Remembrance Day can be difficult for young children to understand. Reading Remembrance Day stories have helped. Here are some stories that I have read to my students to make Remembrance Day more meaningful.
A Poppy is to Remember by Heather Patterson
This is a story that gives an introductory and age-appropriate explanation of Remembrance Day for young kids and explains the wearing of poppies. Its simple text and beautiful pictures give it great appeal to all ages. There are notes added to the end, ideal for older children.
Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion by Jane Barclay
This is a touching story that young children really relate to. A grandfather answers his grandson’s questions about his days in the war as he lays a wreath for a fallen friend. He uses analogies to animals to explain his feelings from that time, (he had felt as ‘proud as a peacock’ in his own uniform decades before, and as ‘brave as a lion’), filling the little boy’s imagination with images.
In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae by Linda Granfield
This book is a beautifully illustrated, line-by-line walk through John McCrae’s famous poem In Flanders Fields. More appropriate for grade 2 students and up, it can be read as the original poem, line by line, along the bottom of each page with the beautiful illustrations or by reading each line and learning more about its meaning along the way.
In Flanders Fields is such a important part of Remembrance Day. I remember watching Linus recite it on a Peanuts T.V. special year after year. It seemed only fitting to include Linus’ recitation here.
For a Remembrance Day song, story and activity booklet, please see The Poppy Connection, also linked below (and below that, a links to a free Remembrance Day / Veterans Day playlist for young children!
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What do you do with your children or students to make Remembrance Day meaningful?
Here is what I focused on with my grade one and kindergarten classes when I was a classroom teacher, and two books that I have discovered since that fit in with it perfectly.