Veterans Day is a time to honor military veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces, and Gaynor students made sure they did just that this week. In classrooms across every cluster, students learned about what Veterans Day is, why it is celebrated, and how they could honor veterans themselves.
In the Yellow Cluster, students in Co-Lead Teachers Jensen Pincus and Anne Bode’s class created an acrostic poem for Veterans Day. An acrostic poem is a poem where certain letters in each line spell out a word or phrase.
The poem the class created read:
Very confident, helpful and skilled
Thankful for their sacrifice
Natural warriors who never give up
Served bravely in the military
Head Teacher Avigail Hirschfield and Assistant Teacher Sage Fuller’s Silver Cluster class read the book “The Impossible Patriotism Project” by Linda Skeers. The book follows a student named Caleb who needs to create a project that represents patriotism for Parents’ Night.
After reading the book, the class completed their very own patriotism project in honor of Veterans Day. For the project, they constructed an American flag and hung it up in their classroom.
Green Cluster students in Head Teacher Nicole Goldman and Assistant Teacher Jordan Segal’s class learned about the importance of Veterans Day and why we celebrate the holiday during their current events lesson.
The students read an article titled “Why Did Veterans Day Start?” They then summarized the article and reflected on what they learned. After working with the article, students learned about Gaynor Alumnus Murphy Bright ’01, who is a former Marine.
“After learning about Murphy, we spoke about how we can thank veterans on this holiday,” Ms. Goldman said. “Each student wrote a letter to Murphy to thank him for his service.”
Head Teacher Alyssa Tucker and Co-Head Teacher Zoe Carril’s Green Cluster class also learned about Veterans Day and about Mr. Bright. The class was able to talk to Mr. Bright via Google Meet, where they got to ask him questions like, “What was the hardest part about being a Marine?” and “Where did you sleep in Afghanistan, and what was the food like?
In the Blue Cluster, Head Teacher Chon Smith’s advisory class created presentations on each branch of the military. Each student was assigned a branch of the military, and they then had to research the service members and organizations that help them.
Head Teacher Amanda Shaw’s Blue Cluster advisory class had a three part lesson on Veterans Day. For part one, the class used a circle thinking map to brainstorm what veterans are. Students then completed a pre-quiz to determine how much they knew about Veterans Day.
“We then learned about what the branches of the military are, their history, and how they defend our country,” Ms. Shaw said. “This lesson concluded with students working in small groups to answer questions about the jobs of each of the military groups.”
For part two, students performed a gallery walk where they read letters from veterans that they sent home while at war. After the students read each of the letters and read about the veterans who sent them, students picked a letter to analyze and answer questions about.
To finish out the lessons, next week students will conduct research in pairs through online sources about one of five challenges veterans face when returning home from war, such as PTSD, disability services for veterans, and readjustment to society.
“Students will take two-column notes answering a variety of questions about their assigned challenge,” Ms. Shaw said. “After, they will compile their research, transform it into a poster project with their partner, and present their research to the class.”