By Megan Bittner
In the Old Dominion, we live in a very diverse community that includes many military families stationed at various bases throughout our state. As homeschoolers, we have the opportunity to teach our children the importance of the sacrifices of men and women in the Armed Forces who have fought to protect our rights and privileges as United States citizens. These resources for Memorial Day include ideas for teaching your students the history and significance of Memorial Day, honoring the sacrifice of those who lost their lives securing our freedoms, and observing the holiday in a meaningful and respectful way.
Use this short video explaining the meaning and purpose of Memorial Day to start a family discussion on the importance of remembering the sacrifices of those who died for our freedoms. You’ll also find suggested assignments for students from kindergarten through high school.
You will find resources about Memorial Day at Mr. Donn’s site for kids and teachers. The links for teachers include The Learning Network at the New York Times, a free PowerPoint presentation, and free clip art, among other resources. For kids, you will find interactives and activities.
These themed cutting worksheets can provide some excellent multi-sensory stimulation for your preschoolers while you teach a lesson or read a story about Memorial Day.
Our war heroes died to preserve the rights of United States citizens–rights described by the Bill of Rights. You can use these resources on the Bill of Rights to teach your students about these amendments.
These resources from the Veteran’s Administration offer a variety of topics for researching or planning activities for Memorial Day.
Check out any of the following books to help your younger students understand and commemorate Memorial Day.
The Wall by Eve Bunting
The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh
Hero Mom by Melinda Hardin
Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin
Postcards from Pismo by Michael Scotto
A Memorial Day Memory by Dee Scott
Karen Ehman, writing for Proverbs 31, shares her thoughts on John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (NIV)
This infographic introduces an overview of Memorial Day and 26 accompanying quotes on heroes, courage, and heroism attributed to United States fallen warriors.
Teach Hub has suggestions for focusing your student’s attention on the meaning of Memorial Day. You will find writing challenges and a suggested interview with a living hero, among others.
You can challenge your students to memorize the Bill of Rights with these three methods.
Visit AMillionThanks.org to write a letter of thanks and encouragement to a member of our active, reserve, or veteran military.
Observe the minute of silence. In 2000, President Bill Clinton issued a memorandum that encouraged Americans “to pause for one minute at 3 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day, to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all”. So take a moment at 3 p.m. and pray for our soldiers, veterans, and their families.
What are the laws governing the display and care of the flag of the United States of America? This infographic covers the law, when and how to display the flag, how to fold a flag, as well as the standards of respect for the flag.
You can find a Memorial Day observance near you with this list from Virginia.org.
Have your child paint an American Flag in honor of Memorial Day with pompoms and clothes pins.
This coloring sheet (PDF download) ties the common themes of the American flag, the word “remember,” and a row of poppies to encapsulate the ideals of Memorial Day.
Set your lego builders to work creating a lego flag for your Memorial Day decorations.
This American flag beaded safety pin makes a beautiful, simple accessory that could be given as a gift if you visit a veteran’s home or attend an event honoring military members.
Poppies are a symbol of remembrance and these poppy flower crafts will teach your students to associate the poppies with their connection to honoring our war heroes.
Coffee filter poppies are inexpensive and simple to make.
These cupcake liner poppies from Laughing Kids Learn can be used as a sweet memorial.
Poppy suncatchers from Red Ted Art are beautiful crafts for preschoolers to make, though an adult or older child should help with the prep work.
This gorgeous multi-media art project may be more suited to the skills of older students or even adult artists.