Rememberance Day in Schools - Our Teaching Tips
Remembrance Day is an important occasion with parades and ceremonies taking place throughout the UK to remember those who lost their lives fighting in conflict. Will your school be marking the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month with a moment of silence? Are you planning any other classroom activities?
As a primary or secondary school teacher, you can help children gain an understanding of what Remembrance Day is about, namely, what is being commemorated. From our experience as a leading UK teaching agency, we at Tradewind Recruitment know that explaining things like this to children can be a challenge, with themes of war and death. We'd like to offer some suggestions that will help both newly qualified and experienced teachers teach children about Remembrance Day in an engaging and memorable way. It will also help to show why it is important to remember those who gave their lives for the freedoms that we enjoy today.
Here are our tips:
- Go into class wearing a poppy and ask the children if anyone knows why you are wearing it. Explain that poppies are worn as a symbol of loss and hope during Remembrance Week. You can then start to teach them about World War 1 and how more than 100 countries were involved in it (see how many countries they can name). Explain that more than nine million soldiers died in the four years of fighting and after the war was over the memorials were created as a tribute to those who had lost their lives. Let them know about the Remembrance Sunday ceremony that takes place at each memorial every year.
- Ask your class if they know where their local war memorial is. With over 100,000 war memorials throughout the UK, there will almost certainly be one located nearby. Think about organising a trip to see it and let the children read the names of the people who have lost their lives in wars and who are remembered on the monument.
- Describe what happens during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony. Explain that there is a parade and then wreaths are laid. Why not ask the children to make a poppy wreath of their own with a message from the children to those whose names are on the memorial? It will help them feel a personal connection with the fallen soldiers.
- Explain to them that during the ceremony, a bugle player will play a song called the Last Post. Play them a recording of the song, or better still, find someone who can play the bugle to play the song to them. Let them know that when the song ends there is then a period of silence as a mark of respect.
- Finally, how about enacting a memorial ceremony in the classroom? This activity would be a great way of giving children a sense of involvement and they will help bring the occasion to life.
We hope these ideas will assist teachers and support staff in planning lessons that will help children learn about the significance of Remembrance Week.
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