Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day in a Small Town

We had school as usual today, and it was wonderful.

At 10:00 a.m. the elementary students presented a musical Veterans Day program. Parents, grandparents, veterans, community members, junior high and high school students, staff and faculty filled the auditorium to enjoy singing, skits, and recitations all in honor of our veterans. There’s nothing like watching little kids perform.

We were about 20 minutes into third hour when the program was over. I have 7th grade reading third hour and had planned a fun day of Veterans Day activities for them. We started off by reading a play called “Who Is A Veteran” by Ms. Maggi Call in readers theater style. It tells the basics about Veterans Day and ends by singing a patriotic song. I thought we’d skip that part but when I asked the students if they wanted to sing a song together, anticipating a thunderous “NO!” one boy said, "Sure,” and started singing God Bless America. We all joined him. Fun.

Next I read a picture book to them called “The Wall” by Eve Bunting. It’s a poignant story about the Vietnam Wall and it made me cry. I had the kids take an AR test on the book afterwards, because they like to do that and it’s an easy grade for them and me.

After testing we were short on time so I let the students choose their next activity: make a stand alone paper star, color a Veterans Day picture, do a puzzle, write an acrostic poem or play Vets Day games on the Department of Veterans Affairs web site. No surprise, they stayed on the computers.

The bell rang and we hadn’t made a dent in what I’d planned to do. But that’s OK because we had fun and that was the objective. Mission accomplished.

Happy Veterans Day to all!

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