Students use information from movies, picture books, and relatives’ military backgrounds to help write a brief or extended message of gratitude on a welcoming card for local veterans.


The student uses a multiplicity of strategies to prepare for writing (for example, brainstorming, making lists, mapping, outlining, grouping related ideas, using graphic organizers, taking notes).

The student revises draft to further develop a chunk of writing by adding, deleting, and rearranging ideas and details.

The student uses strategies to spell words (for example, using resources such as dictionary or thesaurus to confirm spelling).

The student evaluates own and other’s writing (for example, identifing the best features of a lump of writing, determining how own writing achieves its purpose, asking for feedback, responding to classmate’s writing).

The student uses creative writing strategies suitable to the format (for example, using suitable voice; using descriptive language to clarify ideas and create vivid pics; using elements of style, such as suitable tone).

The student writes for a diversity of occasions, audiences, and purposes (for example, letters to persuade or request, humorous or suspenseful stories to entertain, instructions to inform).


-Video WW II-NBC ISBN # 69491-X Time: 23 minutes–Video -WHO ARE OUR HEROES?–NBC ISBN# 82904-1Time: 15 minutes
-Overhead of the Movie Plan Sheet (See affixed file.)
-The book VETERAN’S DAY by Lynda Sorenson ISNB#1-57103-070-0
-One chunk of notebook paper for each student
-Past example(s) or teacher example of card
-One chunk of white oak tag (card stock) per student
-Colored pencils
-Red and blue glitter
-Blue, Black, and Crimson markers
-Black ink pens
-Fifth Grade Journey Sheet with the Six Traits of Writing (See affixed file.)
-Standard Editing Symbols in poster form or in classroom English texts
-Veteran’s Day Checklist Rubric (See fastened file.)
-Teacher’s Evaluation Checklist (See affixed file.)
-Copies of Movie Plan Sheet for each student (See affixed file.)


1. Obtain selected movies and book titles for topic.
Two. Make one transparency of Movie Planner (See file attachment.)
Three. Prepare chart paper for as many classes as you need.
Four. Collect art materials and white oak tag paper for each student.
Five. Have one black pen for each student.
6. Prepare an area for glue and glitter (a table covered in white bulletin paper).
7. Prepare copies of the Fifth Grade Journey Sheets for each student. (See fastened file.) Please note, students will need instruction on how to accomplish this rubric prior to beginning the lesson.
8. Prepare one copy of Veteran’s Day Card Rubric for each student. (See linked file.)


Please note: This lesson can be adapted for student capability level. The writing assignment can be brief (a four-sentence thank you card) or more extended, such as a two-paragraph letter of gratitude.

Day One:
SAY: Today we are going to view two movies about our American military heroes and their adventures in helping save and keep freedom for us and other nations.
Observe and listen cautiously, and then we will pack out a Movie Plan Sheet together. (See fastened file.)

1. Pass out Movie Plan Sheets and all pre-writing material (notebook paper and pencil) to each student.
Two. Introduce and display each brief movie.
Three. Say: Write down KEY WORDS you hear from the movie on your Movie Plan Sheet. This will help you recall significant ideas for your writing.
Four. Go through the Movie Plan Sheet from each movie on overhead to help discuss the values of patriotism and any other noticeable ideas they can use to influence their writing. Have students add any needed ideas to their individual sheets as the class discusses the movies.
Five. Now read and share the book VETERAN’S DAY. Shortly discuss and ask questions to strengthen their memories of the material.
6. As a class, chart suitable word choices on the topic of patriotic ideas, getting information and ideas from the two movies and book(s). E.g. country, love, glory, faith, goodness, flag, life, duty, etc.
7. Each student is then asked to use the class word choice list to create a pre-writing web to organize ideas.
8. On the back of the web, students begin their very first drafts of a four- sentence, or more elaborate, thank-you note to an unknown veteran.

Day Two:
1. Review their Day One Lesson by discussing the word chart of patriotic ideas.
Two. Have 2-3 volunteer students stand and share their very first drafts.
Three. Next, have each student do A, B and C of the Fifth Grade Journey Sheet to peer edit their messages. (See fastened file.)
Four. Students generate 2nd draft incorporating peer editing recommendations.
Five. Each student then completes his or her Journey Sheet by doing A, B, and D.
6. When students do the D section, they look at their partner’s paper for errors and edit in crimson pen.
7. For the Six Traits of Writing, as assessed in the Fifth Grade Journey Sheet(file attachment), each student is to mark a minus or plus sign over the trait (word choice, ideas, sentence fluency, organization, and voice) displaying strengths and weaknesses. The students should be pre-trained to do this step.
8. Collect individual writing sheets to be redistributed the next day.

Day Three:
1. Pass out white oak tag, pencils, and art materials.
Two. Students witness as teacher demonstrates folding the white card stock in half, neatly and cautiously.
Three. Showcase students that their cards need to sit in landscape manner, not portrait, in front of them.
Four. Display a few teacher-made examples or past student cards.
Five. Each student then sketches with a light pencil stroke a patriotic design of his or her own.
6. Have students cautiously write their four-line or more message inwards the card.
7. Students sign the closing with one of the following: A friend, or Your friend.
8. This is all written in pencil.
9. When their writing has been checked for errors by students’ team members, students may print over their writing with black ink. This helps the veterans to read lettering more clearly.

Teacher collects cards.

Day Four:
1. Students finish their cards by coloring pictures with colored pencils and by using markers to outline drawn objects with clean and clearer lines, all the while keeping a crimson, white, and blue theme.
Two. Students need to print their very first and last names on the back of the card, along with their teacher’s name and school name (similar to a commercial card).
Three. Have each student find one object or figure on the card they want to highlight with either crimson or blue glitter.
Four. Spread the glue in the chosen area and then glitter!
Five. Set cards out to dry.

Day Five:
1.Review all steps.
Two. Have students pack out their part of the check-off list rubric. (See affixed file: VETERAN’S DAY CHECKLIST EVALUATION SHEET).
Three. Teacher fills out her area of this rubric checklist. (See linked file- right side of VETERAN’S DAY CHECKLIST EVALUATION SHEET).
Four. Teacher then has puny group or individual conferences to go over teacher evaluation checklist. (File attachment- as in step #Trio).
Five. Send card to the area veteran’s homes or hospitals. Our city has a Veteran’s Day Card Contest that the local civic group sponsors.


Students pack out the self-evaluation that includes specific criteria needed to accomplish the card. This self-evaluation produces a numeric A, B, or C score. (See fastened file: Veteran’s Day Card Evaluation Checklist. The left side is for the students’ self-evaluation.)

Teacher’s final assessment uses the right side of the same assessment rubric sheet. Students are able to compare their self-evaluations and the teacher’s evaluation on the same rubric.


Extension Lesson:
1. After completing and mailing cards, student pairs finish a K-W-L Chart. Instruct students to fold notebook paper into three sections and label sections as goes after: What do we know? What do we want to know? What have we learned? Charts are finished as a means of researching more information on our veterans and their history.
Two. Have each pair of students research answers to the following questions: Where is Flanders Field? What happened at Flanders Field? What is the story behind presenting a poppy to individuals who donate to veteran’s causes?
Trio. Suggested reference sources:
-World Book Encyclopedia
-CD ROM encyclopedias

Web Links

Web supplement for We Thank You, Veteran!
Veteran’s Day Home Page

Web supplement for We Thank You, Veteran!
Arlington poster

Classroom Projects and Activities
Veterans Day


Students create a free verse poem about themselves. This lesson can be used to introduce students to one another at the beginning of the school year, or during the school year when studying famous Americans.

The student uses creative writing strategies adequate to the format (for example, using adequate voice; using descriptive language to clarify ideas and create vivid pictures; using elements of style, such as adequate tone);.

-All About Me worksheet (See Associated File)
-Transparency of the Biopoem template (See Associated File)
-Writing paper and pens or pencils
-Polaroid or digital camera

1. Download the All About Me worksheet and the Biopoem template from the associated file. Copy the worksheet for students and make a transparency of the template.
Two. Gather materials.

1. Begin the lesson by telling students that they are going to learn something fresh about each one of their classmates.

Two. Have students accomplish the All About Me brainstorming worksheet. (See Associated File) Encourage students to list as many things for each item as they can think of.

Three. Explain to students that they are going to create a poem about themselves using the information from the worksheet.

Four. Demonstrate students the template of the Biopoem. (See Associated File)

Five. Model the activity by creating a Biopoem about you or a well-known person, using the Biopoem template. The words in parenthesis are not included in the final poem.

6. Have students look at their lists from the All About Me worksheet. Encourage students to look for things that others most likely do not know about them. Have students create their own Biopoem in the template format.

7. When the students have finished their poems, explain to them that they are now going to make their poems come alive. Using the Biopoem that you modeled before, have students brainstorm descriptive words that make the photos more vivid. For example, instead of brown hair, use chocolatey-brown hair and instead of paramour of ice fluid, paramour of ice fluid that cools you to your toes.

8. Model the rewriting of your poem, after it has been edited, making the necessary deletions, additions and switches to make the poem come alive.

9. Discuss with the students how the use of descriptive language makes the poem more interesting.

Ten. Have the students rewrite their poems using their descriptive language to make the poems come to life.

11. Have students share their Biopoems with their classmates.

12. Take photographs of each student and add photographs to poems to create a bulletin board titled ALL ABOUT ME or FAMOUS Youthful AMERICANS.

As the students work, circulate and suggest feedback. Assessment is on an individual basis and each student is expected to provide their own poem. The following is a guideline for assessment:

The student revises the draft to further develop the poem by adding, deleting, and rearranging ideas and details.
The student uses three or more creative writing strategies such as descriptive language in final poem.
Poem is vivid and descriptive.

The student revises the draft.
The student uses one or two examples of descriptive language in final poem.

The student fails to revise the draft, or the student fails to use creative writing strategies such as descriptive language in final poem.
-The student revises poem to include descriptive language.

1. Students can create Biopoems about well-known persons or characters.
Two. Students can be given extra time to finish the activity.

Linked Files

Everyone knows “How the Grinch stole Christmas,” but no one seems to know [why] the Grinch stole Christmas. This lesson is a look at what might have given the Grinch the feelings that he had to steal Christmas from Who-ville.

The student knows the importance of assuming responsibility for individual health behaviors.

The student knows strategies for managing stress.

The student knows various ways to communicate care, consideration, and acceptance of self and others (eg. respect, trust, goodness, and sexual abstinence as an expression of love);.

The student knows how to influence others to make positive choices.

-Book: Seuss, Dr. [How the Grinch stole Christmas]. Fresh York: Random House, 1977. (1 book per every Four students)
-Thought Questions (See Associated File)
-Writing Assignment (See Associated File)
-Rubric for Writing Assignment (See Associated File)

1. Purchase or obtain a copy of the book, [How the Grinch stole Christmas], for every Four students. You might be able to borrow copies from the library or students might have copies they would bring to class. The finish text of the book can be found at the URL listed in the Weblinks section of this lesson.
Two. Duplicate student copies of the Thought Questions, Writing Assignment and Rubric for Writing Assignment. (See Associated File)

NOTE: Please do not display students the movie of How the Grinch stole Christmas until the entire lesson is accomplish. Students truly need the text of the book to finish this lesson and understand the concepts being instructed.

1. Commence class with a discussion of what the students feel is the one thing that makes Christmas a glad time for everyone, and what is the basis of friendship.

Two. Be sure to discuss with the students what are some private responsibilities for this time of the year, how people can be positive and cope with stress in relationship to the holiday of Christmas, and if it is necessary to spend a lot to demonstrate friendship or love.

Trio. Read the book [How the Grinch stole Christmas] to the class.

Four. Have the students read and response the Thought Questions. (See Associated File)

Five. In petite groups of Three or Four students, have them discuss their answers to the Thought Questions.

6. Have student groups report to the class the answers they came up with to the Thought Questions. Be sure they relate their answers to Christmas/holiday of today and the problems that exist--stress, responsibility, concern, etc.

7. For homework, have each student finish the Writing Assignment. (See Associated File) Be sure they each get a copy of the Rubric for Writing Assignment before they begin. (See Associated File)

1. Initiate a discussion of the students' Writing Assignments. Permit time for an exchange of ideas, but do not let the kids read their papers aloud at this time. Refer to the Rubric (See Associated File) and encourage them to make sure they understand how their papers will be assessed.

Two. Give the students time to revise and proofread their paragraphs. Permit those who are having difficulty revising or proofreading to peer edit calmly with another student who can help them.

Three. Have students turn in their paragraphs for assessing.

Four. Have a class discussion on how the students felt about the Grinch and the people of Who-ville.

Five. Have the class discuss why friendship might have prevented the Grinch from stealing Christmas and then relate their answers/comments to people and the holiday today.

Students finish the Thought Questions and write a two-paragraph paper to be assessed by the Rubric for Writing Assignment. (See Associated File) Students who have difficulty may need individual feedback and monitoring by the teacher.

Students might want to write the next “happening” inbetween the Grinch and the people of Who-ville.

Web supplement for Why the Grinch stole Christmas

Web supplement for Why the Grinch stole Christmas
A Picture of The Grinch

Web supplement for Why the Grinch stole Christmas
The Grinch

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