Each year on November 11th, Americans celebrate and honor the military veterans who have bravely served our country. We use this day to express gratitude to all veterans and active-duty members for their service, acknowledging their contributions to our nation. To help you recognize this day in your classroom, Learning A-Z provides reading resources, lesson plans, and other activities to incorporate into your instruction.
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Grades K-2 Books
Code Talkers – During World War II, the United States military members needed a way to communicate to each other without enemies being able to understand the messages. They chose a language that no other country would understand: Navajo. Learn why Navajo was the language chosen, how the military developed the code, and about the brave Navajo soldiers who volunteered to serve their country.
Grades 3-4 Books
Veterans Day – This informational book examines what it means to be a veteran and why we have a special holiday to celebrate them. With color photographs and details about what it’s like to live as a veteran, this book introduces students to the important role veterans play in our lives.
The Tuskegee Airmen – This nonfiction book explains how an all-black flying unit from Tuskegee, Alabama broke racial barriers during World War II and went on to become one of the most successful and admired flying squadrons in U.S. history.
Teacher Tip – Be sure to check out the book’s accompanying Graphic Book. Graphic Books are an ideal way to engage reluctant readers and introduce students to blending visual and textual literacies.
America's Army – This Project-Based Learning Pack encourages students to investigate the question "Why did the United States establish an army, and how can we show that the army has changed over time?" This pack includes an anchor text, The Gettysburg Address, and various reading resources, including charts, letters, and posters, that guide students in answering the driving question, as well as understanding the historical and current roles soldiers play in American society.
Teacher Tip – Project-Based Learning Packs task students with investigating a high-interest topic to discover an answer to a Driving Question. Using the numerous grade-appropriate resources in each pack, students collaborate and develop creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills through guided inquiry and the use of planning or organizing tools.
Write a Letter to a Military Member or Veteran
Use the Friendly Letter writing samples, graphic organizers, writing process guides, and revision checklists to have students write to a military member or veteran. Your students can choose to write to a veteran that they know personally (a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or sibling), a member who is currently serving our country, or a member in a Veterans Home. Students can use this letter to explain how much their reader’s military service means to them. Prompt them with ideas and questions like:
- List three of your favorite things about living in the United States
- List what freedom means to you
- What makes you most proud of our military members?
- How have military members positively influenced your life?
Teacher Tip - If there is an active duty military member among the parents of a child in your class, you can ask them if they know of a squadron to whom you can send the letters. If not, contact your local veterans hospital or visit Operation Gratitude to learn more about how to send letters to deployed troops, new recruits, and veterans. Be sure to proof all letters to make sure they are appropriate, positive, and uplifting for soldiers and veterans to read.
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