Must Watch Memorial Day Videos for Upper Elementary

Must Watch Memorial Day Videos for history lessons elementary grades

If you follow me on InstagramFacebookPinterest, then you know that I truly respect American holidays like Veterans Day and Memorial Day, and love to bring the patriotism behind them into the classroom.

When the calendar is turned to May, Memorial Day is front and center in my upper elementary classroom. You can find my students knee-deep in learning about this important holiday through close reading, content writing, and critical thinking activities, such as comparing and contrasting Veterans Day and Memorial Day.  I love teaching students how to differentiate between American holidays and understand the history behind each.

No matter how you involve your students in learning about Memorial Day, these FREE Memorial Day videos will inspire, educate, and motivate your students to learn more about our American holidays. And bonus...you can grab a set of note-taking graphic organizers for free at the bottom of this post, perfect to help your students take notes as they watch these educational videos.

Note: As with any video, website, or resource that you bring into your classroom, be sure to preview each video before sharing with your class to make sure that they are appropriate for your cohort of students.

History of Memorial Day PBS Kids 1 min 40 seconds

This quick, fast-paced video is the perfect introduction about Memorial Day for upper elementary students. The history and origin of the holiday are included, making it a great jumping-off video to watch before your Memorial Day lessons even begin.


Must Watch Memorial Day Videos for Upper Elementary


Memorial Day Tribute (and other American Shorts) Hello Kids 3 mins 21 seconds

This video is a powerful visual of Memorial Day. It includes footage of American landmarks such as Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. While there is no speaking, the patriotic music playing in the background over must-see images, with vocabulary words like honor and sacrifice popping up on the screen, make this a great discussion starter. While you are there check out the other patriotic videos such as this one that features the song American Soldier by Toby Keith.


Must Watch Memorial Day Videos for elementary students



Why Do We Celebrate Memorial Day? by Clarify by PlayBac 2 mins 5 seconds

I love that this quick video starts off by explaining this holiday is not about BBQs! Clear and easy to follow, this is a great video to remind students WHY we celebrate this holiday. This video ends with two questions that make great writing prompts and response activities for students. Lesson complete!


Social Studies Memorial Day History Lessons for kids


BrainPOP and BrainPOPJr varied times around 5 minutes

While Brainpop and Brainpop Jr are{amazing}subscription websites, they do offer free videoes of the week. Now, during distance learning, they are offering FREE access to their videos! When May begins, they usually have free videoes of the week related to America and Memorial Day. Be sure to check their sites weekly to see what free videos they are offering that week. If you are unfamiliar with these sites, Brainpopjr is geared towards grades 1-3 and Brainpop is geared towards 4th grade and older.

BrainPOP does have a video specifically about Memorial Day, while BrainPOPJr offers videos related to America and US Symbols.


Must Watch Memorial Day Videos for Upper Elementary


My America the Beautiful by VOOKS Animated Picture Books 

Memorial Day is a great time to teach students patriotic songs and discuss US symbols. Teachers can gain access to VOOKS picture book vault for one year. Once you have your account you can access the picture book My America the Beautiful to share with students during your Memorial Day lessons.


memorial day lessons social studies


No matter how you decide to bring Memorial Day (and other American holidays) into your classroom, include these videoes. Search through these websites to engage students, too.  Have students take notes, summarize, discuss, or just enjoy the information they are learning in different ways to honor our soldiers and learn about important American history.



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Memorial Day activities for kids


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