Veterans Day Activities for Upper Elementary

 Veterans Day Activities for Upper Elementary Students

Veterans Day activities for in classroom and remote learning students in grades 4 5 6

Veterans Day is a day to honor United States veterans who have had the fortune of coming back home to their families and those who have lost their lives for our country. Every year on November 11, we honor those who have devoted their lives to maintaining freedom and justice for all in America and throughout the world.

Not enough time to celebrate Veterans Day? 

Here are some ideas that’ll allow you to introduce Veterans Day to your students so they can better understand the importance of this holiday that is often overlooked. 

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Here’s a quick video that can be used at the beginning or end of a class period to introduce students to what Veterans Day is about. It gives students a quick summary of how the holiday came to be and the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. 

Penguins of Madagascar: 

This video teaches students about Veterans Day. This short 6:45 video features Michelle Obama and the penguins of Madagascar to tell others about the importance of the holiday.  The video introduces concepts to help students learn about respecting and honoring our veterans. 

Have a little bit more time to spend on this holiday? 

Infuse literacy skills into your curriculum while celebrating the achievements of our soldiers by having students read to learn about the history of Veterans Day. 

veterans day activities for grades 4 5 6 to learn about armistice day and veterans

Throughout the reading, students will learn about:

  • Armistice Day

  • What a veteran is

  • How Veterans Day came to be

This activity comes with both printable and digital materials so you can have flexibility in teaching your students both in class and online. In addition to the reading, students will summarize their learning by completing a review flipbook. Whether using the printable one that can be hung in the classroom or the digital one, students can reflect and honor our veterans on or near November 11. 

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”

 -Joseph Campbell

IDeas and digital videos to use with students in grade 4 5 6 to teach about veterans day

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    Election Day Activities for Upper Elementary Classrooms

     Election Day Activities for Upper Elementary Classrooms 

    presidential election ideas for grades 4 5 6

    Election Day is an important day in our government’s history. Finding ways to fit the electoral process into your curriculum can be difficult. Social studies teachers may be apprehensive about how to objectively cover the election since there are so many controversial issues surrounding the 2020 presidential election. Below, you can read about 5 ways to cover the electoral process in your classroom without stirring contentious classroom conversations. 


    Five Ways to Incorporate the Election into Your Classroom Curriculum


    1.    Character Elections

         We all know about classroom mock elections. For a fun twist on a mock election, leave popularity out of it by having a character election. In ELA class, talking about the presidential election may not be part of your curriculum. However, you can teach students about the electoral process by having a mock election—not with students in the class—but with favorite book characters. This would be a great way for students to demonstrate their understanding of character traits and their ability to analyze these traits to determine why and how those traits would make them great presidential candidates.

    1.    Videos

        There are several short videos that can be shown to students on Election Day. 

    a.    Past presidents: Learn the names and dates that past presidents held office. 

    b.    Voting: Learn about democratic government and the voting process.


    2.    Electoral College

         I like to keep politics and my personal beliefs out of the classroom and teach “just the facts.” Many students (and adults) don’t fully understand how the electoral college works or the difference between the electoral vote and the popular vote. Destroy these misconceptions by using this video that includes support materials! 


    3.    Branches of Government

        Teach the basics of our system of government by using these FREE worksheets from The Mailbox about the three branches of government: the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. Simply click on the worksheet and you’ll be able to download it to print and use in your classroom. If you need to turn this into a digital copy, read here to learn how.


    4.    All in One

         If you are looking for ready-made lessons and activities to cover the presidential election and have a bit of time to spend on it, you may like this resource. It covers the electoral college, political parties (including the Democratic, Republican, and Independent parties), the election process, and how to write a presidential election campaign speech. 

    Political parties, democratic government, electoral college, for upper elementary students activities

    This resource is especially useful if you want to cover the electoral process but are hesitant to dive into the backgrounds of the candidates of each political party. Students will have a fair and objective overview of the process it takes to become a presidential candidate in the United States. 


    I hope these 5 ideas help you to cover the presidential election in your classroom. Let me know which one you chose to use in the comments below!

    Election day ideas to teach grade 4 5 6 students about the american government


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      How to Hold a Successful Virtual Parent - Teacher Conference

       Virtual Parent - Teacher Conferences

      Due to the Coronavirus global pandemic, parent teacher conferences will likely take on a whole new look during the 2020–2021 school year. No longer will schools allow intimate settings of 1:1 conversations to happen between parents and teachers since CDC social distancing guidelines must be adhered to. However, parents and teachers will still need to communicate with one another. Here are some tips to hold virtual parent teacher conferences.

      Tips for Holding a Virtual Conference:

      Choose a platform

      You’ll likely use the same platform you’re using in your remote learning or hybrid classes such as Google Meet or Zoom. I find that providing parents with a code is easier than having them click on a link. Consider making the code something easy to remember such as (Your last name + conference), ex. MuseConference.

      It may also be helpful to use Google Calendar to schedule the conference. This will allow parents to sign up and have all the information in one spot.


      Like any conference, you should prepare ahead of time. Look over and make a list of:

      ·      grades

      ·      missed assignments

      ·      strengths

      ·      weaknesses

      ·      character development

      Be sure to also include positive information at the conference. Often, we share weaknesses or areas that need improvement. Remember to also include areas of strength in your report. I often begin and end with something positive. This helps to not overwhelm the parent or focus solely on the negative.

      Parents will want to feel that you have a good sense of their multifaceted child. You may also want to try to think of anecdotal stories to include. Having this information readily prepared will keep you at ease and allow parents to feel like you know their child well. Gain access to my editable Google Doc parent-teacher conference sheet by clicking here.  

      Student-Led Conferences:

      If you are anything like me, you’ll want to take the attention off of yourself. After 15 years in education, parents can still make me nervous. One way that I put myself at ease is by conducting student-led conferences. Even in a socially distanced world, it’s possible to include the student’s voice in your conference.

      Choosing a student-led conference ensures that the student’s voice is heard and listened to. Students will give input on their strengths, weaknesses, academic progress, and social-emotional health.

      This type of format allows you to gauge how the student views their progress in school but also allows you to use this as a starting point for a conversation with a parent. Often, I’ve found that parents perceive how a child feels about school differently from the child. Conducting a student-led conference allows parents to hear and see how a student feels about school.

      To conduct a student-led conference, you’ll have to give up class time to allow students to create their presentations. Students should be given a guide to talk about:

      ·      academic progress in various subject areas

      ·      strengths

      ·      weaknesses

      ·      needs

      ·      social-emotional health

      ·      include student work

      I find it beneficial to allow students to write out their thoughts and feelings and then either create a portfolio or video to present the information.

      Creating a video is simple with programs like Flipgrid. Students can easily create a video and add features like stickers and text and show off their work on the screen. Learn more about Flipgrid here.

      Looking for ready-made materials to help initiate a student-led conference? Check out these materials here.

      Virtual parent teacher conference materials ready made for your classroom

      Future Plans: End the conference with a plan. Whether virtual or in person, a parent-teacher conference shouldn’t be your final communication with the parent. No matter what’s discussed, you should mention a plan for the future, especially if a student’s needs are discussed. Make a plan for further communication in a week or two to keep the parent updated on their child’s progress.  

      Get your parent teacher conference forms!

      Subscribe to my email list for a free PTC recording sheet

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