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Remembrance Day is an important day for children to learn about. If you’re looking for ways to commemorate Remembrance Day in your classroom, check out our Remembrance Day activities for KS1 and KS2:
Celebrating Remembrance Day with your KS1 or KS2 class is futile unless your class really understand what it is that we are commemorating on 11th November every year. This can be challenging, particularly for very young children, so how can you help your class understand what we’re remembering on Remembrance Day in an age-appropriate way?
Start by asking children if they have ever done anything they didn’t want to do but that they knew they had to do. Discuss this for a while, encouraging children to share their experiences.
Explain that more than 100 years ago, a war began that was the biggest war that the world had ever seen. This was World War 1. Millions of soldiers had to go and fight for their country to make sure that their country and their families were safe. Many, many of these soldiers died. It is these soldiers we remember on Remembrance Day, as well as soldiers from other wars, like World War 2. Most didn’t want to go to war but they did so because they wanted to fight for what they believed was right. This is called a sacrifice. We remember them to say thank you for what they did.
Spend some time discussing this with your class. Make sure children understand that it wasn’t just trained soldiers who went to war, but ordinary men and fathers.
Teachers: if you’re looking for more in-depth lesson planning on this, check out our Remembrance Day (KS1) History lessons, or our World War 1 or World War 2 (KS2) schemes of work.
There are lots of poppy crafts you can do with your class. Here are some of our favourite ideas:
One of the most important aspects of Remembrance Day is raising for money for charities who support soldiers, veterans and their families, such as the British Legion who typically raise around £50 million a year through their poppy campaign.
Why not challenge your class to make poppies or other items to sell, hold a bake sale or do a sponsored activity to contribute to this important cause?
There are lots of engaging ways you can embed Remembrance Day poetry into your English lessons:
Teachers: Download our Remembrance Day Poetry sheets for free.
Most towns and cities in the UK have a war memorial to commemorate those from the local area who have lost their lives in battle. Arranging a visit to a local war memorial is a great Remembrance Day activity and a chance for children to gain an understanding of how war affects people and communities.
Visit a local war memorial with your class
Spend some time looking at some different examples of war memorials, noting common features, symbols and epitaphs. Then, challenge children to design and make their own war memorial using clay.
Remembrance Day isn’t just commemorated in the UK. Countries such as Canada, Australia, France, Belgium and the Cayman Islands also dedicate a national day to remember those who fought for their countries.
In Australia and New Zealand, ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) biscuits are traditionally baked and eaten on Remembrance Day. These biscuits were sent by women at home to soldiers who were fighting overseas during World War 1. This was because the biscuits did not go stale quickly. Today, these biscuits are eaten as an act of remembrance.
Baking Anzac biscuits with your class is a fun Remembrance Day activity
Check out this easy Anzac biscuit recipe to try them out with your class.
Visiting museums can offer rich learning experiences that are almost impossible to replicate in the classroom. The UK is lucky to be home to many impressive war museums that can engage children in military history and offer them a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made by the armed forces since the First World War.
Arranging a trip to the Imperial War Museum London, the IWM North, Churchill War Rooms or any of the many other war museums is a great way to put the world wars into context for your class.
Inviting a war veteran to come and talk to your class about their experiences can be an invaluable Remembrance Day activity for your class. It may be unlikely that you will be able to get a WW1 or WW2 veteran to relay information about their experiences during these wars, but having a member of the armed forces today coming in to explain what their job entails and the sacrifices they have to be prepared to make will help your class understand more fully the sacrifices made by fallen soldiers.
Prepare children beforehand for this visit by challenging them to think of all the questions they might want to ask this visitor, then get them to whittle the list down to their favourite two or three questions. As a class, you can then collate these so you have a list of interesting questions ready to ask before your special visitor arrives.
Teachers: Check out all our Remembrance Day activities, including ready-to-teach lessons, writing frames, word searches, craft ideas and more!
Planning looks quite detailed, engaging and differentiated to support everyone’s learning :)
Thank you, Eva! We hope that you and your class enjoy using the resources :-)
This unit has some good ideas but needed a lot of tweaking to make a suitable unit for my Y3 class. This made it a rather expensive buy and not the best value for money for me.
Hi James, thank you for your comments. This is a Year 5/6 scheme of work so we can understand how it might not have been best suited to your Year 3 class. We have sent you an email - please check your inbox :-)
Exactly what I was looking for, thank you.
We're so pleased to hear that - thanks, Molly!
Features of Non-chronological Reports Poster
Thanks, Kyla :-)
We're pleased you think so, Alison!
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