Last year, we were honored to have Barbara Walsh, author of The Poppy Lady, visit our school and share her book about Moina Michael’s vision for honoring veterans with the poppy. Now, last year’s fourth graders that attended that visit are in the 5th grade. They are about to host several veterans at our school for Veteran’s Day on Tuesday.
To prepare for our luncheon, the 5th grade classes each came to the library. We read The Poppy Lady again. We also watched a video from CBS news. The video gave the students some great context on why the poppy is so important and what it really symbolizes. This paired nicely with the advocacy story of Moina Michael.
We also had a great discussion about the importance of honoring veterans and what students might ask when they sit at a table with a veteran. They brainstormed questions/statements like: “Tell me more about your time of service”, “What division of the military did you serve in”, “What were some of your biggest challenges in the military”, etc.
Then, students took time to visit 2 centers in the library. I setup multiple iPads as a Flipgrid recording station. With Flipgrid, students reflected on how we could continue to honor veterans just like the poppy lady did.
The 2nd station was a padlet where students could send messages to author Barbara Walsh about their appreciation for honoring the work of Moina Michael. I pulled the site up on both projection screens and three other computers in the library for students to visit.
Now the 5th graders will continue to work on poems, artwork, letters, and speeches for Tuesday’s luncheon. During the luncheon, they will sit with veterans and have meaningful conversations. I hope that they will take time to bring up the Poppy Lady while they talk.