Happy Veterans Day!


Arts and Crafts for Veterans Day




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America in Conflict
     As a class, create a timeline of American history, including each of the wars in which the U.S. has taken a part.
     Divide students into pairs or small groups. Assign each pair or group one war. Encourage students to research the conflict and its historical framework to the best of their abilities.
     Each member of the team should sketch one picture related to the conflict or its time period, then write a sentence or two explaining the relationship of their picture to the conflict. Arrange the pictures around the appropriate war period on the time line.
     Each group member should write a short essay summarizing the conflict he or she studied and explaining how the sacrifices of veterans helped to preserve America's freedom.

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Camouflage Prints
     Show students a camouflage uniform of scraps of camouflage cloth. Discuss the purpose of camouflage. Then, divide children into small groups and give each group paint in "camo colors," along with rough-cut sponges.
     Give each child a sheet of heavy paper. Show them how to dip sponge into paint, then stamp it onto the paper. Tell them that overlapping colors are fine, but that they should continue sponging until no white remains.
     All camo prints to dry thoroughly. Once finished, these may be folded and used as thank-you cards for veterans. Children may choose to cut them in various shapes (hearts, stars, etc.) and incorporate into a thank-you card design. They may be used as background for another project (i.e. cut out silhouette of a soldier and mount it on top of the camo print). Or they may be displayed as a stand-alone project.
     This activity may easily be extended into a science lesson with a discussion of what animals camouflage themselves and why.

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Medals of Gratitude
     Show images of medals or actual medals. Discuss the purpose of medals, and explain that the government sometimes uses medals to honor soldiers who have served their country well. Distribute pre-cut circles and tell children that they now have the opportunity to create a new kind of medal. They are going to create medals of gratitude to express appreciation for the men and women who have risked their lives in service to their country. Encourage students to draft a design on a scrap sheet of paper before designing their "real" medal.
     Consider distributing the medals to veterans at a local V.A. hospital, a VFW or American Legion meeting, or at a retirement home.

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Proud of the Red, White, and Blue
     Give each student a 2" x 8" strip of posterboard as well as one-half sheet each of red, white, and blue construction paper. Have students use construction paper to decorate the posterboard, creating a patriotic bookmark.
     Very younger children can create attractive bookmarks by tearing paper into small pieces and gluing it neatly onto the posterboard strip.
     After bookmarks have dried, have students turn them over and write a brief message suitable for any member of the armed forces currently serving overseas. If children cannot yet write, have them dictate a message, and write it for them.
    Send bookmarks to military personnel overseas.
    Consider sending small care packages and including one bookmark in each. (Packages may be mailed from the U.S. to U.S. military personnel anywhere in the world at domestic postage rates.) Suggested items for care packages include shampoo, conditioner, soap,  toothpaste, toothbrushes, nail clippers, stationary, envelopes, postage stamps, microwave popcorn, hard candy, gummi candy, chewing gum, hot chocolate mix, pre-sweetened Kool-aid, cards games, travel games and hand-held video games.

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Soldier Silhouette Banner
     Cut out a silhouette of a soldier. Mount on heavy colored paper. Add poem or message. Fold top of the paper over a thin dowel, affixing a piece of yarn at each end. Hang on wall or bulletin board.

     Click here or here or here for silhouette patterns.

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Thank You, Veterans!
     Obtain a list of veterans' names from a nearby veterans home or VA hospital. After discussing the sacrifices veterans have made, ask each student make a thank-you card for one or more veterans. As a class, take a field trip to the home or hospital and deliver the cards. Plan enough time so that students can talk to veterans and listen to some of their stories.

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