from oral presentations and literary and informational text through grade-appropriate listening, reading, and viewing.

  • ELP 6-8.3

An ELL can speak and write about grade-appropriate complex literary and informational texts and topics.

  • ELP 6-8.8

An ELL can determine the meaning of words and phrases in oral presentations and literary and informational text.

Materials Needed

  • Artificial poppy flower
  • Chart of the poem 'In Flanders Fields' by John McCrae
  • Handout of the poem 'In Flanders Fields' by John McCrae (1 per student)
  • Computer with projector or SMART Board
  • Internet access
  • 'In Flanders Fields' video (available online)
  • 5-6 Veteran's Day or Remembrance Day poems (available online)


  • Flanders
  • Foe
  • Larks
  • Poppies
  • Poppy Day
  • Quarrel
  • Remembrance Day
  • Veteran
  • Veteran's Day
  • Ye


  • To introduce the lesson, show the students an artificial poppy flower, preferable one similar to those sold by veteran's groups. Ask the students if anyone knows what kind of flower it is or what it symbolizes.
  • Explain that the poppy is used to symbolize remembrance of those killed in action in wars. The tradition started with World War I. Now on November 11, veteran's groups around the world sell poppies to raise money to help veterans and to encourage people to remember the veterans who died to keep them free.
  • Ask the students if any of them know the name of the holiday that is celebrated on November 11. It is called Veteran's Day, Poppy Day, or Remembrance Day, depending on the country.
  • Hand out copies of the poem, 'In Flanders Fields' by John McCrae, and hang a chart of the poem on the board. Highlight these words in the poem, and read them for the students. Have the students say the words after you pronounce them. Discuss what each word means:
    • larks
    • quarrel
    • foe
    • ye
  • Read the poem aloud chorally with the students.
  • Show the students a video of the poem, 'In Flanders' Fields.' Many different versions are available for free on online video websites.
  • Discuss the use of images in the video and how the images help portray the meaning of the poem.

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