Memorial Day Activities with Free Printables

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Memorial Day is one of my favorite holidays.  I have such fond memories of the day, dating back to when I was a child, going to cemeteries with my grandparents, placing flowers in front of headstones of relatives that had passed.  The day was filled with stories of those from the past.

My father was a military man, serving in Vietnam for the navy, and then serving in the Desert Storm War for the army.  My husband's father and maternal grandfather were military men.  My maternal grandfather was a military man.  I will always remember the day my father returned from Saudi Arabia.

In college, I worked at a funeral home part time.  It was one of the most spiritual and enjoyable job experiences of my life.  When I had Dinomite, I made it a point to celebrate Memorial Day, especially after all I had learned.  Our city has a wonderful parade. We all dress in our red, white, and blue.  We visit specific Memorial Day sites during the day.  In the evening we walk in our local cemetery.  The only thing that divides the cemetery from our yard is a fence.  Our children have watched many burials and funeral processions from our window, always asking questions.
Dinomite at age 4

Besides multiple activities Memorial Day Weekend, we dedicate the week to learning more about the holiday in our classroom.  Here's what we've been up to!

English:
Funeral Site Words
I'm excited to go through each of the cards individually and explain to the kiddos what each picture and word means, in a way that is simple and understandable to them.  I find they always do so much better when they have a solid knowledge and understanding of concepts, as they're presented visually.

Source:  I created this activity.  If you would like access to the free printable click HERE.

Patriotic Consonant Blends
Dinomite is doing extremely well with his reading, however he's struggling with his consonant blends.  I'm hoping these cards and the action of writing the consonant blends will help him understand how to combine the two sounds.  It definitely won't hurt for Princess and Bulldozer to learn what two consonants sound like together either.

Source: I created this activity.  If you would like a free copy of the cards, click HERE.

Memorial Day Poetry
Studying poetry is very much a part of Montessori.  I wrote this very simple Memorial Day poem for the kiddos to read and analyze using the props provided.  Here is the poem if you'd like to use this Meomorial Day.

See the Man Stand

There was a man,
home from war he ran.
His job was done.
He put down his gun.

See the man stand.
He's next to the band.
He still wears his boots
that match his suit.

He remembers so well
all the men that fell.
So we are free
from those across the sea.

Today I stand proud,
listening to the music loud.
He fought for me,
So that I can be.

Math:
American Presidents Sequence Activity
The kiddos will sequence the presidents of the United States of America using the Placemat as a control.

Source: The free U.S. President cards can be found at Toddler Approved.

History of War Numbers
This activity is being used in a variety of ways depending on the child who chooses it.  Those who are able to sequence the wars in history cards, will do so.  Those who can not, will create the years and/ or number of casualties in each war.

Sources:  I made the war cards.  If you'd like a free copy, click HERE.  The number cards can be found for free at Montessori Print Shop.

Soldier Addition

Princess seems to LOVE addition and subtraction.  Mind you she's three years old.  However, if there's an activity like this on the shelf she instantly chooses it every day, first before any other activity.  I was super excited to use my little military men as counters this week!

Source:  These cards are part of a free printable pack at Royal Baloo.


Geography/Culture:


Current World Conflicts involving the United States of America

Dinomite LOVES history.  It's one of his new passions.  This activity was created specifically for him.  Using the country/continent cards and Toy Soldiers Dinomite will find and mark each country on the Map of the World, where American soldiers are involved in conflict or in danger right now.  (Cards were created to reflect the year 2013).

A special thanks to my friend Morgan Deane author of the book, Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents: Ancient Warfare in the Book of Mormon  and the blog, Warfare and The Book of Mormon for helping with this activity.

Source: I created this activity with the help of a friend for verifying information.  If you would like a free copy of the cards, click HERE.

Land, Air, & Water Military Vehicles
In honor of Memorial Day, we decided to practice our land,air and water sorting skills using military vehicles.  Dinomite and Bulldozer were delighted.  There are 36 sorting cards in this activity which made it all more fun.

Source: I created this activity using information and pictures from Wikipedia.  If you would like a free copy of the cards, please click HERE.

The Armed Forces
The kids have been going crazy waiting to get their hands on this activity.  To teach the kids about the different armed forces I made cards for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.  One set has their seal/logo. The other set has a picture of what their parade flags look like.  In the basket are different types of military vehicles. It's up to them to separate which vehicles are used by each of the different armed forces. Obviously some are used by many of them, but for their simple minds, I figure it will make the most sense to categorize them.  It was very difficult finding military vehicles in stores.  If you're interested in this collecting some of your own, you may want to consider the Metro Army Military Combat Diecast Vehicle Play Set.

Source: I created this activity.  If you would like a copy of the armed forces cards, click HERE.

Sensorial:
Red, White & Blue Sensory Bin
This week we're exploring the colors red, white and blue using a sensory bin filled with various textures.  Sensory bins can be so much fun.

Practical Life:
How to Fold an American Flag
I think it's important for everyone to know how to fold the American Flag.  I found fabulous pictures on Wikihow, along with directions that I made into cards for the kids.  I found a flag at our local dollar store and voila!  The kiddos are pros at folding napkins so I figure this will be a fun challenge for them.

Source: I created this activity using information I found on Wikihow.

Memorial Day Flower Arrangements
The kiddos will practice making flower arrangements all week.  On  Friday, they'll take them to the cemetery behind our house.  There they will find a soldier's headstone that doesn't have flowers and place them there.

Source: I created this activity.

Flower Tweezing
The kids will practice tweezing the red, white, and blue flowers, putting them in the other bowl. I just realized this pictures doesn't show the activity going from left to right.  Oops. I'll have to fix that!

Art:
Cookie Cutter Stars
The kiddos will dip the Star Cookie Cutter Set in the red and blue Crayola Washable Finger Paints and then make star outlines on the page.

How to Draw a Star
Dinomite just learned how to draw a heart by himself and is so excited.  He's been asking about how to draw stars, so I figured this would be the perfect time for him to learn how.  The diagrams came from Wikihow.  I just made them into cards.  There are only 5 steps!

Taps Analysis
This week, the iPad is being used as part of our music lesson.

When I think of Memorial Day, I instantly think of "Taps."  The kids are not familiar with it at all.  So, I went online and found a video I was quite impressed with that emphasized a lot of the things they'll be learning this week.

I made sure to supply ear phones so the music wouldn't disturb the other kiddos.  After the first viewing of the video, the kids will use the sheet music I've provided to follow the melody line as the piece is played.  I've connected notes so it's easier for the kiddos to follow along with their finger.  After following along, there are a few music theory cards on the tray.  The kids are to look at the cards and find the matching notations on the sheet of music.

I'm hoping it will go over well.  If nothing else, they'll recognize the piece and know when it is played.

I'm not sure who's more excited about our activities this week, the kiddos or me.

For more patriotic activities check out the posts below:


12 comments:

  1. Wow, this is an incredibly detailed unit! I love the idea of teaching them how to properly fold the flag! I'm going to Pin this for my girls for next year. Beautiful.

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  2. Love, Love, Love your blog! I have been out of commission for a few weeks, but I just saw your link ups this past Saturday at Share it Saturday.. (I'm a co-host)...I'm featuring your blog next week on Share it Saturday at my blog! Thanks for sharing your talent and printables, they are inspiring!

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    1. Thank you so much Jen! I'm glad that you're back up and at it in the blogging world.

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  3. These are great ideas for Memorial Day learning.
    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

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    1. Thank you Jill! I'm sure I'll be back to link up soon. :)

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  4. These are GREAT activities! Thank you for sharing at the After School Linky!

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  5. This is the most unique one-of-a-kind unit I have ever seen. I am in awe of your talent in curriculum development. Just beyond great.

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    1. Thank you so much Carolyn. It's one of our favorite units!

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  6. We don't celebrate this holiday here, but this post is very interesting. You created so many interesting activities that cover different sides of the holiday!

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  7. I love all the activities in this Memorial day post. My favorite is teaching how to fold the flag.

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