by Mrs. Warde
For the first holiday in our series going through The Big Book of Holidays Around the Year we will be observing Veteran’s Day (or Remembrance Day if you’re Canadian or Australian). Before learning about Veteran’s Day in preparation for this lesson I probably would have told you that Veteran’s Day was on a specific day of the week like Memorial Day. Nope, it’s always November 11th because it celebrates the Armistice of World War I.
I had hoped to have a book reviewed for this by now, but I have a bad cold and I’m not going to the library like this. Holidays Around the Year recommends the chapter book Veteran’s Day: Remembering our War Heroes and the website www.teachervision.com for more information. I really liked Brain Pop’s video on 9/11 that we used in September, so I went to look at their video explaining war. However, you have to pay for those videos. While they have a homeschool purchasing option it is too much for us at this time. Under its Veteran’s Day links the teachervision site has a few short videos for different ages. Here’s the one for grades 1-5.
There is also “The Story of Veteran’s Day” which I will read to the kids, as well as various activities for different ages. You can access seven different activities for free on the site before you have to pay for it.
I’ve always made a point to purchase the fundraiser poppies, but until I was preparing for this lesson I had no idea why the poppy was used as a symbol. It is because of a poem written by John McCrae, a Canadian doctor and soldier, during World War I. From Holidays Around the Year: “His poem refers to wild poppies that began to blossom on the gravesites of soldiers in the fields. This stirring natural event provides an interesting science link: Poppy seeds can live dormant underground for years and years without growing until the soil around them is disturbed. The dormant poppy seeds in Flanders fields were given a chance to grow when the gravesites were dug.”
Here is the poem:
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 are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
We are going to make a point to go out on Monday and find a veteran selling poppies. If you don’t have a veteran in your life to have your kids talk to, this might be a way to find someone willing to talk.
We will also make our own poppies. I found 11 Poppy Crafts for November 11 at momstown arts and crafts. We will likely be doing one of those, or one of the poppy ideas on the Memorial Day kids classrooms activities crafts board on Pinterest. We will be keeping whichever poppy craft we do up for at least a month since the idea is to remember, not to remember just once and then forget for another year.
If you’re interested in how our observation of this holiday turns out I’ll be posting about it on my blog the day of or the day after.
Mrs. Warde is a stay at home, homeschooling mother of three and a Pinterest addict. She has too many craft projects started to mention, though very few are ever finished. She blogs mostly about homeschooling and sometimes about preemie issues over at sceleratusclassicalacademy.blogspot.com