Freedom is Never Free: Understanding Veterans Day

DF-SC-84-11899It began with the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. Yes, today is Veterans Day. Do your students understand the significance of this day? Do they understand what it mean to truly pay respect to veterans? What are some of the ways veterans are (and should be) honored in our society today?

Encourage your pupils to stop and think about the brave men and women who have served and are currently serving in America’s Armed Forces. They deserve our respect and students should know why. The United States Department of Veteran Affairs contains educational resources designed to help teachers discuss the importance this day.

It’s never too late to learn.

Related resources:

Celebrate Independence Day, Know Your Rights

Well, I’m back in Georgia now. I’m glad to be home as life here in the South (or, at least, the portion of it where I reside) is a little more relaxed, a little more peaceful than the hustle and bustle that suffuses our nation’s capitol. That said, I can’t help wondering what it’s like in Washington, DC today. I imagine it’s hot and crowded with lots of traffic. People are probably poring over all those wonderful monuments to liberty. After all, today is an important day there and everywhere else in this great land of ours.

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July the 4th is one of many U.S. holidays that many Americans cherish and enjoy. However, it’s a day that holds a special place in the hearts of many of our citizens. It’s a day of barbecue, fireworks, and the nationwide celebration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. July the 4th is also an excellent day for learning. Thanks to technology we can easily access, read, revisit, and reflect upon the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Constitution of the United States of America.

Why not revisit the bold proclamation that heralded our nation’s freedom and see why it was aptly referred to as the Declaration of Independence? Why not get reacquainted with the amendments that limit the powers of the federal government and protect the rights of all citizens, residents and visitors on United States territory? Today is more than just a day to fly a flag, grill a burger, and watch fireworks. Today is the day that we remember the birth of a nation dedicated to providing its citizens with fair treatment, equal opportunities, and the freedoms enshrined in and protected by our Constitution.

Informed citizens are the best citizens. Be the best citizen you can be. Get a refresher as to why the concept of checks and balances is still an important foundation upon which our liberty rests. A careful review of the importance of the separation of powers is a prudent means of correcting dangerous aspirations that ambitious office-holders may be contemplating. We place trust in those we vote into political office. We have the power–more importantly, the responsibility–to insure that our elected officials safeguard our liberties. Celebrate independence and freedom but, more importantly, preserve and practice these ideals.

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Freedom Is Not Free: Memorial Day

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Today is Memorial Day. Use technology to remember the sacrifices that the men and women of our armed forces have made in the service of our nation. Digital resources make it possible to:

It’s a little thing to do, to merely stop and appreciate the freedoms we enjoy. Think of the people who have given so much–who have paid for our liberty with their hearts, health, and lives–that we might live free. Reflect upon the dedicated members of the United States Military, brave women and men who served or are serving in the the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. These courageous citizens, often overlooked, are much, much more than just numbers or statistics. They are ordinary people with extraordinary historical legacies. They are worthy of our attention and gratitude. Please, remember them and help the younger people of our nation understand why we should all be so grateful.

All the News That’s Unfit to Print

Just in time for April 1st: There are no hoaxes here, just a funny little site that can provide teachers with an engaging way to present content. It’s called the Newspaper Clipping Generator. I like to think that there are teachers out there reading this blog who’ll use the Newspaper Clipping Generator to create some humorous and patently fake clippings about the content they’re going to be exploring/teaching in their classroom. Think of this as an educational spin on hoaxing that highlights the need for learners and educators to employ higher order thinking. If nothing else, it should spice up normally dull PowerPoint presentations. Here’s a fake newspaper clipping I made while playing around with it.

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Go Green!

st_patricks_day_hatHappy St. Patrick’s Day! After you get the facts beyond the blarney about this day, take a look at what you’re wearing. Traditionally, anyone not wearing a wee bit of green is likely to be soundly pinched by their properly-clad peers. Not wanting that to happen to any of our gentle readers, this blog has amassed enough examples of verdant-tinted vocabulary to keep everyone safe. What’s nifty about the terms we’ve pulled together is that the internet makes all of their rich histories available to anyone, anywhere. So, if you’re caught without any emerald apparel, take a stroll down memory lane, check out the scenery and ponder the following cultural greenery:

Sample a little of Green Onions (via the classic music variety show, Shindig!) and think about how you can use multimedia resources to spice up learning experiences for your students.