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Sunday, June 2, 2019

D Day Lessons and Activities for Kids

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June 6, 2019 will be the 75th Anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy, also known as D Day.  This day is important in American history because it was the day that turned the tides during World War II, eventually resulting in victory for the Allies.  The generation of young people who fought and lived during WWII are often called The Greatest Generation.  My grandparents were part of The Greatest Generation.  Both of my grandfathers fought during WWII.  They both served in the US Army.  Although neither of them were on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, they served in various European locations.  At some point during the war, one of them served in France.  The other one served in the Philippines.

I've always been interested in American war history, not because I like war, but because the lives lost and all the sacrifices made by military personnel in all military branches are the reason we live in freedom today.  It is important to teach our children that freedom is not free.  Freedom comes with a heavy price tag, even unto death for many.

Image Credit:  Chief Photographer's Mate (CPHOM) Robert F. Sargent, U.S. Coast Guard - Public domain; official U.S. Coast Guard photograph

Earlier tonight, I watched an interesting Fox News Special on the 75th Anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy.  I learned some things I didn't know during the show.  It sparked my interest to find D Day lessons and activities for kids.  With only a few days left until the 75th anniversary of D Day, I don't have the time to dig deep to find a whole lot of lessons, but I did do a quick internet search and found 6 activities.  D Day, in it's truest description, is not something about which you will want to go into great detail with younger children.  In fact, I didn't really find a lot which I thought was appropriate for younger kids.  I did find the following 6 lessons and activities and I hope they help you teach the next generation the cost of freedom.  I hope your children and grandchildren grow up with a deep appreciation for what these men and women endured for their next generations - us.

A Coloring Page from Raising Our Kids:  This coloring page is appropriate for all ages.  It shows Soldiers running off of a landing craft and moving through the water.  That's all.  It would be appropriate for introducing younger children to the fact that American Soldiers were part of the Allied forces who landed on either Omaha or Utah beaches on June 6, 1944.

D Day Word Search from Puzzles to Print:  This D Day word search puzzle is listed as appropriate for grades 5, 6, 7, and 8.  You'll find it at Teachers Pay Teachers for only $1.25 (at the time of this post).  This puzzle is a good D Day vocabulary builder.

D Day PowerPoint on Twinkl.  According to the item description, this power point presentation helps children understand facts about the Normandy Beach landings.  You have to set up an account membership to access this lesson.  I don't teach anymore so I didn't want to pay for a membership.  I clicked around for a few minutes but could not find a membership price.  It looks like it might be a good membership site for teachers and homeschool parents.  If you sign up, I'd love to hear about your thoughts in the comments below.  Anything you can add to the conversation on this post will help future readers.  As for this particular D Day lesson, it doesn't suggest an age or grade level on this page - unless I'm missing that somewhere.  It does have one 5 star review but no review description.

D Day:  The Invasion of Normandy on Ducksters Education Site:  This is not really an activity, but it provides for good reading material.  This page covers time leading up to the battle, deception required to achieve an element of surprise, the weather, the invasion, the beaches, the generals, and some other D Day facts. There is a link to a short quiz at the end of the page.  Students can opt to listen to a recorded reading of the page if they wish.

The Night Before D Day at DocsTeach:  This is an interesting activity for students in grades 6-12.  Students will analyze two documents written by General Dwight D. Eisenhower before the invasion of Normandy.  The first document is General Eisenhower's public statement.  The second document is a note he wrote in case of failure.  According to the page sidebar, this activity was created by the National Archives Education Team.

A D Day Tour of Normandy by Gone With the Family:  This is a detailed description of a family tour of Normandy.  If you have the time and resources to take a major field trip to Normandy to tour the beaches with your children or perhaps even a small group of students, this post by Lisa at Gone with the Family might be helpful.  Someday, I hope to visit Omah and Utah beaches which is were American Soldiers landed.  Lisa and her family chose to visit the Canadian memorials.  Her post is complete helpful details and photographs.

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