How To Remember the War When You Weren’t There
This is a very special version of Writing Sundays. This week, we learned about Remembering.
This week, most of our time was dedicated to Remembrance Day/Veteran’s Day learning. When I began, I talked to my students about “remembering” the soldiers who fought in the war. One of my very special students said very innocently, “How can we remember? We weren’t there.” I was taken aback. This is when I knew that the plan I had for teaching this week was going to be very meaningful.
Responsive Teaching About Remembrance Day
Last week, we had a fun pajama day after Halloween and students brought their teddies. We completed a brainstorm on the importance of teddy bears on chart paper and completed some writing. This week, I explained to the students that there was a real teddy bear in war and that we were going to read its story.
Launching With a Book
We read A Bear in War by Stephanie Innes and Barry Endrulat. It’s based on a true story of a little girl who sends her teddy bear to her daddy who is fighting in the war. In the end, the bear returns but her dad doesn’t. Because we had just had lessons on the importance of our teddy bears, it was easy to feel compassion for the little girl in the story. We used teddy bear images and we colored them. Inside the bear, students wrote about the name of one person that they would give their teddy bear if they had to. After coloring them, I used wet tea bags to add some brownish color to the pictures to make them look older. Then we crumpled them up.
Some students wrote the names of their friends, and one student wrote another student’s name down when I asked him why he picked him, he said, “Because he is responsible”. (He is!) A few students wrote “mom”. One student melted my heart when I approached her picture and she had written “Ms. Rolston. I love you.” When these pictures dried, we glued them onto brown construction paper. We then used a popsicle stick dipped in green paint to create poppy stems. We used red on our fingers to create fingerprint poppies.
Our final activity this week after making our wreaths for the assembly was creating a peace book based on our 5 senses. This was a perfect segway into some of the Science we will be doing next week on the 5 senses.
Some of the journal entries in our Mindful Journals this week were very reflective of students who were understanding that we need to remember what we learned of the sacrifice our soldiers made for our freedoms. We may not have been there, but we can learn from our past and share it with future generations to come.
Read more about how A Bear in War is also included in a writing unit.
A great way to share learning is through the use of lap books.
There are two lap books available: Remembrance Day and Veterans Day.
Lest we forget.
Susan Efseaff says
This is a very moving and thoughtful way to teach remembrance. I love it. Thanks for sharing your awesome ideas weekly!
I love this idea for A Bear in War. I will have to add it to my lessons for next year. The book What Does Peace Feel Like would a perfect introduction to 5 Senses Poems. Thanks for sharing 🙂
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