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Memorial Day
Elementary Lesson Plan

Books

Clinton, Catherine
Hold the Flag High
Describes the Civil War battle of Morris Island, South Carolina, during which Sargeant William H. Carney became the first African American to earn a Congressional Medal of Honor by preserving the flag.
 
Trueit, Trudi
Memorial Day
An overview of the history and traditions associated with Memorial Day.
 

Additional Books:

Walker, Alice
Why War is Never a Good Idea
Simple, rhythmic text explores the wanton destructiveness of War, which has grown old but not wise, as it demolishes nice people and beautiful things with no consideration for the consequences.
 
Noble, Trinka Hakes
The Last Brother: a Civil War Tale
Eleven-year-old Gabe enlists in the Union Army in Pennsylvania along with his older brother Davy and, as bugler, does his best to protect Davy during the Battle of Gettysburg.
 
 

Activities:

Memorial Day Parade from Education Place

Many communities hold a traditional Memorial Day parade with floats and marching bands. Students can make their own floats for a classroom parade. Have each student bring in a small cardboard box (such as a shoe box) to use as the base of the float. Provide crayons or markers and an assortment of red, white, and blue paper and other decorations.

 

Poetry

What does having a holiday like Memorial Day mean to you? Write a poem that expresses the feelings of someone that has lost a loved one to war.

 

Language Arts

Identify the action verbs from the book Hold the Flag High. Choose 5 of the vocabulary words the student is the least familiar with. Have the students construct new sentences for the words.