Veterans Day Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Students may have heard of Veterans Day, but do they know why this holiday is celebrated? In this lesson plan, students will learn the history behind this special day, and they will participate in activities that honor our nation's veterans.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the purpose of Veterans Day
  • explain the origins of Armistice Day and Veterans Day
  • create art projects that honor veterans who are special to them

Length

  • 45 - 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.1

Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.2

Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.3

Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

Materials

Instructions

  • Have students sit with a partner to begin the lesson.
    • With your partner, share what comes to mind when you hear the word 'veteran.'
    • Who are veterans?
    • Why are veterans important?
  • Distribute copies of the lesson Veterans Day Lesson for Kids: Facts & History to students.
    • With your partner, read the lesson section 'What is Veterans Day?' and discuss the main idea of the section.
    • When is Veterans Day celebrated? Why is it celebrated?
  • Next, read aloud the lesson section 'Armistice Day' to students.
    • What is an armistice?
    • Why was Armistice Day created?
  • Ask students to read the lesson sections 'Veterans Day' and 'An Unpopular Three-Day Weekend' with their partner.
    • Why was Armistice Day changed to Veterans Day?
    • Do you agree with the decision to move Veterans Day to October? Why or why not?
  • Explain to students that, today, they will be participating in activities that will help honor veterans, just like people do all over the country on Veterans Day.

Activities

  • After reading about the holiday, students will rotate through three stations that have activities for celebrating Veterans Day.
  • Divide students into three groups, and make sure white paper, markers, notebook paper, and pencils are at each station.
  • Also include the pictures of veterans at each station. This will give students real-life images of the people they are honoring.

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