On the 11th of November, we commemorate Remembrance Day. Unlike ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day often falls on a school day in the middle of the term. Hence, it is the perfect opportunity to teach a lesson that reflects what this important commemoration means to our country.
We know here at Rainbow Sky Creations that it isn’t always easy coming up with new and fresh ideas to teach lessons like this, but that is where we step in to help. We love coming up with creative and meaningful ways to teach Aussie kids about events such as Remembrance Day.
We have put together a few of our favourite ideas here in this blog. If you don’t find what you are looking for, or want more inspo, jump over to TpT and grab our Free Remembrance Day lesson guide.
6 creative lessons to learn about Remembrance Day:
1. Make wreaths
Making a poppy wreath doesn’t need to be a tricky task. Here are a few ways you can create a class wreath with little fuss:
⭐️ Give every child a few poppies to colour and glue them on a black circle (just like this pic that @missbell____ took.) Super easy and little mess 🙌
⭐️ Make poppies from red cupcake pans, wrap rosemary around a coat hanger and attach the poppies. This wreath also has a beautiful smell 🌿
⭐️ For a personal touch, ask students to trace their hands on different shades of green to make the leaves. Attach the hands in a circle and add poppies (either coloured by your students or premade ones if you are short on time) ✂️
Cheats tip: We always make poppies for students to wear on their lapel too. If you do the same, give students a few extra ones to colour, and you can put together a class wreath simultaneously!
2. Focus on Gratitude
Discuss why we are so lucky in Australia and how events in the past have made this possible. Introduce the term gratitude and ask students to reflect on what they are grateful for in their lives.
We love completing this activity with all age groups (yep, even kinder!!)
Use your gratitude poppies to:
- Display in your classroom (or prayer space if you work at a religious school)
- Turn them into a class wreath
- Put them in a common area to encourage others to reflect on what they are grateful for.
Creative idea: Turn this lesson into a school-wide initiative and create a field of gratitude poppies in your school.
3. Make 3D poppies
This is an awesome lesson because it requires some deeper thinking from the students but results in a beautiful class display. Find the 3D poppy template here.
4. Reflect on peace
Remembrance Day is the perfect opportunity to open discussions about peace. Peace can often be an abstract topic to explain, so we recommend reading the book: The Peace Book by Todd Parr. It explains it well and is excellent for younger students as well as older ones.
A follow-up recording task might be as simple as using the sentence starter, “Peace is…” or you may want to go a little deeper and ask students to reflect on how they can contribute to a peaceful world.
5. Write a letter of thanks
Remembrance Day is a day for reflection and a time to thank those who’ve gone to war for our freedom. Writing a letter to those who fought for freedom is a way to integrate your daily writing but also a means to connect with the wider community. Writing letters in advance and then delivering them to your local nursing home or RSL will give your students a real-life audience.
6. Mini Research Task
We love integrating research tasks into our literacy rotations for older students. One of our go-to activities is a research flipbook because it gives students a scaffold to work through. We recommend this sort of task for Grade 3 and above. Read more about our Remembrance Day research flipbook here.
“These were really easy to put together and were a great task for independent and paired research.” Claire D
At the end of the day, we, as teachers, have an obligation to encourage students to think about Remembrance Day and why it is a time that all Australians stop and reflect on the past. What will you be doing to commemorate?