Air Force Master Sergeant Michael Kennedy was our guest speaker at school for our Memorial Day Remembrance. Children sang “God Bless America” and “Red, White, and Blue.” The Aqua Room held the American flag. Can preschoolers understand Memorial Day? You bet they can. Mike told them about Remembrance Day and poppies, decorating the graves of soldiers who had died. Children love flowers and giving. Thank you, Mike, for making that connection for children.
Mike helped two children from each class plant American flags in our gardens. They understood it was honoring and remembering soldiers who died in order to protect us. We plant the flags so we never forget.
When the Aqua Room held the American flag, Mike was at attention, saluting the flag. Children watched. They knew his salute meant something special. Sometimes words aren’t necessary. This was one of those moments.
After the event, children were still ‘feeling it’. How wonderful! We decided to write a big thank you letter to Mike.
How do I teach preschoolers about Memorial Day? I start at the beginning, with a great book that teaches children about America and our flag.
I teach them how to sing “God Bless America”, starting by singing the book.
We made a video singing “God Bless America” and sent it to the White House. Really. The Coast Guard liaison is the aunt of one of the children. She was excited to get the video and show it to staff. I think more is coming.
We learn about the flag, and flag etiquette. We count 50 stars for 50 states. We call the flag Old Glory. By this time, children begin to feel proud. They want more. I sing the book, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
You can see how worn and well-loved it is. The full-page illustrations bring the words to life.
We see the rocket’s red glare. We stop to see a flag flying at half-mast at the resting place of soldiers. When I get to this page, I stop. I tell children this is a sad page, yet a proud page. We talk about flying the flag at half mast, and about soldiers who have died for their country. Children understand.
Children saw the poppies at the bottom of the picture. They remembered what Master Sergeant Kennedy told them about poppies.
Our favorite patriotic music is the Singing Sergeants singing “God Bless the USA”. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.