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A new virtual field trip explores the history of Veterans Day and the importance of service

5 ways to teach students about Veterans Day

A new virtual field trip explores the history of Veterans Day and the importance of service

The history of Veterans Day is one of the most important we can share with our youth.  Learning about how our nation was shaped, the various perspectives that make our country whole, and the sacrifices made for our freedoms is important.

Sometimes as an educator, though, it can be hard to know how to bring up the importance of duty. We’re happy to share with you a new virtual field trip exploring the importance of service.  This unique virtual field trip called Voices of U.S. – Why We Serve is the first installment in a series that introduces students to the principles, people and perspectives that shape our nation, and inspire service.   

There are so many lessons around civic duty and service that are relevant in our classrooms today and digital resources, like the virtual field trip, can help bring these lessons to life. Five ways that teachers in grades K-8 can teach about the power of service include: 

1. Having students reflect their current circumstances in regards to service.  This reflection might take place individually, as a class or as an entire school.  A writing prompt might be:  How do you currently serve your community?  For younger students a prompt might be: How would you like to serve your community when you grow up?  Answers could be in the form of written responses, drawings, presentations, classroom bulletin board displays or something school wide. It’s a good way to bring the community together! 

2. Researching veterans and other professions that protect and serve communities – i.e. military personnel, firefighters, health care professionals or law enforcement individuals.  Having students do voice or video recordings of various professions in their community can be a rewarding experience for all involved.  Taking pictures, video or using other digital  formats to showcase and document what these civic professions do is a great way to bring these voices into your classroom. 

3. Organize and recognize any of your school staff who have served in the military.  I know in our school, we have several veterans and it is important for our students to know this.  This could take various forms such as writing a card to them, putting up a thank you message on their door, or decorating an area in your school to celebrate their service to our country.  An idea that might involve a little more planning might be to host a breakfast or lunch for these individuals.  Make it as big or as small of an event as you would like.  Start with something and see how it can grow from year to year. 

4. If your school does announcements, broadcast productions or social media posts, you could recognize various ways members in your community serve others.  I am sure once you get the conversation going, students will recognize that there are so many individuals that do good for their community.  It might even spark conversation in regards to how they can help out.  

5. Connect with your local veterans organization or other civic organizations.  Sometimes asking specifically what their ideas or needs are might lead you in so many interesting directions around civic life. 

In our classrooms, I find that our students are excited to learn especially when the lesson is connected to the real world. These tips, and the Voices of U.S. – Why We Serve virtual field trip, help bring the learning to life. 

Viewing information and learning resources 

Voices of U.S. – Why We Serve premieres Wednesday, November 10th at 1:00 PM ET. 

Here’s how you can view it: 

You can find more virtual field trips here.

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