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Never Forget (Memorial Day or Veterans' Day Pre-Activity)


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Keywords: Veterans, Interviews, Word Art, Technology, Patriotism, Journalism
Subject(s): Speech and Language, History, Writing, Journalism, Grammar, Geography, Spelling, Social Skills, Video, Social Studies, Photography, Information Skills, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades 5 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Pine Valley Middle School, San Ramon, CA
Planned By: Patricia Moore
Original Author: Patricia Moore, San Ramon
1. Begin the activity by having students think about the top three most vivid memories they have ever had. After they have thought of the three, have them (briefly) write them (describe them) down. These can be small memories (i.e: the first time they made a goal in soccer, the time they saw their cousins from another state, etc.). Next, have them choose one and share it with a partner and the partner shares their memory with them. After allowing students to talk for a bit, remind students that is is important to remember other memories than our own, at times. Explain that our country thought it so important to remember the memory of all those who have served or died for our freedom in America that we have set aside special days to honor them. Show video clips of age appropriate you.tube videos of either the story of the song, "The Star Spangled Banner" https://youtu.be/YaxGNQE5ZLA or photos of the Veterans' Memorials in Washington, DC with music in the background.

2. Explain to students that the activity they completed is helpful for two reasons: one for developing their journalistic skills and two for help put into words the patriotism and reasons why we enjoy freedom in America today.

3. Tell students they will need to talk with at least three different veterans. These veterans can be any age and veterans of any war. They may choose to interview a family member, a community member, or students may do research on the web to find a soldier or veteran's recollection. Each student will be given a set of three questions to ask the veteran. 1. Why did you join the military? 2. Do you consider yourself more or less patriotic before or after you fought in the war? 3. What advice would you give to a young person thinking of joining the military today? Give students at least a week to do this interviewing or researching and make sure they save copies of what they gather in digital format so that it may be used later.

4. After students gather their information, tell them they will use the veterans' words/responses to create WORD ART. You can decide what word art programs you would like to use. You can also use Google Images to find images to accompany the word art students create with their interview responses.
Materials: Integrating Technology
Other Items: total requested, $3,220.00 each
Item Number 932-9 ONLINE Interactive Student Notebooks, $420.00 each
35 Student Bundle , $2,800.00 each
70 History Alive! The United States Through Industrialism 70