Veterans Day at School

Today children thanked a veteran.  That in itself is a big deal, because the children are preschoolers.  In order to thank a veteran, I need to give children a context of understanding.  That starts with songs, and my preschoolers love to belt out “God Bless America.”  We often sing along with the book.

On the playground this week, children were singing the song.

We learned how to stand, tall and proud, and how to put our hands on our hearts.  Singing “God Bless America” in this way gives children a feeling and understanding of respect.

Next, we made a giant American flag:

The planning and cutting

The gluing

Adding the stars

Our guest was a retired Army General.  ‘General Z’ was wonderful.  We presented him with our flag, and we sang “God Bless America.”

Children were given the opportunity to shake his hand and say ‘thank you’.  The youngest child cried because she didn’t want to shake his hand; she wanted to hug him.  That opened the door for many hugs.  It was a moment.

Red white and blue.

Air Force Sargent Mike came to school today.  He had borrowed my book, Blue Sky, White Stars, to read to his daughter’s class at the elementary school.  He returned it, and children had an opportunity to shake his hand and say ‘thank you’.

The book depicts America and the flag.  On every open page, the words are the same; one is about the flag, and the other is about America.

White rows.  White rows.

Rising up.  Rising up.

All American.  All American.
(I always get choked up on this page.)

The day was wonderful.  Children understood.  They were proud.  The veterans felt the same way, ten-fold.

Thank you to all the veterans and all who serve.


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, Expressing words and feelings, Giving thanks, Inspiration, military, patriotism, picture books, preschool, Singing, Teaching young children and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Veterans Day at School

  1. beetleypete says:

    A General, and Sergeant Mike too. The kids had a wonderful experience.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. willowdot21 says:

    What a wonderful way to teach the children what the veterans do and have done for them.
    Sadly no generation has learnt yet hopefully soon the human race will learn until then war rages on.
    Lovely post though 💜💜

  3. GP says:

    What an outstanding post from the best teacher I know! You are truly amazing, Jennie!!

  4. Ritu says:

    How wonderful 💛🙏🏼

  5. beth says:

    What an amazing lesson for a life of gratitude for those who give so much

  6. Thank you for this heartwarming and uplifting post. Teaching children about gratitude in general is a wonderful thing, for the giver and the recipient.

  7. K.L. Hale says:

    Tears…one of my favorite days at school and undoubtedly, your kids will remember how you have honored our heroes. Jennie, I have gratitude for our Veterans (I have two sons serving too), but I am grateful to you for all you do to spread thankfulness and honor to your students. ❤️🤍💙

  8. quiall says:

    A wonderful memory to give them.

  9. Don Ostertag says:

    The biggest Thank You from this vet is a thank you for laying the ground work of patriotism with the children.

  10. johnrieber says:

    Today’s Kelly Clarkson Show is a terrific tribute to veterans with some great guests…it’s so important to show appreciation for the work that our men and women do to protect and serve…

    • Jennie says:

      I will be watching! Thank you, John.

    • Jennie says:

      John! What a great show!! Every guest was fascinating with wonderful stories and songs. I have a story to share… the first guest (what a nice man) plays Jesse Brown in the upcoming movie, “Devotion.” My husband and our son both served in Brown’s Navy squadron, VF-32. It gets better…Tom Hudner, the fellow pilot who tries to rescue Jesse, was local, and his son (also Tom) is the Director of Development at our son’s elementary school. When he heard years later that our son and his dad were in the same squadron, he immediately called. What a great connection! BTW, Jesse Brown’s photo hangs in the squadron’s Ready Room. Tom Hudner (not the son) actually returned to Korea to try to find Brown’s remains- not so long ago. He has since passed. Please pass on to Kelly and Alex that the show is always good, this one particularly so.

  11. Jennie, this is a great post and tribute. Well done. My hope is all of us honor those who have served, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice – and their families – today and every day.

  12. Well done, Jennie. Hugs on the wing.

  13. Darlene says:

    A wonderful way to pay tribute to all veterans and instil pride in one’s country. Well done!

  14. Robert J Jr. says:

    Such a great post. Bless all veterans!

  15. Carla says:

    I love reading your posts about veterans, Jennie. It is so awesome that you take it down to their level so they really understand. God Bless the veterans.

  16. Super post, Jennie. Great tribute to those who served.

  17. petespringerauthor says:

    Another wonderful thing that you always do is to teach patriotism. I’m glad that you’re introducing your students to this topic now. How precious that the student wanted a hug. As if we needed more examples, that further demonstrates what kids need.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Pete. Music and books, and a giant American flag are all a teacher needs to introduce patriotism to young children. Oh, that hug from the youngest child! Yes, that said it all, and is just what they need. 🇺🇸

  18. Giving kids a sense of their heritage is a real gift.

  19. Dan Antion says:

    What a wonderful lesson, Jennie. One they will not forget.

  20. What a wonderful lesson! One that will probably last them a lifetime.

  21. L. Marie says:

    Your post brought back great memories of flag making out of crepe paper in school. How lovely that the children learned the importance of the day.

  22. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Jennie, I’ve got tears in my eyes. God bless you for what you are teaching those children and how you are touching lives with love. My husband is a Vietnam Vet and I get the sacrifice these men and women have give to our country and still are to this very day. Thank you for being such a shining example of truth and love!!!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Amy! Hubby was on the Navy ship headed to Vietnam when the war was cancelled. The more senior officers in his squadron had plenty of stories to share. I know you get it, and thank you for that. I think most teachers shy away from the military and war. What a shame. It’s the perfect way to teach patriotism and teach children how to thank those who serve. Yes, it is truth and love.

  23. You did the celebration of the remembrance in a wonderful way, Jennie! Even though the name of the army representative sound like from a Hollywood movie. At least a little bit 😉 xx Michael

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Michael! That’s so funny about the name of the Army General – it really does sound like something from a Hollywood movie. His last name is Zukauskas, which is difficult for children, so they call him General Z. 😀

  24. This sounds like a great way to celebrate Veteran’s Day.

  25. bosssybabe says:

    Happy Belated Veterans day to you guys! 🙂

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