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Honoring veterans around Veterans Day has become one of my favorite activities I do with my students each year. The joy they have while making cards is matched with the excitement they get when a veteran writes them back (and I can only imagine the smiles on the veterans’ faces when a stack of cards from 4th graders shows up on Veterans Day!)
So how do we make this magic happen?
1.) Begin by collecting names and addresses of veterans from your students- grandparents, relatives, neighbors, etc. I found the best way to collect this information is through a Google Form, which I share with parents.
2.) Then create a list of the names that were sent in, along with the branch of the military. Project this onto the front board (or print for each student).
3.) Next, have students create cards for a few veterans. I usually say 2-3 cards per student. We also always play patriotic music while working on the songs. And while students are working on their cards, I will write my own little note to each veteran.
4.) After I’ve collected all the cards, I sort them and place them into a giant envelope which I address to each veteran. Then I bring them down to our school secretary who adds the postage for me.
5.) Finally, we take all the envelopes out to the mailbox and each student gets to pop one into the mailbox! I usually send them 3-5 days before Veterans Day (November 11 in the US) to ensure they arrive on or before the day.
We obviously ask for nothing in return, but every year, without fail, we receive 5-7 thank you letters from the recipients. They are always so grateful for our small gesture!
So if you are looking to make a difference this Veterans Day, then start collecting names and addresses and get working on those cards!
Looking for books to kickoff the activity?
Check out my list of books that I use with my students to kickoff the activity. They can also read them as they finish up their cards!