Veterans Day Activities for Kids to Try in the Classroom This Year

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cards for veterans from kids
Jeanne Sager

Written by Jeanne Sager

You may not be teaching on Veterans Day — after all, November 11 is a federal holiday and a state holiday in 49 of the 50 states (Wisconsin is the holdout). But if you’re planning to teach your students about Veterans Day, there’s plenty about this important holiday that kids should know, and plenty of Veterans Day activities for kids too.

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Not sure where to get started or just looking for something new to add to your Veterans Day lesson planning? Let’s dive in!

Why Is it Important for Students to Learn About Veterans Day?

We get it, you’ve got a LOT of concepts to get through this school year and only 180 days to do it. Do you really need to add something else to your plate? Consider this: Veterans Day is the one day that we set aside here in the US to honor all the members of our armed services. Unlike Memorial Day, which is dedicated to those military members who have died, Veterans Day is dedicated to all those who have served.

That may mean people in your family, it may even mean you. And it almost definitely means people in your students’ families.

It’s also a day that’s absolutely full of important history lessons for kids — like learning about its origin (Veterans Day started as Armistice Day to honor those who fought in World War I) — and offers up lessons on gratitude and even letter writing.

Veterans Day Activities for Kids

Here are some of our favorite Veterans Day activities for kids that make teaching about the holiday fit right into your classroom planning.

Make Cards for Veterans

Whether they’re making cards for the more than half a million of America’s veterans who live in long-term care facilities run by the federal Veterans Administration or for our active-duty personnel, this Veterans Day activity is a great way to practice letter writing while also teaching kids about the importance of sharing kind, uplifting messages with others. We printed out our coloring sheet of a soldier, colored it in, and glued it to the front of a folded piece of paper to make a card, but you could also use the “you’re a hero” letter writing template.

cards for veterans made by kids

Some tips to keep in mind when students are making cards for veterans:

  • Tell your students not to include their last name or any private information such as their home or email address.
  • A group photo of your class is a great idea!
  • Keep it simple — no glitter or confetti.
  • Explain to your students that the veteran or soldier will likely not be able to write back.

Where to Send Student Cards for Veterans

Not sure where to send the cards? These organizations can help connect your classroom’s cards to veterans or members of the military:

Interview a Veteran

Students can practice their interview and research skills and also learn more about the nation’s history by interviewing a veteran! Direct students to pick an interview subject (they can interview a veteran in their own family or perhaps you know a few who would be willing to work with your students?) and to do research on their subject, put together questions, and conduct an interview, taking notes with the answers they get.

To make it easier, we’ve put together a series of veteran interview prompts for kids to use, including “why did you join the military” and “which branch did you serve in.”

Learn About Character Traits

A Veterans Day activity centered around characteristics can be a perfect chance for your students to practice using descriptive adjectives to describe a member of the armed forces using words like “brave,” “heroic,” and “inspiring.”

Decorate Doves

After teaching your class that Veterans Day originated as a way to celebrate the official end of World War I on November 11, 1918, a peace dove craft may be appropriate.

Older kids can create origami doves using the instructions in our video below, while younger students may simply want to fill in a dove coloring sheet.

 

Write a Letter From The Trenches

After learning about World War I and II, students can practice creative writing with their own “letter from the trenches,” imagining what they would have experienced as a soldier and using descriptive language to share that experience in a letter home to a parent or sibling.

You can use this letter template to inspire their work.

Veterans Day 5Ws

After a lesson about Veterans Day, encourage your students to summarize what they’ve learned by sharing at least one fact under the 5 Ws — who are our veterans, what did they do, why do we honor them, when do we honor them, and where do people celebrate Veterans Day?

What do you do in the classroom for Veterans Day?

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