Honoring Veterans Throughout the Year

District: Kentwood Public Schools Building: Discovery Elementary School
Teacher(s): Peg Cramer Grade Level: Kindergarten Subjects: ELA, Social Studies
Date: December 21, 2011 Main Contact: Peg Cramer Email: peg.cramer@kentwoodps.org
First Trimester: X Second Trimester: X Third Trimester: X
First Semester: Second Semester:

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Project Overview

Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

I want our students to learn about and appreciate the elderly members of our community.

Veterans are acknowledged during Veterans Day, but as the Iraq War comes to a close, it is appropriate to welcome those Veterans and honor all Veterans for their service to our country and wish them a Happy New Year. Kindergarten students will make personal Happy New Year- Good Wishes cards to honor Veterans. The students will also make cards and placemats for the Discovery Elementary family Veterans and Veterans at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.


Effective Practice: MEANINGFUL SERVICE

Service learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.

What community need will you address and how did you determine the need?

1. Discovery Elementary family members who have served in the armed forces will be identified. Through a note in the bi-weekly Discovery home bulletin requesting notification of Troops arriving home from tour(s) of duty or Veterans from other wars belonging to family members we will identify some of the Veterans in which we will honor.
2. Veterans will be identified at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home by staff at the facility.

What service will you provide to address the need?

The children will develop an understanding through literature and social studies lessons to appreciate older adults/elderly and our veterans. We will communicate with new veterans returning from the military service. We will make holiday greeting cards and placemats for Veterans in the Veteran’s facility. We will make Happy New Year cards and placemats for Veterans living at the Home for Veterans to communicate with them and to brighten the side tables in their rooms. We will send greeting cards to Veterans throughout the year on special holidays including: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas.


Effective Practice: LINK TO CURRICULUM

Service learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.

How is this project related to your curriculum?

The project ties into our English/Language Arts standards for reading and writing, as well as Social Studies core subject standards.

What are the educational goals?

• To help the students make connections from what they learn in the classroom to the community-
• To help the students to learn the importance about how to treat all its members- Citizenship
• To help them know what Caring and showing compassion for others feels like and how to do show it.

(Other educational employability goals include)
• Planning
• Listening
• Speaking
• Completing a task
• Respect
• Responsibility
• Doing your best
• Following directions


Curriculum Crafter Connections www.curriculumcrafter.com

List standards and benchmarks met by this project.

Strand: 00 SS: (Public discourse, Decision Making and Citizen Involvement)
TLW: Identify a problem, analyze information to solve it, and present the solution to inform other. (Gist: Solving Public Problems)

Strand: KG ELA: (Speaking and Listening)
TLW: Build comprehension through collaborative conversations about kindergarten topics and texts. (Gist: Comprehension and Collaboration)

Additional State Standards and Benchmarks

List standards and benchmarks met by this project.

W.AT.00.01 Be enthusiastic about writing and learning to write.
W.PS.00.01 Develop originality in oral, written, and visual messages in both narrative and written forms.
R.CM.00.01 Begin to make text-to-self and text-to-text connections and comparisons by activating prior knowledge and connecting personal knowledge and experience to ideas in text through oral and written responses.
W.HW.00.01 Leave space between words and word-like clusters of letters
K-C2.0.3 Identify our country’s flag as an important symbol of the United States.
K-P4.2.2 Participate in projects to help or inform others.


Effective Practice: REFLECTION

Service learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society.

What form(s) of reflection will you use with the students to help them identify what they have learned and accomplished?

The children will share their thoughts and ideas in several ways:
• Class discussions- after literacy lessons, brain storming ideas for art work and nice things to write on the cards, and when sharing about family members (veterans)
• Partner discussion – after literacy lessons, sharing ideas, etc.
• Group center activities- making cards and placemats
• Teacher led activities- discussions, lists, class book, predictable charts, and cards and placemats.
• Ideas shown in students cards and placemats- individual expression


Effective Practice: DIVERSITY

Service learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.

What types of diverse perspectives and experiences will be explored as part of your project?

(i.e.: cultural, generational, abilities/disabilities, learning styles, etc)

This project is generational, the children will learn about honoring older adults including veterans of various ages.


Effective Practice: YOUTH VOICE

Service learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service learning experiences with guidance from adults.

How will students gain ownership of the project?

* The students will plan what their cards and placemats will look like. They will sign their name to their work. They will also sign the large class letter that will accompany the group of letters to the Veteran’s home that tells about our school and the children.
*Making cards and placemats- taking their time to make it their best.



Service learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.

Who will you partner with for this project?

The Veteran’s Home of Grand Rapids

How will students benefit from this partnership?

*The students will learn to appreciate our country, the flag, and veterans.
*The students will also learn to appreciate our elderly.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

*The veterans will benefit from the communication through the art and written work from the children. In addition, hopefully they will understanding that young children care about them.

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans will benefit because the veterans will feel uplifted and happier upon receiving the cards and placemats from the children.



Service learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.

How will you assess the student learning goals?

Teacher observation, a class book, and the beautiful cards and placemats will be the assessments for the student learning goals.

How will you assess your service goals?

* Through teacher observation during class discussions, center activities. As the children are making the cards and placemats I will encourage the children to do their best, and the purpose of our service. (Kindergarten children need reminders)
*Feedback from the Assistant Director Grand Rapids Veteran’s Home



Service learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.

How will you prepare students for this experience?

*Read stories with elderly characters to assist in understanding
* Class discussion about the aging process and the challenges that sometimes accompany it – both social and physical
* Drawing pictures and writing to residents to begin building the relationship

What are some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project?

1. Make a paper American Flag- learn it is a symbol of our country- learn why it is important to us and a Veteran.
2. Read Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge- A story about a little boy who lived next door to an old people’s home- discuss
3. Have a veteran come in and talk to our class
4. Draw a picture about being a citizen- make a class book
5. Brainstorm ideas about what to write in our cards- make a list on the board
6. Make Cards and Placemats for the Veterans



The three arms of sustainability are environmental stewardship, economic growth, and social progress. Think planet, profit, and people.

Describe how your project addresses the issue of sustainability?

Social Progress: It is important for children to understand and to develop a positive attitude and empathy for elderly. Learning about our country and the people that helped keep our freedoms is an added bonus.