K-1 Veterans Day Reading Unit

The name of this unit is Veterans Day Reading Unit. The goal of this unit is to teach kindergarten and first grade students to read closely and critically in order to comprehend complex informational text. In this unit, the teacher uses a variety of strategies, including a multi-sensory approach, to actively engage students in analyzing vocabulary, answering text-dependent questions, and creating graphic organizers. Students learn to take collaborative notes using a graphic organizer and to use those notes to develop a deeper understanding of the text through writing. Discussion and writing exercises help students to construct meaning of the text in a way that “sticks.”

Unit Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 


  • Day 1 Extension Idea: Teachers may wish to create an essential question for the unit. An example essential question might be, “Why do we celebrate national holidays such as Veterans Day?”
  • Day 2 Extension Idea: Teachers may wish to create a class chart with essential vocabulary. This chart could include words that capture the essence of the meaning of each text. Or this chart could contain vocabulary words that are new to students. Students can be encouraged to use the words from the chart in their speaking and writing.
  • Day 5 Extension Idea: This text introduces the idea of monuments and statues. Teachers can link these words with the words “ceremony” and “memorial” from the first text. Teacher can create a map of these words by illustrating how they are similar and different. 
  • Day 8 Extension Idea: This text uses the words “served in the military.” Have a discussion with students about other meanings of the word “serve” and other examples of the word (serving dinner, serving a volleyball).

Additional Text Extension Idea:

  • Use the fourth text, “Army of One: The Last American World War I Veteran Fights for a Memorial.” Read the text aloud to students and discuss the main idea. Frank Woodruff Buckles has passed away since this article was written. However, students can access a primary source on Mr. Buckles at: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/vhp-stories/loc.natlib.afc2001001.01070/ On this website, students can listen to audio recordings and watch videos of Mr. Buckles. Students can be lead in a discussion to differentiate between information in the text and the primary sources. This also addresses Tennessee Social Studies (2014-2015) standard 1.40.

Possible Social Studies Extension Ideas:

  • Students can create personal calendars throughout the year. These calendars can be used to locate and record birthdays, holidays, cultural events and school events. This activity addresses Tennessee Social Studies (2014-2015) standard K.26.
  • Teachers can create a collection of photos from Veterans Day throughout the decades. Be sure to include one photo from the first Veterans Day. Have students place them in chronological order. Make this activity a “self-check” activity by writing the year on the back of each picture. This activity address Tennessee Social Studies (2014-2015) standard K.27.
  • If using the unit on or around Veterans Day, students may have some personal experiences to share about activities on Veterans Day. If so, you can create a class narrative about the local events from Veterans Day. This activity addresses Tennessee Social Studies (2014-2015) standard K.28.
  • Tennessee Social Studies (2014-2015) standards K.29 and 1.39 require students to learn about several national holidays. After students have learned about several national holidays, students can compare Veterans Day with other holidays, such as Memorial Day.
  • First grade or more advanced students may enjoy writing an additional task to a more challenging prompt. Example: “Why is it important to have national holidays? Use what you have learned about Veterans Day as an example.” 



Source Citation (MLA 7th Edition):

"Saying thanks: November 11 is Veterans Day." Weekly Reader, Edition 2 [including Science Spin] Nov. 2011: 1+. General OneFile.

Web. 18 Dec. 2013.

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