Memorial Day Video for Kids
When you think of Memorial Day, what comes to mind? Maybe you think about backyard barbecues, swimming parties, or parades. While these may be fun activities, they do not represent the true meaning of the holiday. Memorial Day is an important day to honor men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military
Finding meaningful ways to learn about holidays in the classroom can be challenging. That’s why I’m compiling seasonal history lessons for kids.
Here’s a great Memorial Day video and three simple extension activities.
Memorial Day Video
Your students probably know that Memorial Day means they get a day off school. But do they know why Memorial Day is important? Teach your students about the history of Memorial Day by watching this video: Memorial Day by PBS Kids
This short (1.5 min) video shares the key details about the history of Memorial Day. It explains that Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and how celebrations have evolved since then.
This video is appropriate for ages 8 and up.
Memorial Day Video Activities
Giving students a purpose when watching a video helps them stay focused. Encourage students to write down at least two new facts about Memorial Day that they learned from the video. Afterward, ask students to share what they learned.
Watching this video is a great introduction to Memorial Day, but pairing it with a meaningful activity is even better! Here are three engaging activities you can use with your students to celebrate Memorial Day.
Memorial Day Video Activities
Learn about local Veterans
Ask students what a veteran is. Remind students that:
A veteran is a person who has served in the United States Armed Forces, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
Ask students if they know any veterans. The veteran could be a family member, friend, or community member. Extension activity: Ask students to go home and interview a veteran. Even better, invite veterans to speak to your class.
Write letters to Veterans
Another great Memorial Day activity is writing letters to veterans. If you need a lesson plan and letter-writing template, check out the letter-writing activity I created for Veterans Day.
Research Memorial Day Celebrations
The PBS kids video discusses a few ways Americans observe Memorial Day. But many cities have their own unique traditions. Ask students to research how Memorial Day is researched in their community. Stdents could find information from their city’s website or local news stations. They could also read about observations on the Memorial Day Foundation website.
You could even ask students to present what they learned in an oral report or digital presentation.
I hope this blog post gave you some simple ideas for teaching students about Memorial Day.
Looking for more seasonal history lessons? I’ve created activity ideas for most major holidays and seasons. Check them out below! You may also be interested in browsing my collection of free lesson plans.