Celebrate with Memorial Day Activities

A Collection of Activities to Teach your Students About Memorial Day

Photo © Anderson Ross Getty Images

Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May each year. This is a time to celebrate and honor the soldiers that sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Although this concept may be hard for some elementary students to understand, providing them with a few basic Memorial Day activities will make it a little easier.

Write an Acrostic Poem about America

A fun and easy way to teach children about Memorial Day is to have them create an acrostic poem.

Choose a word like America, Freedom or Sacrifice, and have the students print the letters of the word down the left hand side of a piece of paper. Start each sentence with the letter from the word. As a class, brainstorm phrases and words that correlate with the theme.

Craft a Flag Out of Popsicle Sticks

This is a simple flag craft that even kindergarteners can make. Have students paint or color four sticks white and five sticks red. Then alternate the sticks and glue them together. Once dried, cut a small square of blue construction paper and glue it to the left hand corner of the flag and place star stickers on the blue paper. Finally, glue a plain stick to pose as the pole and your craft is complete.

Make a Patriotic Necklace

Instead of the age-old paper patriotic hat, have your students create a necklace! All you need is construction paper, string, scissors, a whole punch and little creativity.

For younger students, have templates of stars that the students can trace and cut out. For the older students, you can have them make their own stars. Let the students choose how many stars they want on their necklace, then simply whole punch the top of each star and string! To add a little bit of sparkle to the necklace, provide glitter, beads or any other craft supplies.

Create a Flag Book

This activity is geared toward primary age students, students that are just learning about the American flag and what it stands for. This book is perfect for early readers and practicing skills of coloring, flags and reading. After printing out the book have students cut along the dotted line and staple pages together. Then read as a class and allow students to color the pictures.

Test Students Knowledge

A great way to see how much your students know about Memorial Day is to test their knowledge with a quick quiz. This will give you can idea of what they already know, and will help you tailor your lessons and activities around that. Once you are finished with your Memorial Day activities you can test them again and see what they have learned.

Questions to Ask:

  • When is Memorial Day? (Last Monday in the month of May)
  • Who is remembered on Memorial Day? (American soldiers who died in a war)
  • What do people do on Memorial Day? (Have parades, put flowers on graves, raise flags, have parties and picnics)
  • What is given to soldiers to honor them? ( a medal of honor)
  • Students get off of school on Memorial Day? (True)
  • Memorial Day is always in the month of May? (True)

A Soldier's Letter

This activity is geared toward upper elementary students.

Have students write a letter to a solider in the armed forces. First, brainstorm questions and phrases they may want to ask or add to the letter. Then provide students with "special paper" for them to write their letter on. If students already know someone that is a solider, then they can write to them.