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History: Memorial Day

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet, projector, speakers

Activity Description

Use these resources from the History Channel and the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs to teach about and discuss the significance of Memorial Day here in America.


  1. Read through the article about the history of Memorial Day (Web Site link, below) from the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. In order get students to the Web site to read it, you can make a Favorite or Bookmark the site on each computer browser, e-mail them the link, e-mail a word processing document with the link in it, or post the link on your class Web page.
  2. View the video provided at the History Channel site (Example Web Site, above). Since it is preceded by a 30 second commercial that you cannot skip, so you might want to play through that before class, and pause it where the Memorial Day video starts..
  3. If you want to do a bar chart activity showing the number of casualties from various wars, preview the data Web site  and select the wars to include, since many are listed that the students probably will not be familiar with. Provide them the link to this site in the same manner you did the link in step 1 above.


  1. Have students read all or parts of the article at the main Web Site link (below), providing the history and background of Memorial Day, and describing how fallen service members are honored.
  2. Show the video from the History channel about Memorial Day  (Example Web Site, above). Ask comprehension questions when it is over.
  3. Elicit discussion about how fallen soldiers are honored in other countries.
  4. Have students create a bar chart of the numbers killed in various wars since the civil way. They can do this using an online bar chart maker, Microsoft Excel, or Google's spreadsheet. The data is available here .

More Ways

  • The Sacramento Public Library hosts a collection of videos of veterans from the Vietnam war, called Valley to Vietnam. Have students watch this video and discuss.


  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (2.7) Understand aspects of society and culture

Basic Communication

  • (5.2) Understand historical and geographical information
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.