Last year, around this time, I was discussing the significance of Veterans Day with my preschool students. I was trying to explain it in simple terms so they could understand such an important day with their little minds. I wasn’t sure if I had succeeded or not, but when I finished, one of my students raised his hand. “But what can I do to celebrate Veterans Day? How do I show them I’m thankful?” What thoughtful questions to receive out of the lips of a four year old! I searched for the right words and finally answered, “If you know someone who served in the military, thank them. Otherwise, make sure you take time to learn about veterans as you get older and don’t forget to thank God for them.” It was the best answer I had at the time, but I think it captured the sentiment I was trying to get across!
I don’t know about you, but I remember when I was younger and first learned the significance of the poppy and how it came to symbolize Veterans Day. I remember learning about the Armistice that occurred at 11 am on that first November 11th in 1918, which marked the ending of World War I. And I remember hearing this poem by John McCrae for the first time…
“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below. …
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”
Although there is so much our preschoolers are too young to understand right now, I do believe we can introduce them to these topics sooner than we might think. Talking about veterans gives us an opportunity to show our students how much respect we as teachers have for them and explain why. It also gives us an opportunity to instill an “attitude of gratitude” in our students!
I have the perfect resource to get this conversation started. These Veterans Day Activities not only help explain who veterans are, it also gives your students a chance to memorize the five different branches of the military! This unit will keep your students engaged and help them understand veterans and their importance in a long-lasting way.
Here are some of the activities included in this unit:
Veterans Day Vocabulary Cards (color and B&W) – These vocabulary cards could be used as flash cards (color) and/or as coloring pages for your students (black and white) depending on your routine/schedule. In using these cards, you will help your students learn the names and terms of the military.
Branches of the Military (tracing numbers and number words, coloring) – This worksheet will help students learn the different names of the five branches of the military. The students can trace the numbers and titles of the branches as well as color the pictures.
Land of the Free (coloring and letter matching – cutting and gluing) – In this worksheet, your students will need to cut and unscramble the letters of BRAVE. Then they will paste the letters beneath the statement: “Land of the Free because of the – ” and finish the sentence. Then they can finish by coloring the pictures.
…and more! This unit comes in print and digital formats, depending on the needs of your classroom. Use it in whatever way best serves you!
What Other Teachers/Parents Are Saying:
“We love the Veterans Day activities provided in this resource. They were very engaging and help bring clarity to the reason for this very important day of recognition for our Veterans.” – Kristi H.
“We spent the whole day doing all different activities for Veterans Day and she was so excited to learn about it!” – Kathryn C.
“As a Special Education teacher , I found this activity very helpful for my students!” – Jan T.
I was young myself when I first developed an awe and respect for those who served in the military…and that sentiment remains to this day. Being able to instill this same feeling in my preschool students last year was a wonderful moment for me! Using this activity pack, I know you will be able to experience this with your students, too. Enjoy this unit and don’t forget to thank the veterans in your life for serving our God and our country!