If you are keen to engage your students in Veteran’s Day but you’re not sure how, you have come to the right place.
We have put together this list of the best classroom activities that you can try today to get your students interested in Veteran’s Day and help to learn in the process.
These activities are not just fun – they will also help your students to develop important skills and learn all about Veteran’s Day in the process. Keep reading to find out more.
1. ‘Veterans Are…’ Cards
Veteran’s Day is all about being grateful for our Veterans and the military, and what they have done for the country.
Have a little session teaching your students about what sort of attributes Veterans need to have – bravery, determination, fitness etc. Next, the children can make their own ‘Veterans Are …’ card.
They can draw a picture of a veteran (or you can use a template), and then they can write down what they think that veteran is like.
2. ‘Thank You Veterans’ Poster
A very simple but fun activity for Veteran’s Day is to make a ‘Thank You Veterans’ poster. You can make one large poster as a group, or each child can make their own poster.
You can use a template and ask the children to color it in, or they can create their own poster from scratch.
You can provide lots of different materials for the students to make the poster if you want to turn this into a mixed media activity – pens, pencils, crayons, tissue paper, felt, glitter etc.
It might be a good idea to put some reference pictures out for inspiration – the American flag, pictures of soldiers and parades etc.
3. Give The Veterans A ‘Hand’
This is a sweet and fun idea to show your appreciation on Veterans Day. Each child can trace their hand onto a piece of colored paper, and then cut it out (you might need to help younger children with the cutting).
Alternatively, they can make handprints using colored paint. You can use a combination of red, white and blue colors to represent the American flag.
Use the hands to make a piece of art, using an appropriate slogan (such as ‘we want to give you a hand for your service’). You could arrange the hands in a heart shape, or dot them around the poster.
4. Veteran’s Day Bingo
You can play bingo with images instead of numbers to make it more accessible for children. This activity can be customized to suit any holiday or theme, including Veteran’s Day.
You can use a free template, or make your own bingo cards using military themed images. Hold up larger versions of the images one by one, and the children can cross them off if they have them on their card.
The first child to cross out all of the images is the winner. Bingo is a great game to play as it is fun and engaging, but it all comes down to chance which means it is fair on everyone.
5. Design Your Own Veteran
To get the children to use their imaginations, they can design their own veteran. You can show them a range of different veteran images for inspiration, including different uniforms and branches of the military.
They can choose the gender, ethnicity, uniform, and stance of their veteran. Perhaps they are standing to attention, or maybe they are crouching or crawling on their stomach.
There are lots of different options. They might be holding the American flag, or saluting. Once all of the veterans are complete, you can join them together with string to make bunting, or use them to create a display.
6. Pom Pom Painting American Flag
Making an American flag is a great way to engage children with Veteran’s Day and to encourage them to feel patriotic.
There are lots of different activities you can choose from to make an American flag, but pom pom painting is something a little different.
Each child has three pom poms and three wooden pegs. They use the wooden pegs to dip the pom poms into paint (red, white and blue), and then use them to paint the flag.
They can use the pom pom as a stamp, creating an interesting effect and texture.
This is a really fun way to paint and it’s something that the children will enjoy. At the end of the activity each child will have their one flag to take home, or you can use them to decorate the classroom.
7. Bald Eagle Craft
Everyone knows that the bald eagle is a symbol of America, and is often associated with Veterans and war heroes. A fun activity to do in your classroom on Veteran’s day is to help the children make their own bald eagle.
All you need is this free template, colored paper, scissors, glue and a pen. You can use the bald eagles as part of a display, or turn them into a picture by sticking them to a piece of paper.
Alternatively, you could stick them to a piece of cardboard, punch a hole through the top and thread it with string. This would turn it into a lovely hanging decoration.
8. Colored Paper Heart Flag
If you are looking for an easy cut and stick activity that will keep the children entertained then this is ideal. The children will be able to make their own American flag in the shape of a heart.
Once the hearts are complete, you can attach them all to a long piece of string to make some wonderful, patriotic bunting to decorate the classroom. All you need is colored paper, glue, scissors and this free template.
9. Military Puzzles
These free puzzles are a great way to help your students learn all about the different branches of the military. Each puzzle is in the shape of a pentagon.
In the center is the branch of the military, and the pieces are made of up images that are associated with that branch.
The children will be able to learn the difference between the navy, the coast guard, the marines, the army and the airforce. You can find the free templates for the puzzles here.
10. ‘See The Veteran’ Song
Learning and performing a song is a fantastic way for your students to honor veterans on Veterans Day.
This is an easy song suitable for a wide range of ages. It is sung in the tune of ‘Frere Jacques’, so all the children will need to do is learn the words. You can also print out lyric sheets for them if you want to.
If you have musical instruments like percussion etc then you can use those too, or they can sing it in more of a choir style. You could film the performance and upload it to the school website to show your support for veterans.
11. Make A Veteran’s Ribbon
There are different types of veteran’s ribbons – those that are worn by veterans and those that are worn to show support for veterans.
You can teach your students about the importance of the Veteran’s Day ribbons, and then turn it into a fun activity. Have the children design their own veteran’s ribbon.
You can provide them with templates to color in or they can draw themselves. Make sure you put out plenty of colored pens and pencils for them to use, especially red, white and blue!
12. Send A Letter To A Veteran
Did you know that you can send a letter to a veteran? Writing a letter to a Veteran is a wonderful way to show appreciation, and it is a useful activity to do with your students.
It will help them to learn about how to write letters, how to structure letters, and will also get them to think about why Veterans are important.
You can create a traditional letter, or you can turn it into a card by getting the children to draw some pictures and decorations as well. Make sure that the letters are positive and motivational, and don’t forget to say thank you.
You will need to manage the expectations of the children – they won’t receive a reply to their letter.
Only use first names, and include the address of the school rather than the home address of the students. For more information on how to send a letter to a veteran, see here.
13. Veteran’s Day Word Search
An easy activity to do on Veteran’s Day is a themed word search. This is fun for the children, and also helps them with reading skills. All of the words in the wordsearch are Veteran themed, and they can cross them off as they go.
If you want to turn it into a competition, the first three students to complete the crossword can win a prize.
There are plenty of fun and engaging activities that you can do in your classroom to celebrate Veteran’s Day with your students. These ideas are simple but effective and will keep your class entertained.
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