Veterans Day Learning

Use these activity ideas for Veterans Day or to celebrate our soldiers any time.

Two US soldiers run toward a bunker recently defended by German troops in WWI.  Image in the public domain, Wikimedia.

Veterans Day was first known as Armistice Day and celebrated the day the treaty was signed ending WWI, November 11, 1918.  In 1954 the congress declared the day be renamed Veterans Day and that it would be celebrated to honor all those who had served in time of war in the United States Armed Forces.

Veterans Day Learning

Here are some meaningful Veterans Day learning activities to do with kids:

Timeline of the US Military

Make a timeline showing the major wars, conflicts, and engagements of the United States military since the Revolutionary War.  You can get the printable American Wars timeline by clicking on the text link or on the picture below.

American Wars

There were many more wars and engagements than are shown on this timeline.  You can find all of the US wars here.

Fact Hunt

Have kids do an online scavenger hunt to find Veterans Day facts like how many veterans have there been in the US, how many US soldiers have died in wars, which president first began the observance of Armistice Day, how many soldiers are currently serving in the US military, and so on.  You can use this Veterans Day Fact Hunt Printable.

answers: about 2.2 million troops, about 2.8 million dead or wounded in war, the President of the United States, congress, Woodrow Wilson, 1954, 11th, Armistice

Thanks

Write a thank you note to a veteran.  If you don’t know one personally, try the USO, they should have info on how to contact a soldier who is currently serving.  This site from the USO has a place you can send an e-message to soldiers in general.  Operation Gratitude connects Americans with soldiers, either currently serving or veterans, including wounded warriors.

letter to a veteran

Make a care package for our soldiers in the field today, contact the USO for instructions or go through Operation Gratitude.

If a family member is a veteran, do something special for them on Veterans Day, like a nice dinner, love notes, or a gift.

This is Army Veteran Erin Schaefer who lost both legs when a roadside bomb hit his vehicle in Afghanistan in 2010. Thanks is the least we can do. Image by the US Government, public domain, Wikimedia.

Plant A Flag

Visit a military or nearby cemetery.  On Veterans Day you can see flags on the graves of soldiers who fought.  The visual reminder of how many have preserved our freedom is poignant.

Image by US government, public domain, Wikimedia.

Be Informed

Learn more about the countries of Afghanistan and Iraq, where our soldiers are serving now.  Look up recent events that have happened there.  Though currently America has fewer troops in these theaters we do still have soldiers, airmen, and sailors serving in war zones.

Lance Cpl. Michael E. Geary paid the ultimate price in Afghanistan in December of 2010. He left a wife and children. This is why we remember. Image by the US Government, public domain, Wikimedia.

Additional Layers

  • You can take some of the facts about the US military and make bar graphs or other charts to show the information.  For example you might make a bar graph showing how many US soldiers died in major wars.
  • Learn in depth about a particular war or battle: Battle of Long Island, War of 1812, WWI, and Cold War are some options.
  • Do you have an ancestor who fought in a past war?  Find out more about them.
  • Learn about the gear that modern soldiers wear, like body armor, camouflage clothing, rucksacks, canteens, Kevlars, and M-16’s.

More From Layers of Learning

A Poppy craft to remember the soldiers by. click on the picture to go to the craft.

A Poppy craft to remember the soldiers by. click on the picture to go to the craft.

Re-enact the Battle of Mons (WWI) with these printable figures.

Re-enact the Battle of Mons (WWI) with these printable figures.

Hre is a WWI timeline to print and add to your own notebook or wall.

Here is a WWI timeline to print and add to your own notebook or wall.

 

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