#CelebrateWithDE – Memorial Day

Memorial Day is more than just hot dogs and pool openings. It was originally known as Decoration Day, to mark the use of flowers and flags to decorate the graves of America’s armed service members killed in wartime. Help your students understand the civics and history behind this holiday with an assortment of resources that explain the commemorations we observe on the last weekend in May.

Content Collection

Memorial Day
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Content Collection

This holiday was created to honor those who fought in the U.S. Civil War. On this day, many people attend parades, spend time with family and friends, and remember those who have served our country. Content Collections feature lesson starters, curated resources, and instructional strategies.


Memorial Day
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 6-8, 9-12, Encyclopedia Article

This short article reviews the holiday’s history.


History of Memorial Day
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades K-2, 3-5, Video Segment

This video describes the history of Memorial Day and includes Discussion Questions and a Teacher’s Guide.
Origins of Memorial Day
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 6-8, Video Segment

Explains how Memorial Day was first established and profiles Waterloo, New York, the first town to celebrate the day.


Teacher and the Rockbots: Holidays
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Social Studies Techbook
Grades K-2, 3-5, Audio

Sing along with Teacher and the Rockbots and explore the histories of Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, and the Fourth of July.

Assign & Design

Memorial Day Blog
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Blog

Revisit this blog entry from a Memorial Day past to review and assign the Design-a-Memorial activity. Blog discusses Memorial Day and provides a detailed assignment, including reflection and planning for a local memorial.

SOS Strategy

Spotlight on Strategies: Partner Time
(Canadian Version)
All Services
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Instructional Strategy

This teaching strategy can be used to create partner and collaboration groups effectively so that students are exposed to a variety of opinions and connections with their classmates. Students create a clock to use in future activities to determine partners equitably. As your students study and discuss Memorial Day – and especially if they are designing memorials – encourage them to come to some consensus about what aspects of a memorial are most important and how best to represent them.


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