Themed Lesson: Memorial Day

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Age Range: All Ages

Introduction: In this lesson, activities are paired with listening suggestions to help listeners discover and enjoy music related to service and remembrance. Select activities listed below based on time allotted, classroom goals, and student needs.

Total Music Time: 6:50

Free Downloads:


  1. Begin by explaining: “On Memorial Day, we celebrate many things. In many ways, it might mark the unofficial start of summer. Maybe you go to a lake or enjoy a backyard barbecue. It means the school year is drawing to a close. But the real meaning of Memorial Day is to honor those who have served their country and also to remember those who are no longer with us. Music can help us reflect on these things.”

  2. Reflect on the idea of service. As you listen to the music below, think about the following questions. Journal your answers, or discuss with someone, or draw a picture that helps express your thoughts and feelings.

    • What does it mean to serve your country?

    • Are there different ways to serve your country? Think about all of the different ways people can serve.

    • How have you been of service to others? Why is it important?

    • Think of three role models who have served others in some way.

  3. Reflect on the idea of remembrance. Again, journal, discuss, or draw to think about remembering those no longer with us.

    • What are some different ways you can remember those who are no longer with us?

    • Losing someone, a loved one or a pet, can make us feel sad. What activities help you when you feel sad? Maybe you like to take a walk in nature, or listen to music, or talk to a friend. What things help you deal with feeling this kind of sadness?


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This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

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