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American Pride Linky Party




I have to say that in years past, I did not specifically address the events of September 11 with my class. Our district never put forth any clear directive and I was never quite sure how much the kids might already know. Honestly, with such young kids, I felt that this is one of those sensitive topics that might be better discussed at home. However, with this being the tenth anniversary of that fateful day, it was hard to let the day pass unnoticed. Our school decided to have the kids dress in red, white and blue for Patriot Day. I explained this to the kids on Thursday and many of them followed through on Friday. When I asked them why they thought we were doing this, one student actually said that it was because the school really liked the New England Patriots and wanted to celebrate football starting. (We live in South Florida remember). After that, I knew I had to do something to set them straight.

I started by reading this book, which I'm sure you're familiar with. It really is the best thing I've ever found to share with the kids regarding the events of September 11. Most kids had a basic idea about 9/11, and of course some thought they knew more than they actually did. I heard the word "bomb" being tossed around a few times. I explained that it was a a very sad, very scary day for America and many people were hurt and many lost their lives. I did not go into specifics about planes hitting buildings. I told them that we should be very proud as Americans, because even though this was a sad, scary day we were able to come together as a country and help each other feel safe again. I kind of left it at that and they seemed cool with it.


Then we completed this cute little project. My friend Kathie shared it with me about 15 minutes before school started. Somehow I managed to put it together in time for the kids to create these patriotic hearts with construction paper and they copied the Pledge of Allegiance on the back.


We had a nice talk about the heart representing the love we have for our country. Then we discussed the similarities and difference of our project to the flag. Next year, I'll be a bit more prepared and use a Venn Diagram for this part. We also read each part of the pledge aloud and talked about what it really means. I think that was the most important part of the lesson. So many kids recite the pledge mindlessly or with the wrong words every day which kind of drives me nutso. This was a great way to set them on the right track and help them understand what they're saying and why they're saying it.

All in all, I have to say I am so glad I did not pass the day by as I have in the past. I actually had goosebumps a few times when we were talking about what a great country we live in and how we all came together to heal the nation. I will never again let my insecurity on broaching this topic interfere with such an important teachable moment.

Although it might be a little late to use this year, I'd love to create a collection of projects or ideas that celebrate American pride to keep in mind for Veteran's Day, Independence Day, President's Day or next year on September 11. Join in and add your project below!







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6 comments:

  1. Love this post!! I also have not discussed the reason behind Patriot Day to Kinders but I love how you approached it!! As a parent I discussed it with my daughter in 2nd grade. By then they are able to handle it I think. We will do patriotic activities on Monday. I like to do them after the date (if not on) to see if it sparks any discussion and if wonderings are brought up I discuss them.

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  2. I'm glad to see someone else sharing this information with younger students. I teach first and was planning on discussing this with my students on Monday. We are starting a unit on national symbols and thought this might be a good time to talk about it. I was also planning on using the Sept. 12 book. Great minds think alike!

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  3. I think it's great you do this, I am from New York and unfortunately knew many who died that day. I think it's so important that we remember them. I always have my kids dress in red, white and blue, we make cute proud to be american headbands and talk about how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful country....Since I teach kindergarten I am a little nervous to bring up what really happened so I decided this is how I will memorialize it. I love that book though, it's a great tool to use to discuss that horrible day.

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  4. Thanks for doing this linky party. It's hard to find first grade appropriate activities for these types of topics. I have the Sep 12th book, as well. I LOVE your hearts. I hope you don't mind, but I made some hearts based on your activity and uploaded them on my blog. Thanks again! :)

    Janae

    The Sharpened Pencil

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  5. Visit my blog to see what I'll be doing for the September 11th anniversary,
    The Kennedy Korral.

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  6. Just wanted to let you know... I received a Versitile Blogger Award and wanted to pass it on to you. Thanks for being my twin inspiration. Head over to my blog! Come check out my blog!
    Hugs,
    Debi
    Just 4 Teachers: Sharing Across Borders

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