What is Memorial Day all about? Like many holidays we take a day off of work, school, and the normal happenings of our lives to observe the events of the past. We have time to spend with family and friends, attend parades, and most importantly reflect on the reason we are observing the holiday in the first place.
So what did your Memorial Day look like? Did you attend a local parade, go to your cabin, fire up the grill? Did you take advantage of the many Memorial Day sales? Hopefully you took some time to reflect on the real meaning of Memorial Day.
I read the following article ( Why I Hate Happy Memorial Day) and thought it was worth sharing as we have opportunity to help our students understand the real meaning of Memorial Day.
Q1 Please read Why I Hate Happy Memorial Day - What do you do to recognize those who gave their lives protecting our virtues. #sstlap
Q2 Preserving History- as I watched Veterans march in the parade from as far back as WWII I thought about a few things. First the fact that there were very few people from WWII in the parade. This made me realize that I only have a short window to talk to my Grandfather who is 90 about his experiences. He has lived a life full of events that I really know little about and I want to capture those things for my kids and others. Second, there are many people who served our country who are not in these parades like my father. He served two tours in Vietnam and has never been a part of any of the Veterans Day or Memorial Day ceremonies. These are people who served their country but aren't being recognized.
Q2- How can we enlist our students in the historical process that recognizes the service of those who paved the way for our present and future? #sstlap
Q3 Beyond telling the story of our veterans and all those who served our nation, how can we preserve the stories of other historical figures before they are lost like Steven Spielberg and others are attempting to do with SHOAH? How can we bring students into this process? #sstlap
Q4 Family History - Students learn about history from their families first. What projects will you create to have students hone their historian skills by tapping into your own family? #sstlap
Q5 Storytelling- What are the stories of history that you love to tell? How do you create engaging experiences for your students around these events? #sstlap
I could continue on the Memorial Day path, but there were a couple of things I experienced over the Memorial Day weekend that I wanted to include.
Q6 First- my daughter's teacher created a project around Flat Stanley where she was asked to send a drawing of herself to a relative who would take the picture around where they live. My younger brother and his wife who live in Arizona did this for her. As it would happen, they were coming back to Wisconsin the week prior to Memorial Day and were able to return the picture with so many other cool items they brought with them. I worked with her to create a video that included the pictures they took of their travels. Needless to say, my daughter is excited about sharing her presentation.
Q6 Flat Stanley connected family members in this case across states. They were able to share details about the local plant life and geography. How could you use this lesson idea to connect your students to family members or other locations to learn about geography, culture, government, etc. #sstlap
Q7 Getting a little Political here- I am not trying to jump on the bandwagon of one political party or another. I just found the following article and it made me ponder something I have struggled with for years teaching political science/government. There is a difference between the theory of democracy and the reality of it in practice. This is true with all forms of government. I was taught our government was of the people, for the people, and by the people, that everyone had the opportunity to have a voice. The reality is not everyone can serve in political office. Not all voices are heard or have the same weight in our process.
Q7- Examine the following video - Democracy- Real vs Ideal - how do you educate our youth about both the ideals of democracy while preparing them to be informed citizens? #sstlap