Thursday, November 7, 2013

Veterans Day: First Grade Style (And a Freebie!)

Three years ago, my husband and I moved from Ohio to Virginia to pursue teaching jobs. We teach 20 miles outside of D.C. and three years later, I am still amazed at the military presence in our area. A lot of (if not the majority) of our students have parents and other family members in the military. This makes holidays like Veterans Day extra special, as there are so many personal connections in the school community. One of my favorite traditions at our school is the Veterans Day slide show. Families can send in photos of family members who have served, and our guidance counselor compiles them into a slide show that is shown continuously throughout the day via our school news channel. It gives me chills every year! A patriotic gal myself, I am so thrilled and honored to be a part of such a special community of people.

That being said, it is important to me every year to drive home the reason for our celebrations. This year, we focused on the word "hero." We created an anchor chart to describe what the word means to us. The drawing is all mine, but the words are all my kiddos. I am constantly amazed and moved to tears by their thoughts--what a blessing to teach this age!

Once we finished our chart, the students had the opportunity to write about their own hero. Again---waterworks! Here are some of my favorites (although I could have posted all of them!!)
"My hero is my dad because he looks out for me. Whenever I have something infected, he helps me."

"My hero is my sister because if I cry, my sister gives me a hug."

"My hero is Mrs. Waters because she is kind." (had to!) ;)

"My dad because he works hard to kill bad guys."

Our display in the hallway. I posted our hero anchor chart a bit further down next to our door.

This week, I sent home a survey that the students and their parents filled out to identify any family members who serve/served in the military. Next week, we will be introduced to writing letters and my students will each write a letter to a veteran. We will use the survey results to decide who we write to. Many students will write to their parents, grandparents, uncles, etc. What a great connection! I also created letter templates featuring characters in the armed forces. All branches are represented in male and female form.

To download my survey and the letter templates (for FREE!), visit my TPT store using this link:

Thank you to all of our armed forces who have sacrificed so much! What a great example you set for our children and our country. God Bless!

Erin :)


  1. Thank you for sharing! I am going to use your awesome freebie printable with our class, we are writing letters to veterans and service members.

  2. Where can I get that star sentence: Who is your hero? paper?

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