My schools are close to a military base so we have lots of military families. Just at my K-3rd school, we have 29 students and 7 staff members with immediate families in the military. Last week we had a big assembly to thank those families for their sacrifices. Families, our superintendent, board members, and the Adjutant General of Kansas were in attendance. The students came into the gym silently then sang patriotic songs and wove flags as the families entered. My principal and the Adjutant General spoke, the families were introduced and applauded, we showed a slideshow with pictures of the servicemen and women and their families, there was more singing, and then the highlight of the morning was one of my Kindergarteners getting the best surprise Christmas present ever when his dad got home from a deployment in Kuwait.
I wanted some 1 day lesson plans for the week of Thanksgiving and I wanted to contribute to the military assembly somehow, so I came up with some patriotic Art projects to do with 1st-3rd grade. 2nd and 3rd grade students made abstract drawings on 4 inch square paper using red and blue markers. We talked about color symbolism and how we could use elements from the American flag but change them to make new designs. I used the drawings as a border for the giant bulletin board outside my room (that I apparently didn't photograph). They frame a sign painted on butcher paper that says "Thank You, Military Families!"
My 1st grade students made artwork to "Give our troops a hand". While the students wrote names on their light blue construction paper, I called one group at a time over to my table. I let the students choose either red, white, or blue paint. I rolled the paint on one of their hands, gave them a paper towel to squeeze with the painted hand, and sent them straight to the classroom bathroom to wash up. When their hands were clean, red, white, and blue oil pastels were used to add lines and shapes.