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Veterans Day Star Activity by Jesse Bluma

Veterans Day Star Activity
Joe Brown, a World War II veteran, recorded his experience as a prisoner of war in We Stole to Live. The true story tells of his POW days with his fellow POWs.  Among his friends in the camp was my great-uncle, Larry Bluma.  "January 31, 2004-I awakened a while ago thinking about the time, in the early morning of June 4, 1942, an American Navy PBY was shot down by Japanese fighter planes near the Aleutian Islands, and soon three of the nine-man crew aboard were the only survivors, clinging to an inflated two-man raft floating on the turbulent, frigid waters of the Bering Sea, under abominable weather conditions, hundreds of miles from any sort of land. Even a glimmer of hope for survival would have been considered by most as a forlorn exercise of fantasy."  

I have written about this story before and students of mine are familiar with the story as well.  Over the years in the classroom I read excerpts from We Stole to Live with students, we discussed the background of the war, the twists and turns within the story itself, and students have created stars honoring the service of family members.  The star activity is an excellent opportunity for students to do some family research, record some oral history of their family, and get a better understanding of military service.  As students learn there are many reasons people enter the military and each has an important roll after joining.  Some people join out of great family tradition, some join out of a calling, and many join for financial and career reasons.  The reasons why people join changes over time and is an ongoing current events topic.

If you are a teacher looking for a Veterans Day lesson, please feel free to use my lesson below.  Although the star activity is not limited to the classroom.  The activity is perfect for parents, employers, and others too.  The lesson below is a great enrichment for studying pre-history, the Vedas of ancient India, the griots of medieval West Africa, and other times in history.  Oral history is still significant in present time as well.  The directions and stars may be photo copied on red card stock (see any special directions on photo copy machine) or regular red copy paper.  

Click on the link below to download the lesson.

Veterans Day Star Activity

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