The 11th day of November means something to many of us who live in Western society. It is a day on which we pause to remember those who have sacrificed their lives for the freedom that we enjoy and take for granted. We think of those veterans who fought in the Second World War against Nazism and Fascism. We think of those solders who, even now, fight for our ideals and for the freedom which our countries hold dear.
Even though I teach young children of 5, 6, and 7 years old, I encourage them to think about what this day means for us. They may not yet understand the concept of freedom and what it means not to have it, but they come to understand that the task of our soldiers is important – and that we show our gratitude for their sacrifice on this day. I cannot have a philosophical debate with them as I would with older children – but I can plant the seeds for this day’s meaning in their minds.
One way to encourage this day to mean something to the children, is to use the medium of art. This year I thought of using the basis of a mixed media art project that I had seen in a newsletter sent out to teachers by Crayola. I hope that when my students look at this project in the future that they will remember the reason why we made it.
I was lucky enough to have a student volunteer help me prepare the letters for the project – she cut them out for me before working with the children in small groups on the project. The pre-cutting certainly helped the children to finish the task relatively quickly.
We worked on the project over two days – the painted background on newspaper had to dry before they could paste on their poppies and letters. Some children complained that ripping the construction paper was difficult – but the result was more effective than if they had cut the red paper. And ripping the paper is a small way in which to strengthen their fingers.
I like the presentation of their projects on the board outside of my classroom. For the next week as people pass by in the hallway, they will remember.
What did you do to remember on 11 November?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018
(This post is linked to Stream of Consciousness Saturday. The prompt is: mean(s).