A Memorial Day Remembrance, and Much More

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.

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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.

Jennie

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in America, American flag, Early Education, Giving thanks, military, patriotism, picture books, preschool, Singing, Teaching young children and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to A Memorial Day Remembrance, and Much More

  1. Ritu says:

    Wonderful, Jennie 🙏🏼💛

  2. beth says:

    what a wonderful and very personal lesson they’ll never forget.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Beth. It was quite moving. Does your school have a remembrance?

      • beth says:

        we don’t as a whole school, each teacher honors it with their class in their own way. in my class, we read books about the day, talk about why we honor it and learn more about our country. I love the soldier coming though, and wish is was a school-wide initiative.

      • Jennie says:

        I think each teacher doing it individually is a good idea, because we all have our own style. The soldier coming was really wonderful, yet each class had other lessons as well. I ‘sang’ the books and taught children about the flag, plus a flag art activity. Beth, I highly recommend the books! Enjoy the day. 🇺🇸

  3. Dan Antion says:

    Thank you for passing on the importance of this day to a new generation, Jennie. We cannot forget those who died for our freedom.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Dan. I feel this is one of the most important things I do, and also one of my favorite. Enjoy the day and fly the flag. 🇺🇸

  4. joylennick says:

    Certainly another special day to remember, for you and the children. Well done you, Jennie! xx

  5. A very moving post on this day of remembrance, Jennie. 🥰

  6. Darlene says:

    What a special learning experience for you and the children. How wonderful that there are books available with the words for these special songs that we can share with children.

  7. It is so refreshing to hear about kids learning what sacrifice means. Thank you, Jennie.

  8. Mireya says:

    I see what you have done and it’s beautiful, but I see the words at least I know I’m free and the sad reality is that many are not free. They are shackled by the color of their skin. Oh, but there is no place like the United States. I think of the greats, and they are all like the cover of one of your books. Blue Skies White Stars, every culture has its beauty and its people. We need to work together because we are all children, brothers and sisters. Thank you for posting this and for making me think of Memorial Day.

  9. Your classroom is such an enriching place, Jennie. I love it. A lovely post for Memorial Day.

  10. Luanne says:

    Thanks for making me all teary, Jennie!!!! You are doing the best work.

  11. GP says:

    Just magnificent, Jennie!!!

  12. quiall says:

    We must never forget what our forebears have done for us in the past and this generation is doing for us now. We must never forget…

  13. The Memorial Day you and Master Sergeant Kennedy gave the Aqua Roomers will stay with them for the rest of their lives. What a priceless gift.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Liz. It was a priceless gift. I often think of what children will remember years later. They may not remember the event, but they will remember how they felt, seeing a soldier, the American flag, and of course singing patriotic songs. That’s what matters most.

  14. Don Ostertag says:

    A lesson they will never forget. Thank you, Mike, and Jennie.

  15. Carla says:

    Thank you for sharing all these great activities done to remember, Jennie.

  16. jilldennison says:

    Great lessons for young children to learn so early. And that book!!! “Blue Sky White Stars” … I haven’t seen the book before but I LOVE the diversity on the cover! Great choice and it sounds like the kids had a great time, too!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Jill! The book reflects America on one page, and the flag on the opposite page. For example, ‘red rows’ shows the red stripes on the flag, and then rows of trees with red leaves. ‘White rows’ show the white stripes on the flag, and then rows of covered wagons traveling west. ‘Rise up’ shows raising the flag, and then a space shuttle headed into space. That doesn’t even address the wonderful diversity, such as ‘one nation’. So much in this wonderful book!

      • jilldennison says:

        My neighbor and good friend, Maha, is going to be having a baby girl in August … this book seems a perfect present! They are originally from Iraq and came here several years ago and are now citizens of the U.S.

      • Jennie says:

        It would be a good book! Let me know what you think if you order the book. And please include “Goodnight Moon”, the standard first book to read aloud again and again.

      • jilldennison says:

        Will do! Aw heck, I’ve read “Goodnight Moon” so many times back in the day that I once had it memorized!

      • Jennie says:

        That’s wonderful!

  17. petespringerauthor says:

    Thanks to Sergeant Kennedy and to those who have or are currently serving. It’s great to see your children learning about patriotism and some of the traditions in our country. Kids do have a sense when something is important without anyone telling them.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, children do have that sense. I love when that happens! Patriotism in schools has waned over the years, unfortunately. I’m glad to make it part of what I teach. It all starts with those great books and songs. Best to you, Pete.

  18. beetleypete says:

    I am sure Mike will treasure the lovely thank-you letter from the Aqua Roomers.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  19. Remembering and so much more… Thanks, Jennie and all.

  20. bosssybabe says:

    Happy memorial day from your Canadian neighbour! 🙂

  21. A very good celebration, and with a own guest speaker i am sure it was again a unforgetable day for the littles. xx Michael

    • Jennie says:

      It really was an unforgettable day. The soldier took the time to shake hands with every child, and help plant American flags. Children will remember.

  22. dgkaye says:

    What a beautiful way to let the children learn about the importance of Memorial Day. ❤

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