Why do you think the flag was draped on the caskets at these three funerals? What does the flag represent?
What does it mean to become "men (or women) for others?" Why is it important?
Why do you think the students consider it a privilege to represent the family that is not there to be with the deceased at these funerals? Would you?
Todd Wilson, the school's director of service, said that serving as pallbearers at these funerals teaches students "the value and dignity of life at all levels." How do you think this experience does that?
- After reading the article, ask the class why the students at this school chose to become pallbearers at the funerals of people they didn't know. Guide them to understand that the students were looking for a volunteer opportunity where they could help others. They identified a specific need in their community and created a program to fill that need. In the process, they were able to honor military veterans.
- Remind the class that Veterans Day is this week. Point out that many people confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day. However, Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday in May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Veterans Day, held on November 11 of each year, honors all military personnel but is largely intended as a day to thank living veterans for their service to the country.
- As a class, brainstorm ideas about how students can thank living veterans in their own community. Point out that this may include those who are currently serving or have served in the military or their families. Encourage students to think of something tangible that helps the person in a meaningful way. If you wish, contact a local veterans organization for ideas.
- Once students identify a specific activity, plan and hold a volunteer day for your class, grade or school. If possible, enlist the help of parents, older siblings and other community members.
After students complete the volunteer project, hold a class discussion to recap what happened. Encourage students to share how they contributed during the day and what it meant to them to thank someone who gives so much for the well being of others.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
Organize the event yourself. Require each student to participate. After the event, encourage students to make a list identifying each thing they did to help a veteran that day. Then have students write cards thanking the veteran for his or her service to the country.
Invite students to help you organize the event. Require each student to participate. After the event, encourage students to make a list identifying each thing they did to help a veteran that day. Then have students write cards thanking the veteran for his or her service to the country.
Once you have an overall project in mind, divide the class into small groups. Assign each group a specific part of the project. Supervise the groups as they plan the step-by-step process for completing their tasks. You may wish to work with other classes or expand this into an all-school project. After students complete the project, encourage them to write an evaluation outlining what they did, how it helped a veteran and how the project could be expanded to assist more local veterans in the future. Then have students write cards thanking the veteran for his or her service to the country.
Once you have an overall project in mind, encourage students to select a team of supervisors. Each supervisor will oversee a specific area of the project. All other students will work in small groups to complete specific tasks. Encourage teams to outline the step-by-step process for completing their tasks so the overall project flows as seamlessly as possible. You may wish to work with other classes or expand this into an all-school project. Encourage students to enlist the help of parents, siblings and other community members who want to help. After students complete the project, instruct them to write an evaluation outlining what they did, how it helped a veteran and how the project could be expanded to assist more local veterans in the future. Then have students write cards thanking the veteran for his or her service to the country.
In this Smithsonian Channel video clip, Julian "Bud" Rice, a WWII veteran, recounts the harrowing experience of parachuting out of a C-47 under German fire on the eve of D-Day.
In this lesson, students explore the ways in which women served in the Civil War, often as nurses, spies, or vivandieres. They will explore these stories through a video clip and a close examination of two dresses and a woman's uniform.
This lesson plan comes with a card game called, “Who’s in camp?” The lesson gives students a deeper understanding of the many civilian and military roles that supported the American War of Independence. Students will examine artifacts and historical literature that will bring the Revolutionary War to life and help them complete a role-playing writing assignment.
In this lesson, students will analyze museum artifacts and first-person accounts of daily life as a soldier in World War I and the Vietnam War. After research, students will take on different roles to create a newscast about the experience of fighting in these two wars.