Sunday, November 4, 2012

FREE Veterans Day Writing Packet {along with book and project ideas}

As we enter the week before Veterans Day, I'm sure there will be lots of great lessons happening in classrooms honoring the men and women that have served our country.  As food for thought, please consider using the term "troops" when referencing this group and not "soldiers."   Soldiers is specific to the Army.
Here are the vocabulary terms specific to each branch:

US Air Force: Airman
US Marine Corps: Marine
US Army: Soldier
US Navy: Sailor
US Coast Guard: Coast Guardsman or just Guardsman

Below are some books, projects/ideas and a FREEBIE for your classroom:

America's White Table by Margot Theis Raven

"The White Table is set in many halls as a symbol for and remembrance to service members fallen, missing, or held captive in the line of duty. Solitary and solemn, it is the table where no one will ever sit.
As a special gift to her Uncle John, Katie and her sisters are asked to help set the white table for dinner. As their mother explains the significance of each item placed on the table Katie comes to understand and appreciate the depth of sacrifice that her uncle, and each member of the Armed Forces and their families, may be called to give." 

H Is for Honor: A Millitary Family Alphabet by Devin Scillian was written by the son of a career officer. This book explores the branches of the Armed Services and speaks from the heart about the honor, privileges and sacrifices of military families everywhere. Children will discover why drill sergeants have to be so tough, what it means to be patriotic and why we need Special Forces such as the Navy SEALS, the Green Berets and the Army Rangers. "H is for Honor" also explains why the annual Army/Navy football game is more that just a game, how much letters from home mean to soldiers, how often military families have to move and what life on base is like. With an underlying message of courage and commitment that every child can relate to, the book will be espcially meaningful to those whose parents, siblings or other relatives serve in the Armed Forces.

The Wall by Eve Bunting

A boy travels to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial with his father to seek out his grandfather's name. The well-matched text and illustrations are soft but stirring. 

I've preordered Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood to read my class next week. It will be a nice way to introduce the idea that Veterans are part of our community and welcome them in as guest readers.

I like Veterans Day (Rookie Reader) by Jacqueline S. Cotton because it is at a level the students can read on their own. It's part of the Rookie Readers Holidays books.

{click to access and download this FREE Veterans Day Writing Packet}
In honor of Veterans Day I made a writing packet FREEBIE! Like all of my packets, it is differentiated for grades K-5 and to meet the varied needs within your classroom. My hope is that you will use it with your students to help them learn about the important role of the men and women who have served our country and that you will consider using it to send a class book to a Veterans' Hospital or your local American Legion. Here are some found ideas to go with it.

A fabulous anchor chart that does a great job of explaining Veterans Day and Veterans

Mrs. T created the above cuties using these

Camo Cupcakes? Yummy!

Love the look of the torn magazine pieces. This would be a good project to do
in class and create cards out of. The cards could then be sent to Veterans' hospitals or to troops currently serving oversees with a letter from the students.

Oh and since I started with a public service announcement, I might as well end with one as well. 

The official spelling is Veterans Day (no apostrophe). From the Department of Veterans Affairs, "Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an "s" at the end of "veterans" because it is not a day that "belongs" to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans."

And I only know this because I needed to look it up because I wasn't sure myself. ;) I'm pretty sure my anchor charts in the past were spelled wrong.

{photo sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5}

Follow my Teacher Store so you don't miss
Flash Freebies or Discounted Debut Items and view my easy-to-navigate online catalog.

Check out CFC's Helpful Series for Teachers: 

By the way, if you are not already subscribed to The Clutter-Free Classroom newsletter I encourage you sign up. Subscribers receive weekly tips for organizing and managing a classroom as well as exclusive free printables. You can sign up here.