Memorial Day Lesson Ideas

memorial day lesson

Memorial Day is coming soon, so here is a round up of lesson ideas for you to incorporate into your homeschool plans.  I always like to create a Pinterest board when I’m trying to keep track of ideas for a specific topic.  You can find most of these on my American History board. These Memorial Day lesson ideas include virtual field trips, history on the holiday itself as well as our most famous war memorials, and crafts.

Memorial Day Lesson Crafts & Activities

memorial day lesson

I love this free Memorial Day handwriting worksheet at StartWrite.  It’s a great little warm up activity.

 

 

Jenny K has created one of the coolest art projects I’ve ever seen called an agamograph.  She has a video explaining them as well as a special project just for Memorial Day.  I can’t wait to try this! She also has some patriotic coloring sheets available to download.

TheSimpleParent.com has collected a list of 15 patriotic crafts here that look like fun.

LMNTree has a great list here of fun books and crafts for Memorial Day lessons that are free.

History of Memorial Day

History.com has an incredible compilation of videos, photos, and information on the history of the holiday.

memorial day lesson

 

 

 

This graphic from the Huffington Post is a wonderful visual of facts around Memorial Day.

 

 

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs also has information on the history of the holiday.

War Memorials

There are many great war memorials all around the country. Below are the sites for the major memorials in Washington D.C.  Many have virtual tours you can use as a virtual field trip if you don’t live in the D.C. area.

The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The DC War Memorial

The National WWII Memorial

The Korean War Memorial

The Vietnam Memorial

Arlington National Cemetery has a page where you can see listings of famous veterans interred there.

How will you incorporate Memorial Day lessons into your homeschool?  What great ideas do you do with your kids to honor our nation’s fallen soldiers?

memorial day lesson

 

Halloween Unit Study Day 1 Monsters

When I pulled my kids out of public school many years ago it just so happened to be the week before Halloween. Since it was a bit unexpected, I hadn’t quite narrowed down the curriculum I wanted to use. For the first few weeks, we just concentrated on doing some unit studies about the upcoming holidays, and the kids really had a blast. We were looking at old pictures the other day and saw some from our Halloween unit back then. The kids begged me to do something like that this year, but since they are much older I decided to take a little different approach.

Last time I focused on the ‘symbols’ of Halloween: bats, pumpkins, spiders, candy, etc. This year I wanted to focus on all of the major celebrations that occur the week of Halloween and discuss them against a Biblical worldview.

We started with Halloween in America. For the first day I had them read a basic synopsis of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as well as a brief history of the Salem Witch Trials. We talked about the ideas behind a Frankenstein monster and witchcraft as the people of Salem described it, and I asked them to tell me why they thought these ‘monsters’ could or could not ever exist. We then discussed that the Bible says there are only 2 kinds of spirits, one from God and the other from Satan, and that the spiritual world is very real.

My main goal for this lesson was to make sure they understand that God is the only one with the power to give life to dead things, and that people who claim to talk to the dead or have special powers are either lying or messing with a spirit that is not of God. I think some of the recent success of certain television shows has presented psychics and mediums in a way that is not in accordance with scripture, and I want to make sure my kids are aware of the seriousness of making light of that which God says to stay away from.

We also talked a little about the ‘real’ stories behind most of our other Halloween monsters, like Vlad the Impaler for Dracula, and of course the mummies from Egypt. I also found it interesting that these monster stories have originated from all over, but it seems America was the culture that brought them all together. Maybe because we love a good fairy tale, even if it’s a scary one? 🙂

Halloween monsters

How to create a webquest for homeschool

Webquest

 

I’m always looking for new and different ways to introduce subjects in our homeschool.  By keeping things fresh, I feel like the kids are more engaged.  Webquests are often used by teachers in traditional schools, and I think they are a fantastic tool for homeschoolers as well!

A webquest is a power point presentation that directs the students through a specific study using online sources.  The webquest includes links to the specific sites right in the document, so the student doesn’t have to spend time searching for the information.

There are 5 main parts to an ‘official’ webquest which you can choose to include: Introduction, Task, Process, Evaluation, and Conclusion.  EllenFinkelstein.com has a detailed article explaining each of these categories.  As you create each slide guiding the students through the lesson, you would include hyperlinks to the specific website you want them to read.  Be sure that when you create the hyperlink you are linking to the page or post in the site, not just the main URL.  The idea is to have them go immediately to the area you want them to read, not to get distracted by searching through the site.

Here is a quick example of a very basic webquest:

Webquest How To

The sky is the limit for ways you can use these in your homeschool!  Here are just a few:

  • Create a series of webquests for each component of a unit study
  • Create a few to keep for a day you’re not feeling good
  • Have your children create one to show what they’ve learned about a subject.
  • Create a webquest to have the children find the answer to a question they’ve asked you
  • Use it for your younger children as a way for them to study the same topic as your older children
  • Use it for your homeschool planning.  You can create a document that has all the links you need for future use in one place under the appropriate heading

Don’t be intimidated by the ‘real’ way to create a webquest.  Yours does not have to include all the parts if you don’t need them.  Rather, think of them as a fun way to present material to your kids that allows them some independence.  After they complete the webquest, discuss with them the quality of the sites you used.  Kids need to learn how to discern what is factual online versus opinion (or flat-out lie!), and you can point them to the type of things to look for when doing internet research.  (Maybe this would be a great topic for a future webquest!)

If you’d like more information on the reasoning behind and creation of webquests, Bernie Dodge has created a webquest on webquests for teachers.  What ways can you see using this great tool?

Hip Homeschool Hop Button