Is there a way to teach 3rd graders about Veterans Day while also strengthening their reading skills? Can they also learn what is most important about this national holiday while using these Veterans Day Activities? Yes to both questions!
One of the struggles I have as a teacher is balancing fun holiday activities with the requirement that everything must be tied to a state standard. Have you ever been told “no fluff activities” are allowed?
The way I get around this requirement is to teach important holiday content such as Veterans Day as a close reading activity. Then I follow that up with fun hands-on activities that help my students remember what the holiday is all about.
Veterans Day Lesson Plan
This is the lesson plan I use for Veterans Day. It’s broken into 4 parts:
- Before Reading: KWL Chart
- During Reading: 1) Guiding Questions, 2) Close Reading Notes
- After Reading: 1) Comprehension Questions, 2) Completion of KWL Chart
- After Reading Activities: 1) How to Thank a Veteran Partner Activity, 2) Create a Veterans Day Calendar, 3)Vocabulary Maps, 4) Writing Activity, and 5) Thank You Card to a Veteran.
This lesson plan includes these Common Core Standards:
- RI.3.1 – Ask and Answer Questions
- RI.3.3 – Describe the relationship between historical events…sequence
- RI.3.6 – Point of View
- RI.3.7 – Use information from the text to demonstrate understanding of the text
- L3.4 – Determine and clarify the meaning of words
- W3.2 – Write informative/explanatory text
- W3.10 – Write over a period of time… for a variety of disciplines or tasks.
It also includes these skills:
- Close reading
- Taking notes
- Answering text-dependent questions
I’m positive your administration (and you) will love all the elements being included in your Veterans Day Lesson Plan!
Before Reading Activities
For students to access prior knowledge and engage them in new content – I like to use a KWL chart.
If you want your students to get started correctly, it’s a good idea to do the K (What do I know) section with them. You can use questioning strategies to help them access what they already know.
Then, pair them up with a partner to brainstorm the W (what they want to know) section.
After they have completed those two sections, they can set the KWL chart aside for now. They will come back and complete the last section after reading.
During Reading Activities
Give each student a copy of the guiding questions before they begin reading. These questions help them focus on the content and what they should be looking for.
Point out the Close Reading Notes areas that they can and should use for notes during the reading.
The text is broken into 3 headings: What is Veterans Day? When is Veterans Day?, and Honoring Veterans. Encourage students to stop and jot notes after each section.
After Reading Activities
There are 8 comprehension questions for students to complete after reading. I require my students to respond in complete sentences using text evidence.
In this post, I share how I teach my students to respond to a text using sentence frames: Teach Students How to Cite Text Evidence with Sentence Starters. This post includes a free Citing Text Evidence Like a Pro Checklist!
Make sure students go back and complete the L section of the KWL Chart.
Veterans Day Activities for Students
There are 5 Veterans Day Activities that your students can do after the reading lesson:
- Thank a Veteran Partner Activity
- Create a Veterans Day Calendar
- Complete Vocabulary Maps
- Write a Letter
- Write a Thank You Note to a Veteran
These activities give you a lot of versatility in how you assign them. All 5 could easily be a center activity that day, or you could spread them out over the week.
These Veterans Day activities will make you and your administrator happy and teach your 3rd graders all about this important holiday! This resource includes print and digital versions, so you can save paper AND teach your class about Veterans Day!
Grab this Veterans Day Close Reading Lesson Plan and be set for this November holiday!