On November 11th, Canadians took time out to remember our veterans. Here is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the National War Memorial in our nation's capital. This was just one of the places where ceremonies took place. Ceremonies of remembrance also took place at towns and cities across the country.
This year I had the privilege of working in a classroom of a colleague prior to Remembrance Day. It was a special time to share ideas and discuss what Peace is all about. We began with a few videos and some discussion around them. If you would like to see them, click here to read about them in an earlier post.
The next day, we discussed what Remembrance Day was about and why we had it. Here are some of the ideas that we came up with.
After discussing war and who veterans were, we talked about Peace. We brainstormed what it is and then we shared examples of peace. We also talked about a kindness explosion. I showed them the following poster and we talked about how children can make a difference by spreading kindness and getting along with others. We tried to imagine what it would be like to have everyone in the gym create the model of paying it forward. This would be fun to do sometime.
After all of our brainstorming, the children wrote poems about peace. They were to come up with 4 things and then end it with "Let's all live in peace." Here is the template they used. If you right click on the image you can download a copy.
To encourage them to do their best writing and to help them with the concept of draft and good copy, they were given a colored copy after the draft was complete and edited. They then did the good copy on the colored template. This concept of having to rewrite the poem was difficult for some.
Here are the final copies of their poems. The colors pop and make for a great bulletin board display.
These pictures were hanging in the hotel that I stayed in on the weekend. I thought they were perfect for this time of the year, so I am sharing them with you.
Let's focus on what is right in the world and how we can work towards a world of peace, especially in light of what is happening around us right now.
Remembrance Day/Veterans Day is a special day that is dedicated to our veterans and their service for our country. It is a time to show respect and appreciation for what they have done for us. This is an important time for sharing with children as they do not understand that the freedom we have today was because of sacrifices of others. Many adults do not know either.
I usually spend several days focusing on this because I believe that children can still make a difference and that we have a responsibility to share ways to spread peace and kindness in our world.
I don't have my own class this year, so I would like to share with you some special moments from my previous classes.
After sharing the importance of the poppy and why we wear them, a couple of my students went home and made these with their lego pieces. One made a poppy and the other made the poppies growing between the crosses of Flanders Fields.
Writing is a great way for kids to express what they know and understand about peace and remembering our veterans. Here are some different ways that they shared. Notice the big PEACE poster. This was a group activity done by the students. One year I had parents and students do it together for student-led conferences. Talk about making connections. It was wonderful to see them sharing stories and feelings with each other.
Here are a couple of samples of the writing they did.
Here are a couple of pictures from my Remembrance Day/Veterans Day activities package for you to download and color.
These are some of the videos that I would play each year for my classes. It was interesting how they would ask to see them over and over. They lead to some very thoughtful conversations.
Well, there you have a snapshot of how I worked with Remembrance Day/Veterans Day with my students. I hope this gives you some ideas for sharing this important time with your students. If you want to check out some of the other products that I use, they are available in my TeachersPayTeachers Store.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.