Memorial Day 2023 Teaching Resources
Honor Memorial Day 2023 in the classroom with printables, worksheets, and activities for students created by teachers to teach kids about this annual federal holiday.
Included in this collection for teachers are Memorial Day art projects, writing prompts, and more teaching resources designed to explain the importance of the holiday to young students.
New to writing Memorial Day lesson plans? Read on for a primer from our teacher team!
What Is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed annually on the last Monday of May. It honors those who have died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Memorial Day is a time for Americans to remember and honor the sacrifices of all the men and women who have died while serving their country.
When Is Memorial Day?
Celebrated on the last Monday in May every year, Memorial Day is a federal holiday that changes date from year to year, making it extra hard to keep track of! This year Memorial Day will be Monday, May 29, 2023. If school is still in session in your area, schools will close for the federal holiday.
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day started after the Civil War as a way to honor those who had died in service. At the time, Americans were asked to take the day to decorate the graves of war dead with flowers — hence the name.
In fact, the name didn't actually change to "Memorial Day" until 1967! It became a federal holiday with the approval of Congress in 1938 and was expanded to honor those who have died in all wars. Then in 1968, Congress officially moved the newly named Memorial Day to the last Monday of May — part of the Uniform Holidays Bill of 1968 that moved dates like Presidents' Day to Mondays to give workers more three-day weekends.
Why Is it Important for Kids to Learn About Memorial Day?
This federal holiday falls after the end of the school year in some areas of the US and near the end in others. So how important is it to add Memorial Day to your lesson plans?
Here are a few things to consider:
- Learning about Memorial Day will help our students understand and appreciate the sacrifices that have been made by members of the military to protect our country and our way of life. This can foster a sense of gratitude and respect for those who have served and died for our freedom.
- Introducing this holiday offers a chance to teach about the history and significance of the holiday, as well as the events and conflicts that have shaped the United States. This supplements their social studies units and also offers kids a look at the role of the military in American history and the sacrifices that have been made to protect our country.
- By participating in Memorial Day activities and ceremonies, kids can also develop civic-mindedness and a sense of community. They're given the opportunity to learn the importance of honoring and remembering those who have died in service to our country, and how to do it respectfully.
Memorial Day Activities for the Classroom
Looking for some activities for Memorial Day to help your students to better understand this holiday and its importance? Here are some favorites from our teacher team to get you started!
- Create an American Flag Bulletin Board With Handprints — It's late in the school year to be setting up another bulletin board, we know, but stick with us. You can build an easy patriotic bulletin board by having pre-k or kindergarten students dip their hands in red and blue paint to create a massive flag. This will make a perfect backdrop for photos at pre-k or kindergarten graduation.
- Sing Patriotic Songs — This is another activity that is perfect for Memorial Day but also has application if you're planning a graduation or stepping up ceremony as your class can sign the song together for parents, guardians or other family members as part of the celebration.
- Study the History of Memorial Day — Acquaint your students with the history of the holiday. Students can compare and contrast Memorial Day with Veterans Day using a graphic organizer.
Memorial Day Art Activity
Use this elementary school art activity in the classroom around Memorial Day or when learning about the military.
Memorial Day - Red Poppy Craft Template
Use this printable poppy template when commemorating Memorial Day and Veterans Day with your students.
Memorial Day Teaching Presentation
Reflect and show respect on Memorial Day with this informative teaching presentation.
Memorial Day Word Search - Upper Grades
Build vocabulary skills with this Memorial Day word search for upper grades.
Memorial Day Word Search - Primary
Build vocabulary skills with this Memorial Day word search for primary grades.
Navajo Code Talkers Constructed Response Worksheet
Discover the impact of the Navajo Code Talkers on the outcome of World War II with a cross-curricular constructed response worksheet.
Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) Constructed Response Worksheet
Use our printable constructed response writing prompts for fourth grade to learn about the fearless Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs).
Memorial Day Collaborative Coloring Mural
Create a beautiful whole class wreath with this Memorial Day collaborative coloring sheet.
Memorial Day Mini Book
Read, write, and draw to learn about Memorial Day with a printable mini-book.
All About Soldiers - Building Background and Comprehension Worksheets
Learn about Veterans Day with a group of six worksheets that build background and comprehension skills.
Memorial Day - Poppy Writing Template
Create a Memorial Day poppy with reflective sentence starters.
Memorial Day Coloring Pages
Color in these Memorial Day coloring pages when learning about the reason we celebrate the holiday.
Memorial Day Writing Prompts
A set of writing prompts to use around Memorial Day.
Memorial Day ABC Sort
Review terms surrounding Memorial Day with an alphabetical order worksheet.
Memorial Day Writing Craftivity
Remember and celebrate important heroes with this Memorial Day writing prompt and craft.
Memorial Day Writing Center
Help your young students understand the meaning of Memorial Day with a vocabulary lesson and Memorial Day writing prompts.
Mosaic Poppy Art Activity
Use this creative art activity when commemorating Memorial Day or Veterans Day in the classroom.
Memorial Day Craft - Printable Bracelets
Create a wearable Memorial Day bracelet with these printable wrist bands.
United States of America Flag - Letters and Number Pennant Banner
United States of America Flag themed letters and numbers pennant banner.
United States of America Flag - Rectangular Pennant Banner
A United States of America Flag rectangular pennant banner to decorate your classroom.
What I Know About Soldiers Activity Sheets
Celebrate Veterans Day with this soldier coloring sheet and Veterans Day activity for elementary school.
- Memorial Day 2023 Worksheets
- Memorial Day 2023 Templates
- Memorial Day 2023 Puzzles
- Memorial Day 2023 Craft Activities
- Memorial Day 2023 Labels Signs Decorations
- Memorial Day 2023 Writing Templates
- Memorial Day 2023 Word Searches
- Memorial Day 2023 Custom Studio Resources
- Memorial Day 2023 Mini Book
- Memorial Day 2023 Instructional Slide Decks
- Memorial Day 2023 Bulletin Board Displays
- Memorial Day 2023 Banner Display Letter Sets
- Memorial Day 2023 for Kindergarten
- Memorial Day 2023 for 1st Grade
- Memorial Day 2023 for 2nd Grade
- Memorial Day 2023 for 3rd Grade
- Memorial Day 2023 for 4th Grade
- Memorial Day 2023 for 5th Grade
- Memorial Day 2023 for 6th Grade
- Memorial Day 2023 for 7th Grade