While some students may just see Memorial Day as a day off from school, it is a great time to teach them about Memorial Day and why we celebrate it. It is important for them to know about those who gave their lives while serving our country.
Here are some ways you can teach elementary students about Memorial Day in your classroom.
Start by giving them the definition. It seems simple, but this is something that not a lot of students know or understand.
Write a letter to a hero. If your students have any friends or family members that served they can write a letter to them. For other students you can have them write a letter to hero you select for them. This is a great way to give students perspective and a chance to express their gratitude.
Discuss the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. On Veterans Day we celebrate those still living who served our country, on Memorial Day we celebrate those we lost.
Looking for a super simple way to teach students how to write a personal narrative? I have you covered!
After struggling with teaching how to write personal narratives on my own in the classroom, I wrote the entire week process down following the I DO, WE DO, YOU DO method. Then, I made a video for students to walk them step-by-step through the process of how to write their own narrative that not only is engaging to readers, but also sets a foundation for future writing. My favorite GO-TO resource is Google Slides. I love that they are interactive with movable parts, colorful, easy for virtual teaching and that I can also add black and white printables for print and go in-person teaching.
Video Tutorial for Students > Have you heard of a POTATO CHIP Beginning? (SEE THE VIDEO HERE)
REMINDER Checklist for Students
Optional Choice Board
Example of Writing to Share with Students
Colorful Digital Slides to share Virtually or on an Overhead that includes:
> Brainstorming Options
> Story Maps or Storyboard Choices
> Writing (ROUGH DRAFTS to PUBLISHING)
> A Rubric
BLACK and WHITE Ink-Saving Option Included
There is 60 Google Slides total. Some colorful with editing text boxes and movable parts for virtual learning. The process walks students through brainstorming for a mini moment to write about, to a published narrative writing piece.
If you have not heard of a POTATO CHIP BEGINNING, your kids will love using these ideas to make the reader want MORE!
Do your early elementary students need help getting their creative writing juices flowing? Writing prompts can help!
When faced with a blank page, many kids can feel overwhelmed by writing assignments. They’re not sure where to start, and some students can even shut down when faced with writing activities. Other students might be comfortable with writing, but just don’t get excited about “boring” writing assignments in the classroom.
Writing prompt journals are the answer for these challenges!
Journals filled with writing prompts give a clear assignment each and every day. Your students will know exactly what to write rather than spending time deciding about a topic.
With daily assignments students will approach their writing with more confidence. As they become more comfortable with responding to prompts they will lose their feelings of overwhelm.
In addition, journals are a great way to monitor students’ growth in their writing skills. By keeping each month’s journals you will be able to see their content and conventions grow over time. You can also identify problem areas for particular students or the whole class and address those skills with specialized lessons.
As your students become more familiar with daily writing, they will take more chances with creativity. Writing as a daily routine will help you address all of these skills regularly without extra planning. You can even add in word banks with vocabulary words for them to use and teach them how to check their work with self check-offs.
Simply print the pages out for the month, staple, and you’re ready!
Students will love the fun writing tasks as well as the word banks. They can easily spell words they may need in their writing and feel more confident in their ideas. There are also checklists at the bottom of each day’s prompt so students can check their own work for writing expectations. Each month includes a writing rubric you can use to assess students’ writing.
In addition to journals for all twelve months, I’ve also included silly writing prompts to really get your students excited! Reluctant writers will enjoy using their skills for a fun writing assignment.
I hope these writing prompts get your students excited to use their creativity with writing!
Teaching students about the importance of voting in a democracy is very important. Now more than ever kids are curious about politics. So, how can you teach students without getting too political? If you teach about elections and the voting process instead of using real political candidates, young students will still develop an understanding of how elections work, the responsibility of voting and how their feelings tie into the process. Election and voting activities for kids can be simple.
Here are some things your can do to teach about voting:
Share books like Grace for President by Kelly Dipucchio or Vote for ME! by Ben Clanton.
Talk about commercials, signs or local leader positions.
Write opinion papers about voting or elections.
Discuss how feelings help make decisions.
Hold a class pet election.
Students can take polls about favorite snacks or sports.
Make a voting booth or box. Have ballots for students to pick their end of the day activity.
Create a class campaign for a class mascot with posters, stickers and commercials.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, lead by example. Let them see your “I VOTED” sticker or tell them how you take time out of your day to vote.
Ideas for PARENTS to do with children to help them learn about voting:
Take your child to vote and discuss why you are voting for a particular candidate.
Write a letter to an elected official as a family.
Talk about how peaceful protesting is patriotic. Loving a country means speaking up when we disagree with actions.
Share your beliefs with your child.
Discuss how people all have different ideas and how to respect each other.
Read a book about voting, democracy or citizenship.
Point out signs about elections and discuss how they help us learn about candidates.
Let the family vote about what is for dinner.
Vote on a family vacation.
Use math to explain how we count results.
Virtual Teaching about Voting
Google Slides and Forms make it easy for students to learn about the voting process. You can create a poll using Google Forms to send to your students virtually. Share the results with the class over a live virtual meeting.