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Showing posts with label America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label America. Show all posts

Memorial Day: A Day To Remember

Memorial Day in America is a day to remember those who gave their lives for our freedom. Many people also enjoy the day with a long weekend, parades, cook outs, and the beginning of summer.

Memorial Day: A Day to Remember - Ideas, Resources, and 3 different freebies for honoring Memorial Day in the Primary Classroom
When I grew up, Patriotism was strong in this country. Most of our parents remembered World War II, and it was clear how lucky we are to be Americans. Our parents taught us the importance of being Americans. We learned all the words to all the patriotic songs, and sang them proudly. We knew how to care for our flag, and we knew we were lucky to be born Americans.

It seem that many Americans have forgotten the joys, privileges, and responsibilities of living in a free country. So many Americans are angry, and are blaming our government. Many Americans don't even know the words to The Star Spangled Banner, or even how to show respect for the American flag. I try to teach my own students to be proud of their country. I teach them what freedom means, and how they live in a land where they can choose what they want to be! I read Patriotic books and I cry.



Especially with this one.
patriotic book

Although I'd say we are definitely due for a long, relaxing weekend, you'll bet I'll be reading these books and showing videos like this one I found which explains Memorial Day to children, with pictures of American Memorials and just enough history for little ones to understand.


I'll also be singing Patriotic Songs with the children, as I do on most holidays. I found this great website that has lyrics and background music for most of the favorites, and it's all free!

I found some great ideas for celebrating patriotic holidays on the Scholastic Website. These ideas would work for any of the patriotic holidays, not just Memorial Day. 

Since my little ones sometimes struggle to remember the differences in many patriotic holidays, I made up these lists to help remember the importance of each occasion as well as some ideas for celebrating each. See the image or HERE for your freebie.


Planning on doing some patriotic writing this Memorial Day? You can download this writing paper freebie HERE!


Here's one more freebie that can be used for any patriotic holiday: Patriotic Brain Breaks!


I also have a "Reading Comprehension for Active Learners" Resource which is perfect for Memorial Day. It has informational text, text questions, sketching, and brain breaks, all related to the USA. Check it out here: Freedom Isn't Free: Learning About the USA for Active Learners.

Here's a little video to help you see this resource.

Want a resource with plenty of ideas for patriotic holidays? Try this bundle with 7 different resources PLUS 7 different freebies: Learning About the USA!

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, have a steak, or a hot dog, or even a veggie burger, but don't forget to remember the reason for the holiday, and that FREEDOM ISN'T FREE!

Memorial Day: A Day to Remember - Ideas, Resources, and 3 different freebies for honoring Memorial Day in the Primary Classroom

September 11, 2001

What do you remember about this day so many years ago?

September 11, 2001: What do you remember? This post compares my experience in 2001 to another experience, way back in 1963.  What do you remember about this horrendous day?

This is one of those events where people would always remember where they were, and what they were doing. (Again, brain research tells us that memories are associated with strong emotions!) 

I remember where I was when Kennedy was shot. (Yes, I really am that old!) I was 8 years old in my third grade class.  The principal got on the intercom and told us to pray. She didn't tell us why, she just told us to pray. (Yep, Catholic School!)

I got home that afternoon to find my mother watching the TV, talking on the phone and crying. I watched a little bit of the TV to find out what was happening. I saw that clip in Dallas of the famous motorcade, with President Kennedy falling over and Jackie reacting... I saw that over and over. 

I sensed the huge sadness of the event, said something like "aw, that's too bad", and went out to play with my friends.

Almost 40 years later: One beautiful September morning, I was in my second grade classroom. My student teacher was about to have her first evaluation by her supervising teacher, and one of my students was about to get a baby sister. 

One of the teacher assistants in our school stopped into the classroom and said she'd cover the classroom, both my student teacher and I should go to the office. She quickly whispered something to me about a plane crash.

I went to the principal's office to find several teachers watching the TV. Some were crying, some looked quite shaken. The first tower had just collapsed. They kept showing the second plane hitting the second tower over and over. Then the second tower collapsed. It was surreal. Teachers came in and out to find out what was going on.

We decided not to tell the children. They were rather young to "get it", and this was the sort of thing that was best coming from parents. Before going back to class, I stopped into my daughter's classroom and gave her a big hug. (I never did this! I tried very hard to stay out of the way of my daughter's class, so she was quite surprised... but her teacher understood.) I told her, "I just needed to give you a hug today."

We took the kids out for an extra long recess that day. The teachers all huddled together, trying to stay strong. The kids all played on that beautiful September day in New England. A couple of children were dismissed early that day. We gave them all a break from homework that night.

When I got home, I told my daughter about what had happened.  I watched it on the news over and over. I called my sister and we talked and cried. My daughter went outside to play. History repeats itself. 

What happened over the next few weeks was interesting. Flags flew everywhere. People were warmer to each other, even total strangers. Patriotism became stronger. People were proud of their country. 

About a week later, I was at a local apple orchard listening to blue grass music and celebrating fall on yet another beautiful fall day in New England. I remember one man pointing to the sky and saying, "a plane". The crowd was silent. Seeing a plane in the sky wasn't unusual, but this was the first one we'd seen since September 11th.  We all watched the plane go by silently, then turned and smiled at each other. They were hopeful smiles. 

Fast forward to the present. Right now is one of the roughest times our country has been through that I can recall in my many, many years. People are angry. Unemployment is high and morale is low. People are doubting the strength of our government. People are doubting the strength of our economy. People are scared.

But I still believe. Maybe it's that Catholic school upbringing in the 60s or living through the Vietnam war protests of the 60s and 70s. Or maybe it's something that my parents taught me. But I believe in my country. I believe we will work out all the problems and be a stronger country in the long run. And I'm still proud to be an American.

No matter how many times I hear this song, I'll end up weeping by the end: 

What do you remember?

September 11, 2001: What do you remember? This post compares my experience in 2001 to another experience, way back in 1963.  What do you remember about this horrendous day?

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