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The Write to a Hero Veteran's Day Thank You Letter Project was designed as a community outreach lesson. All too often, students enjoy having the day off from school in observance of Veteran's Day, but don't really understand the significance of it. To introduce the lesson, I explain a little about the various branches of the military and share some personal stories about family members who have or are currently serving. I highlight the fact that the work they do is difficult, they sacrifice their time (and are willing to sacrifice their lives, if need be), are away from family/friends, and their families miss them too.
After opening the lesson I ask students, "do you know of anyone who has served in the military?" "If so, who are they, in which branch did they serve?" It's amazing for students to realize that almost all of us know someone who has served our country.
Next, the class reads the "Write to a Hero" template". After students have completed their planning draft, they move on to create a final draft. When they are handing in their letters I have them write my name above the school address in the top left hand corner of the envelope and give them the option to hand write the address or use a pre-printed address label.
Included in the materials you will find a model letter, bin label for collecting the letters, and a little thank you note for each student.
It was incredible to see the beautiful letters the students wrote. Since I'm a music teacher I will tie this into a unit on patriotic music, but the project is versatile and can work in any subject area.