Memorial Day (Last Monday, federal)
To many people, especially children, Memorial Day is a three-day weekend heralding the arrival of summer and the end of school. They often overlook the true meaning of the holiday.Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who died in service to our country. It was originally called Decoration Day because of the tradition of decorating the graves of the fallen men and women.
To learn more about Memorial Day visit: www1.va.gov/opa/publications/celebrate/memday.pdf
1. Have students work in small groups to research a war in which American soldiers were killed. They should find out what caused the war and why the United States was involved. Have them draw conclusions about U.S. involvement and conclude by asking each student to write a newspaper opinion piece about whether the loss of lives was justified.
2. Ask students to search the newspaper for news about U.S. servicemen and women on duty in other countries. Have them read the stories to find out if conflict is involved and whether those servicemen and women are at risk. What measures are being taken to minimize the risks? Again, have students draw conclusions about whether the risks are justified.
3. Instruct students to create an acrostic using the word patriotism. Have them cut letters out of the newspaper to spell “patriotism” and come up with a patriotic word for each letter.