Memorial Day may have morphed into a sales opportunity for brands over the years. But in the classroom, you’ll want your students to remember the real reason why Memorial Day exists.
It’s not a celebration of summer where people look forward to barbecues. Rather, it’s a commemoration of the courageous men and women who gave their lives while serving the U.S. military. And you can use these four creative classroom activities to teach your students the importance of Memorial Day:
1. Let students create Memorial Day posters
After you’ve conducted a sharing session on Memorial Day, have your students express their appreciation for our nation’s brave heroes by creating Memorial Day posters.
Take your students to the computer lab and let them go wild with PosterMyWall’s poster design platform. We offer free Classroom Accounts for teachers to make poster and infographic creation projects and organize their students’ works in one place.
Through your Classroom Account, your students won’t need to register for individual accounts to design their posters. Instead, they can just pick one of our templates for Memorial Day posters and use our easy-to-use design editor to start creating.
And to foster a conducive creation experience for your students, their design projects will also be kept private.
2. Organize Memorial Day craft activities
Apart from having students create posters, they can also exercise their creative juices by working on Memorial Day crafts. Check out this simple Memorial Day papercraft activity that Starbright Early Learning Center shared on Instagram:
The materials needed for the crafts are affordable and convenient to obtain. The crafts themselves are also easy to do, making them especially suitable for younger students.
When your students have completed their Memorial Day crafts, display their handiwork around the classroom. You can also let them take their work home as a keepsake. Their parents will be so proud!
3. Hold a Memorial Day music performance
For the musically inclined older students, give them the opportunity to show off their talent through a Memorial Day music performance. This is how Wilby High School commemorated Memorial Day last year:
The whole school can gather round, and listen as your students perform patriotic music pieces such as:
- This Land Is Your Land
- Soldier’s Last Letter
- The Star-Spangled Banner
Also, why not invite war veterans to the performance? Your students and their parents may know war veterans—or may even be related to them!
The war vets you’ve invited may also be willing to share experiences from their army days, adding extra enrichment to the music performance for your students.
4. Invite a veteran to share their stories
Sure, you can tell your students about important war events from a textbook. But hearing them play out, from a person who actually lived through them, can be more effective in bringing the important teachings to life.
A few years ago, for example, Westfield Area YMCA had the privilege of having one of its students’ grandpas, World War II veteran Sergeant Louis Piccirillo, share his experiences with a kindergarten class.
And Sergeant Louis Piccirillo did an amazing job.
He told the students stories and showed them medals and photos from his army days. We bet that was a very special Memorial Day celebration not just for the students, but for Sergeant Piccirillo as well.
Get prepping for your Memorial Day class activities!
We hope this guide has given you some ideas on how to commemorate Memorial Day with your students! If you’re wondering which one of these four ideas to use, then why not use all of them?
Start recruiting students for a music performance, and getting hold of the materials your students will need for Memorial Day crafts. As for Memorial Day poster creation, you can register for your free PosterMyWall Classroom Account here!
With the right prep, you can make this year’s Memorial Day celebrations memorable for your students, and impart life lessons they’ll never forget.