4 Low-Prep and Engaging Veterans Day Activities
By Kirsten Hammond
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Are you a teacher looking for meaningful Veterans Day activities with your students? Veterans Day is a special occasion to honor and appreciate the bravery of those who have served in the military.
In this blog post, we’ll explore four low-prep and engaging activities that you can use to educate your students about Veterans Day. These activities are designed to take no more than 20 to 30 minutes, making them easy to integrate into your classroom schedule.
Whether you teach social studies, English language arts (ELA), or science, there’s a way to incorporate Veterans Day into your curriculum.
1. Conduct a Nearpod Lesson
One engaging way to educate your students about Veterans Day is to conduct a Nearpod lesson. Nearpod offers a range of ready-made lessons, including those specific to Veterans Day.
These lessons are available for different grade levels, making it easy to find the right content for your students. You can choose to assign the lesson for independent work or conduct it as a whole group activity.
For maximum engagement, consider using the whole group version with a projector displaying the teacher slides while students answer prompts and questions on their own devices.
Nearpod provides an interactive and visually appealing way to explore Veterans Day, making it an excellent resource for educators.
2. Write and Send Letters to Veterans
Another simple yet impactful activity is to have your students write letters to veterans.
Start by discussing the main parts of a friendly letter with your class, ensuring they understand the format. Provide students with notebook paper or copies of letter templates, and encourage them to write and illustrate a positive and meaningful letter to a veteran.
These letters can be sent home to any veterans in their families or community. Alternatively, you can consider sending the letters to a local veterans organization.
If you’re looking for a broader impact, you can utilize the website A Million Thanks to send letters to military members. This activity not only educates students about Veterans Day but also teaches them the value of expressing gratitude and appreciation.
3. Veterans Day WebQuest
For a more in-depth learning experience to conduct Veterans Day activities, you can have students complete a Veterans Day webquest. These webquests can be found on various educational platforms, or you can create one yourself.
A webquest typically involves students visiting a designated website to gather information and answer questions related to a topic.
I offer a Veterans Day Webquest that focuses on the history and significance of Veterans Day, how it is celebrated, and the sacrifices of veterans. To make it even more engaging, it includes an extension activity that students can work on if they finish early.
Webquests promote research skills and digital literacy while educating students about the importance of Veterans Day.
4. Compare and Contrast Veterans Day with Memorial Day
Another educational and thought-provoking activity is to have students compare and contrast Veterans Day with Memorial Day. This activity encourages critical thinking and helps students understand the differences and similarities between these two important holidays.
To facilitate this exercise, you can show short educational videos on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, such as those available on BrainPop or YouTube. Following the video, as a class, create a Venn diagram to visually represent the shared and unique aspects of the holidays. This can be done as a whole group or in smaller groups, where students can collaborate and share their findings.
Comparing and contrasting Veterans Day with Memorial Day deepens students’ understanding of both holidays and their significance.
Veterans Day Activities Made Easy
In summary, there are several engaging and low-prep Veterans Day activities. Whether you choose to use Nearpod lessons, encourage letter writing to veterans, assign a web quest, or engage in a comparative exercise with Memorial Day, you have the tools to make this day memorable and educational.
Take the opportunity to instill a sense of gratitude and appreciation in your students for the brave men and women who have served our country. Veterans Day is a day to honor their sacrifice, and these activities can help ensure that the significance of the day is not forgotten.
As you plan your Veterans Day activities, remember that these lessons can be seamlessly integrated into your schedule, ensuring that your students gain a deeper understanding of Veterans Day. Make this Veterans Day special by helping your students appreciate the bravery and sacrifices of our veterans.
Kirsten is a former 3rd and 5th grade teacher who loves helping upper elementary teachers by creating resources and sharing ideas that are engaging, research-based, and TEKS-aligned. She is a work-from-home mama of 3 rambunctious little ones and loves running, true crime, and lots of coffee.