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Memorial Day Activities for Elementary Students

It’s already May - time to start wrapping up the school year, right?!! As you’re planning all of your end of year celebrations and finishing touches, don’t forget that there’s an important holiday to observe with your students. Falling on the last Monday of May each year (in the U.S.), Memorial Day is set aside to honor the fallen men and women of our military. As a national holiday, you likely won’t be in school that day, but you can still plan activities for your students in the week leading up to it.

Here are a few of my favorite activities for observing Memorial Day in my classroom…


The Wall picture book by Eve Bunting Memorial Day read aloud

I love the book The Wall by Eve Bunting and it’s PERFECT for helping your students understand the significance of Memorial Day. This book tells the story of a boy who visits the Vietnam War Memorial with his dad to find the name of his grandfather. During their visit, the young boy meets an injured veteran, sees an elderly couple mourning the loss of a loved one, and a class on a field trip learning about the wall.

Although the boy never met his grandfather, he is able to feel his name on the wall and make a pencil rubbing of it, connecting in his own way with a man he never knew. Before departing, the boy leaves a picture of himself. He wishes his grandpa was alive, but is proud that his name is on the wall.