This week is all about Remembrance Day, and why it’s so important. My great-grandfather served in the Great War and my great-uncles served in World War Two. My family tree, like many others, does contain that ultimate sacrifice but, even if it did not, I strongly believe it is very important to remember past and present Armed Forces personnel, the tragedy of war, and the debt of gratitude owed to those who risked their lives to defend our country and our way of life.
When you go home, tell them of us and say
For their tomorrow, we gave our today.
– John Maxwell Edmonds
Twinkl Imagine is featuring a different themed image, every day this week. Today, it was a photo of a World War One trench. We haven’t previously done much on the Great War, so we briefly discussed what are trenches, and what the soldier might have been looking at over the top of the trench. (The kids know some general information about the World Wars, and the concept of war, but there’s never been the right moment to go into depth about it.)
Two Minute Silence
As they’ve previously taken part in the local Remembrance Day parade, with the Scouts, and have some experience to relate to the ceremonies, we viewed a Remembrance Day Two Minute Silence presentation. It seems tragic, to me, that teenagers were among the millions who died defending our country but my kids were endearingly questioning of whether a 16 or 17 year old is still “young”. We timed a two minute silence, at the end of the presentation, and they were beautifully silent and thoughtful for the full 120 seconds.
We are very much into Art, in our homeschool, so we made our own Split Pin Remembrance Poppies. The kids coloured the black-and-white line art versions, printed on thin card, and I helped with the cutting out. All you need from your store cupboard is a split pin (or brad) to complete your poppy.
Our final Remembrance Day activity was listening to, and reading aloud, some poetry. I read For The Fallen by Laurence Binyon to them, and then they read the famous stanza aloud, from that poem. Next, we read In Flanders Fields by Dr John McCrae together. (I chose this version, from ActivityVillage, so they could opt to colour in the line art poppy border.) We discussed what the poems meant, and I tried my best to not let my voice thicken as I read the lines. On the other hand, I think the little stumble over such classics as, “At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them,” made more impression on my kids than being able to read without inflection.