Did you know that Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day and was created to commemorate the end of World War I on November 11th, 1918? Over time, it evolved into a holiday to honor all military veterans who have bravely served during the war.
And guess what?
In schools, it gives educators and parents a perfect opportunity to teach students about the sacrifices made by those who served in the armed forces and to show gratitude for their contributions to our nation.
So, whether you’re a teacher, an administrator, or a parent who loves planning engaging activities, we’ve got you covered with some fantastic Veterans Day activity ideas for middle school students.
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10 Veterans Day Activities for Young Kids
1. Operation Gratitude
This activity involves creating care packages filled with items that deployed soldiers would find useful and enjoyable, like snacks, toiletries, and other small items.
Students can get creative with the items they include in the packages and add personal touches like handwritten notes or drawings to express their gratitude.
2. Patriotic Poetry Slam
Encourage students to write poems or recite famous works related to Veterans Day, such as “The Charge of the Light Brigade” or “The Soldier.”
The poetry slam can be hosted in a classroom or school-wide assembly. This activity not only allows students to express their creativity but also teaches them about the power of language and how poetry can be used to honor and pay tribute to those who have served our country.
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3. Thank a Veteran Photo Booth
The “Thank a Veteran” photo booth allows students to showcase their creativity. They can create a photo booth complete with props and backdrops that symbolize the sacrifices and service of veterans.
Encourage all participants to share their photos on social media, using the hashtag #ThankAVeteran to spread awareness and appreciation.
4. Letters to Heroes
There’s no better way to show gratitude for our military members and veterans than by writing personalized letters expressing our appreciation for their service and the sacrifices they have made for our country.
The “Letters to Heroes” activity allows students to do just that. Students can create heartfelt letters thanking our service members and veterans for their bravery and dedication to protecting our freedoms.
The letters can be written individually or as a class and can be sent to organizations that deliver them to active-duty military members and veterans.
5. Veterans Day Quiz Bowl
Test the knowledge of your students or give them a reason to learn more by hosting a Veterans Day Quiz Bowl! This exciting activity encourages friendly competition and teaches students about military history, famous veterans, and the history of Veterans Day.
Students can work in teams or as individuals to answer questions related to the holiday. You can create your own questions or use resources like Veterans Affairs to gather interesting trivia.
6. Create a Wall of Honor
This one’s my favorite, and it’s a classic!
Create a “Wall of Honor” by asking students to bring in photos of veterans in their families or community. Display these photos on a designated wall in the classroom, hallway, or school lobby. To make it special, add flags, posters, and other patriotic decorations.
You can also encourage students to write short biographies or descriptions of their family member’s service to accompany the photos.
This activity fosters a sense of community and connection among students and inspires them to learn more about each other’s family history.
7. Community Service Project
Organize a community service project to give back to veterans in your community. This could include a food drive, cleaning up a park, or volunteering at a veterans’ hospital.
In this activity, you can encourage students to partner with local organizations supporting veterans and their families.
8. Movie Screening
Everyone enjoys movies, and screening of a war-themed film like “Saving Private Ryan” or “American Sniper” can be a great way to teach students about the realities of war and the importance of honoring the service of our veterans.
After the screening, discuss the movie’s themes and how they relate to Veterans Day. Encourage students to ask questions and share their thoughts and feelings about the movie.
9. Honor Roll
Creating an honor roll is an excellent way to acknowledge and recognize the families of students who have served in the war.
To create an honor roll, ask students to provide the names and branches of service of their family members. Once you have the information, create a display board with the names and photos of the veterans.
10. Flag Ceremony
No Veterans Day is complete without flag hosting, so organize a flag ceremony to honor the sacrifices of veterans. Students can participate in raising and lowering the flag, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and holding a moment of silence.
Invite veterans to participate in the ceremony or as special guests to share their experiences and connect with students.
As we conclude this article, we hope that these 10 activities for Veterans Day in schools have given you plenty of ideas for how to celebrate and honor our veterans.
These activities are not only a great way to give back to our military community but also teach students the importance of empathy for those who serve our country.
So, let’s take action and make this Veteran’s Day a memorable one by using these activities as a means to show our gratitude towards the brave men and women who have served our nation.
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