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How to Commemorate a Holiday


Included Images


imageArlington National Cemetary


imageVeterans Day 2009


The students will...

  • Learn how to effectively analyze political cartoons
  • Understand the major techniques that cartoonists use in their work
  • Understand how holidays reflect a society's culture and heritage
  • Be able to identify the major holidays in the United States and explain the significance of each
  • Learn how to access information about current federal legislation using the Thomas portion of the Library of Congress website
  • Develop projects and programs to increase historical awareness at school

Resources & Suggestions

Have the students research Executive Order 11582 which changed the commemoration of federal holidays to nearby Mondays. Debate where or not this was a wise decision.

Download the teacher resource packet from the Veterans Administration to help celebrate Veterans Day. Also, have the students look at the site for Veterans Day events and activities.

Have the students research the origins of our nation's federal holidays. Here are several web links to major American holidays:

Holiday Source of Information
Labor Day Department of Labor
Columbus Day Library of Congress: American Memory
Veterans Day Veterans Administration
Thanksgiving History Channel
Martin Luther King Day The King Center
Washington's Birthday Mount Vernon
Memorial Day

Conduct oral history projects with veterans and have the students write their stories and present them to the class.

Have the students create posters to commemorate a holiday and display them prominently around the school.

Assign individual students to research what happened on each school day. Have them make a "This day in history..." announcement to begin classes. The History Channel is a wonderful resource for information and has short videos that can be used as well.

Have the students create their own holidays by writing a bill to support their imitative.

Other ideas and projects are listed on the student handout.