Martin Luther King Jr.: civil rights activist, nonviolence champion, Nobel Peace Prize awardee, assassinated martyr. Help students understand why the that holiday honors his life goes beyond having a day off school!
Veteran’s Day is observed on November 11 each year, the anniversary of the day World War I ended. Help your students to truly appreciate our veterans’ sacrifices by selecting one or more of the ideas listed here.
#1: Gallery Wall of Veteran Photos
On Veteran’s Day, ask your students to bring a photo of a veteran they know. It could be a parent, aunt, cousin, great-grandfather, or even a neighbor. Have students bring the following:
- An 8×10 copy of their veteran’s photo
- An index card with information that includes:
- Veteran’s name
- Student’s name & relationship to veteran
- Term of service
- Branch of service and rank
- Country for which the veteran served
- Any notable information about the service
Keep the photos posted in your halls for a few weeks–not only does this beautifully honor those who have served, but it also is perfect to renew the feelings of gratitude that we seek to magnify throughout the Thanksgiving season.
#2: Poppies & Poetry
Poppies are a classic, but not all your students may be aware of their significance. Choose a way to share “In Flanders Fields” with your students, whether you simply read the text and background, watch a video, or show a picture book. (Alternatively, share Cheryl Dyson’s poem for a piece suited for very young audiences). Then, ask students to find meaningful ways they can express their understanding and appreciation for this poem:
#3: Letters to Soldiers
Have students write letters expressing gratitude to a soldier. Mail these to soldiers at your closest military base or visit websites like Operation Gratitude. Students could also share their pieces created in the above Poppies & Poetry activity.
#4: Introduce the Veteran’s History Project
This project was started by Congress in 2000, and is sponsored by AARP. The goal is to “collect, preserve, and make accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.” As a class, you could:
- Discuss the interview questions listed in the Field Kit, and practice interview skills in class.
- Complete the VHP preparations as a class:
- 15-minute Field Kit Companion Video
- Search the collections database
- Print forms
- Register for the VHP RSS feed (and add to your class blog if you have one!)
- Locate a veteran to interview (either a student’s family member or someone found in a local veterans service organization), then hold the interview in class if he or she can make it, or by phone.
- While volunteer student interviewers must be 10th graders or older, younger students can participate in interviewing family members. Additionally, donations are welcome, so your class could alternatively hold a fundraiser for the project!
#5: Favorite Videos
- History Channel’s “Bet You Didn’t Know” and videos on Veteran’s Day (they also have other wonderful videos like “Joe & Benji the Vet Dog”, photo galleries, and a fact sheet)
- Veteran’s Day 2014–Freedom Isn’t Free: footage of actual war scenes (appropriate for school) and historic photos
- Armed Forces Medley from the National Memorial Day Concert 2010: recognizes each branch of the United States Military
Inspired by Jack Hagley’s infographic, “The World as 100 People,” we wondered how such a representation would look for the United States. As we began to research, we further wondered how the rates would compare to 1900. The infographic below is the result!
Where can you find a community of all different types of teachers who can post all kinds of resources? Ever heard of Reddit? Science, Math, English, College, Adult Ed, Art, and an almost unlimited supply of teachers can be found in this Internet community, and we’ve got a few suggestions of our own…
Reddit, directly from Wikipedia’s definition, “is a social news and entertainment website where registered users submit content in the form of links or text posts.” What does this mean for teachers? It means you now have a one-stop hub for all teaching resources you could need, not to mention worldwide feedback! Another great use for the resources on Reddit is to involve your students. There are a number of educational pages that students could use to reach out to others. See our lists below!
Don’t have an account? One of the best features about Reddit is that it takes just seconds to register an account. In the age of sharing personal information, it’s relieving to see a website ask for only what you want your username to be and what you want your password to be. Registering with an email is optional.
Don’t want to register? Fine! You can browse the site all you want, and unless you want to comment, nothing will be restricted if you simply want to “lurk.”
Now that you’ve joined the community, it’s important to understand that Reddit is divided into subreddits, which are communities of people that fulfill a particular niche. So you’re a teacher, hmm? Allow us to suggest a few subreddits to get you started:
- /r/education: “The goal of r/Education is to provide a community in which educational stakeholders can participate in meaningful, reflective, and thought-provoking discourse about educational policy, research, technology, and politics.”
- /r/AskAcademia: “This subreddit is for discussing academic life, and for asking questions directed towards people involved in academia, (both science and humanities).”
- /r/highereducation: “A place to discuss and share articles related to higher education.”
- /r/matheducation: “Anything math related that is useful for education, teachers, or students, with emphasis on usefulness for teachers, such as good internet resources, or ideas for how to teach a concept.”
- /r/ScienceTeachers: “A place for science educators to collaborate on and contribute tips, ideas, labs, and curricula. We seek to encourage the sharing of interesting studies, experiments, videos and articles that will interest students of all ages and promote science and critical thinking in their lives.”
- /r/teachingresources: “A place to share all your most amazing and useful resources. If we use this well, it could become a very efficient and effective way to enrich many classrooms with everyone else’s resources.”
- /r/CSEducation: Computer Science Education
- /r/ELATeachers: A Community for English Teachers
- /r/Professors: A reddit for college academics
- /r/ECEProfessionals: Learn, grow, and contribute as an Early Childhood Education Professional.
- /r/historyteachers: subreddit for history teachers
- /r/edtech: Educational Technology
- /r/specialed: Special Education
- /r/AdultEducation: Adult Education & Adult Learning Theory
- /r/liberalarts: Liberal Arts
- /r/ArtEd: Reddit’s center for Art Educators
And tons more–literally anything you could think of!
Now, get out there and contribute to the education of the masses!
*Obligatory NSFW warning, warning*: Reddit can sometimes have less-than-savory content. Most of the time, this is marked by NSFW, which stands for “Not Safe For Work.” That means you shouldn’t open that link or comments while at work, or you could violate the rules your employer likely has in place regarding Internet usage. You might also see NSFL, which stands for “Not Safe For Life,” meaning gore. If you still want to experience Reddit without these tags, take a look at the Reddit Enhancement Suite. It’s a completely free, open source browser extension that allows you filter out NSFW tags.
Featured Image: Kyle Garrity
Columbus Day was declared a federal holiday in the United States in 1934 by President Roosevelt after lobbying from a Catholic fraternal association called Knights of Columbus. Since then, many have questioned the appropriateness of celebrating Columbus by bringing some of his lesser-known actions to light. Let’s lay it out and look at the myths and truths surrounding Christopher Columbus and his legacy:
Hip hop as a musical genre got its start in the 1970s in the Bronx when DJs would take popular breaks in songs, isolate those beats, and make them longer for the audiences. Hip hop began as a sort of “voice” for the disenfranchised youth in the poorer New York City neighborhoods. Check out our cool timeline of the evolution of Hip Hop:
Most people have heard of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle–but what did they do and why should we care? Keep reading and you’ll totally be convinced: