Wall of Thanks
Remembering those who died serving their country.
- Invite students to explore such Web sites as The History of Memorial Day, Memorial Day History, and Celebrate Memorial Day. Discuss with students the meaning of Memorial Day, then ask: "What does Memorial Day mean to you?
- Explore with students, either online or through photographs, some memorials to members of the U.S. armed forces, such as The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The National WWII Memorial, The Korean War Veterans Memorial, The Argonne Cross Memorial (WWI), The Unknowns of the Civil War. Talk about how each memorial honors those who died fighting that war.
- Explain to students that they are going to create a classroom memorial to honor all those who have died serving their country. Have each student choose a conflict in which U.S. servicemen and/or women died, and then ask students to write a letter thanking a soldier who died in that conflict for the sacrifices he or she made for the United States.
Encourage students to choose different conflicts, so as many as possible are represented. Older students should be expected to research and write specifically about the conflict they choose.
- Have students write or type the final draft of their letters on paper bricks. Students can type their thank-you
letters directly onto a brick
template on the computer and then print it, or you can print copies of the bricks
template and have students hand write their letters on the bricks.
- Build the memorial on a classroom bulletin board by having students read aloud their letters and then place their bricks on the bulletin board. Leave space between the bricks to represent the mortar that holds the bricks in place.
- Title the bulletin board "Wall of Thanks."
Note: This bulletin board idea is based on the teacher-submitted lesson plan Wall of Peace. Please see that lesson for variations of this activity.
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