Peace Activities for Remembrance Day (Canada) or even Veteran’s Day (U.S), includes a writing lesson and FREE peace writing template and poppy art.
November 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada. It is a day to remember those who have fought and died for our country. We pay our respects each year with a minute of silence at 11 a.m. and we each wear a poppy over our hearts.
This year (November 11th, 2014) feels different to me… In October, at the War Memorial in Ottawa, we suffered a tragedy. This event happened in our own country, not overseas. Even though I cannot and will not explain what happened to my students, I felt more inclined to teach them about Remembrance Day and to have open discussions about peace.
My school has a special assembly the day before Remembrance Day to illustrate to children the importance of this day and so that they may learn about our history. We share writing and poetry. Also, we read ‘In Flanders Fields’ by Sir John McCrae. Then, we make wreaths with poppies in our classrooms to share during the assembly and line our hallways with the artwork.
Peace Activities: The Peace Book & Writing
I love Todd Parr books and ‘The Peace Book‘ is the perfect simple story that clearly illustrates what peace is in a child’s world. This is often a hard topic to explain, but this book lends itself nicely to many topics for discussions that children understand and can relate to.
We brainstorm everything that peace is to us on a chart. Students are encouraged to use descriptive language and express their emotions.
Some of the most thought-provoking examples were… “Peace is…
- caring for all the animals and creatures of the Earth!
- playing at the beach in the warm sun.
- having a place to live and food to eat.
- donating and giving to others in need.
We use those ideas to craft our own sentences and poems about peace. We use the sentence starter ‘Peace is…’ They express what peace means to them in sentences. Each poem turns out so unique and expressions of their personalities.
Here are some examples of peace poems created by first graders.
FREE Peace Activities: Writing Templates
If you would like a copy of the ‘Peace Is’ templates to use for your poetry writing lesson, click the image below.
Another peace activity is to take our peace ideas and write poems in the shape of a dove. I have them attach pieces of tissue paper in rainbow order to the bottom of the doves and I hang them around the room.
Peace Activities: Poppy Art
Since the poppy is an important symbol for Remembrance Day, I like to do an art activity illustrating the beauty of these flowers. My favourite art lesson is to illustrate a poppy field using crayons, watercolor paint, and tempura paint.
First, we draw a horizon line and use poppy shaped tracers to draw poppies on a field. Next, we use white and blue crayons to draw wind and movement in the sky. Then, we use different shades of green to draw the blades of grass all over the field.
They paint over the sky with blue and the field with green, leaving the poppies blank.
Then, we use red tempura paint to paint the poppies so they pop out and look bright against the watercolor background. Then we finish it off with the black poppy center.
Here is a finished example. Our artwork posted in the school gym.
Thank you for stopping by to read Peace Activities for Remembrance Day and Veteran’s Day. I hope that you have gained a lesson or two that you can use in your classroom to teach your students about these important events and celebrate and encourage peace.
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