We have Flag Day on June 14th. We have Independence Day on July 4th.
I know there are some teachers out there who will be out of school by Memorial Day. My district gets out just a short week before Independence Day. (We've never gone that late! These kids are done NOW!)
But it's a great opportunity to teach our kids something about our country!
I find literature, the arts, and music are a great way for children to learn any subject, especially social studies! Here are some of the books I use. (Click any image for a link to Amazon!)
Coming to America by Betsy Maestro is a great book to show how most Americans came from other countries. (I often read this one around St. Patrick's Day, as this holiday celebrates Irish-Americans, and gets conversations started about our ancestry.)
How Many Days to America by Eve Bunting tells the story of people escaping a harsh life and coming to America for freedom. It's done with Even Bunting's child friendly language, but also touches their hearts, as many of Eve Bunting's stories do. Although it's subtitled "A Thanksgiving Story," it's very appropriate for any day you want to show the children the risks people take to live in America. It's a great conversation starter to remind children (and ourselves) of the freedoms we have in our country, that people don't have in others.
Speaking of Eve Bunting, The Wall is one of my very favorite books for children. Although I do have trouble getting through this story without tears, it's a nice book to read around Memorial Day or Veterans Day, when we are thinking about those who fight for our freedom, and those that don't come home. (I think this one really gets to me because of the time period... I was "coming of age" during the Vietnam War. Yes, I went to demonstrations and everything, I'm THAT old!)
Here are some informational books that are helpful:
I always want to remind my students about how beautiful our country is. Picture books are great to help with that concept! Here are a couple to help:
Here are a couple more books that have loads of fun activities to share and celebrate our country!
No USA celebration is complete without patriotic music!
This CD has a huge collection of historical USA songs and patriotic songs. Plus, it has the split track for opportunities for the kids to sing with accompaniment!
Here's another collection of classic patriotic songs! This is nice to have if you want to play a patriotic song in the morning to follow the Pledge of Allegiance.
Here's a nice You tube video to America the Beautiful.
Of course, after all that learning about America, the children will need to do some writing. Check out this freebie! Click the image or click HERE.
Still looking for ideas to celebrate the USA? Check out THIS BLOG POST from Memorial Day last year!