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English Lesson Plan on Memorial Day

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THE READING / TAPESCRIPT


 

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday. It commemorates the American men and women who have died serving their country in the military. It holds an important place in the hearts of Americans as they remember sacrifices made for their freedom. It is observed on the last Monday of May. It first started to honour the Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. It took on greater importance after American losses in World War I. The U.S. government decided the day would remember American casualties in any war, conflict or military action. People visit cemeteries and war memorials on this day. A special ceremony takes place at Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C. All around the country, flags fly at half-mast until lunch time.

There is quite a history to Memorial Day. A Yale University professor said it was first celebrated in 1865 by freed slaves in South Carolina. The slaves buried dozens of Union soldiers in individual graves. They all died in prison. Waterloo, New York claims to be the official birthplace of Memorial Day, observing it every year from 1868. The name “Memorial Day” came about in 1882 but was not widely accepted until after World War II. The name became official in 1967. In 1968, the U.S. Congress decided the day should be part of a three-day weekend. The last change came in 1971, when the government moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May. It took a few years after that for all U.S. states to follow.

Sources: http://www.wikipedia.org/ and assorted sites.

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

Paragraph 1

1.

men and women who have died

a.

the American Civil War

2

Union soldiers who died during

b.

memorials on this day

3.

American losses

c.

serving their country

4.

remember American

d.

half-mast

5.

People visit cemeteries and war

e.

casualties

6.

flags fly at

f.

in World War I

 

Paragraph 2

1.

There is quite a

a.

by freed slaves

2

it was first celebrated in 1865

b.

three-day weekend

3.

New York claims to be the

c.

years after that

4.

The name “Memorial Day” came

d.

history to Memorial Day

5.

part of a

e.

official birthplace

6.

It took a few

f.

about in 1882


LISTENING GAP FILL

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday. It commemorates the American men and women ___________________ their country in the military. It holds an important place in the hearts of Americans as they remember sacrifices made ___________________. It is observed on the last Monday of May. It first ___________________ the Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. It took on greater importance after American losses in World War I. The U.S. government ___________________ remember American casualties in any war, conflict or military action. People visit cemeteries and war memorials on this day. A special ceremony ___________________ Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C. All around the country, flags fly at half-___________________.

There is ___________________ Memorial Day. A Yale University professor said it was first celebrated in 1865 ___________________ South Carolina. The slaves buried dozens of Union soldiers in individual graves. They all died in prison. Waterloo, New York claims to be the official birthplace of Memorial Day, _____________________ from 1868. The name “Memorial Day” came about in 1882 but was ___________________ until after World War II. The name became official in 1967. In 1968, the U.S. Congress decided the day ___________________-day weekend. The last change came in 1971, when the government moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May. It took a few years ___________________ U.S. states to follow.


WHILE READING / LISTENING GAP FILL

Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Memorial Day is a United States __________ holiday. It commemorates the American men and women who have died __________ their country in the military. It holds an important place in the hearts of Americans as they remember __________ made for their freedom. It is observed on the last Monday of May. It first started to honour the Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. It took on __________ importance after American losses in World War I. The U.S. government decided the day would remember American __________ in any war, conflict or military action. People __________ cemeteries and war memorials on this day. A special __________ takes place at Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C. All around the country, flags fly at half-__________ until lunch time.

 

 

 

serving
visit
sacrifices
mast
greater
ceremony
federal
casualties

There is __________ a history to Memorial Day. A Yale University professor said it was first celebrated in 1865 by __________ slaves in South Carolina. The slaves buried __________ of Union soldiers in individual graves. They all died in prison. Waterloo, New York claims to be the __________ birthplace of Memorial Day, observing it every year from 1868. The name “Memorial Day” came about in 1882 but was not widely __________ until after World War II. The name became official in 1967. In 1968, the U.S. Congress decided the day should be __________ of a three-day weekend. The last __________ came in 1971, when the government moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May. It took a few years after that for all U.S. states to __________.

 

 

freed
 
accepted
quite
follow
part
dozens
change
official


CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

Delete the wrong word in each of the pairs of italics.

Memorial Day is a United States federal / holidays holiday. It commemorates the American men and women who have died serving their country in the military. It holds an importance / important place in the hearts of Americans as they remember sacrifices made for their freedom / freely. It is observed on the last Monday of May. It first started to honour the Union soldiers who dead / died during the American Civil War. It took on greater importance after American losses / lost in World War I. The U.S. government decided the day would remember American casualties in any / many war, conflict or military action. People visit cemeteries and war memorials on this day. A special ceremony takes / makes place at Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C. All around the country, flags fly / flew at half-mast until lunch time.

There is quite / quit a history to Memorial Day. A Yale University professor said it was first celebration / celebrated in 1865 by freed slaves in South Carolina. The slaves buried dozens / dozen of Union soldiers in individual graves. They all died in prison. Waterloo, New York claims to be the officially / official birthplace of Memorial Day, observing it every year from 1868. The name “Memorial Day” came about in 1882 but was not widely / width accepted until after World War II. The name became official in 1967. In 1968, the U.S. Congress decided the day should be / been part of a three-day weekend. The last change came in 1971, when the government moved Memorial Day to / at the last Monday in May. It took a few years after that for all U.S. states to follow / following.


MULTIPLE CHOICE

Memorial Day is a United States (1) ____ holiday. It commemorates the American men and women who have died (2) ____ their country in the military. It holds an important place in the hearts of Americans as they (3) ____ sacrifices made for their freedom. It is observed on the last Monday of May. It first started to honour the Union soldiers who (4) ____ during the American Civil War. It took on greater importance after American losses in World War I. The U.S. government decided the day would remember American casualties in any war, conflict or (5) ____ action. People visit cemeteries and war memorials on this day. A special ceremony takes place at Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C. All around the country, flags fly at half-mast (6) ____ lunch time.

There is (7) ____ a history to Memorial Day. A Yale University professor said it was first celebrated in 1865 by freed slaves in South Carolina. The slaves buried dozens of Union soldiers in individual graves. They all died in prison. Waterloo, New York claims to be the (8) ____ birthplace of Memorial Day, observing it every year from 1868. The name “Memorial Day” (9) ____ about in 1882 but was not widely accepted until after World War II. The name became official in 1967. In 1968, the U.S. Congress (10) ____ the day should be part of a three-day weekend. The (11) ____ change came in 1971, when the government moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May. It took a few years after that for all U.S. states to (12) ____.

Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

federally

(b)

federation

(c)

fed-ex

(d)

federal

2.

(a)

serving

(b)

services

(c)

served

(d)

serves

3.

(a)

remember

(b)

memorial

(c)

memorize

(d)

remembered

4.

(a)

death

(b)

dead

(c)

died

(d)

dying

5.

(a)

militia

(b)

militarize

(c)

military

(d)

militaries

6.

(a)

since

(b)

until

(c)

ago

(d)

between

7.

(a)

quit

(b)

quiet

(c)

quiten

(d)

quite

8.

(a)

officially

(b)

official

(c)

officials

(d)

officialdom

9.

(a)

went

(b)

took

(c)

came

(d)

did

10.

(a)

decision

(b)

decide

(c)

deciding

(d)

decided

11.

(a)

list

(b)

last

(c)

lust

(d)

lost

12.

(a)

follow

(b)

follows

(c)

following

(d)

followed


SPELLING

Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

a United States eefaldr holiday

2.

died ginervs their country

3.

sacrifices made for their reefdmo

4.

American losess in World War I

5.

American asteslcaiu in any war

6.

apcslei ceremony

 

Paragraph 2

7.

There is quite a rtiysho to Memorial Day

8.

freed assvel

9.

the faocifil birthplace of Memorial Day

10.

widely decapect

11.

part of a three-day weedekn

12.

all U.S. states to oolfwl


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

Monday of May. It first started to honour the Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. It

(    )

graves. They all died in prison. Waterloo, New York claims to be the official birthplace

(    )

official in 1967. In 1968, the U.S. Congress decided the day should be

(    )

and women who have died serving their country in the military. It holds an important place in the

(    )

There is quite a history to Memorial Day. A Yale University professor said it was first celebrated

(    )

the last Monday in May. It took a few years after that for all U.S. states to follow.

(    )

in 1865 by freed slaves in South Carolina. The slaves buried dozens of Union soldiers in individual

(    )

hearts of Americans as they remember sacrifices made for their freedom. It is observed on the last

(    )

part of a three-day weekend. The last change came in 1971, when the government moved Memorial Day to

(    )

of Memorial Day, observing it every year from 1868. The name "Memorial Day" came

(    )

took on greater importance after American losses in World War I. The U.S. government decided the day would

(    )

remember American casualties in any war, conflict or military action. People visit cemeteries and war memorials on this day. A special

(    )

about in 1882 but was not widely accepted until after World War II. The name became

(    )

ceremony takes place at Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C. All around the country, flags fly at half-mast until lunch time.

1  )

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday. It commemorates the American men

 


SCRAMBLED SENTENCES

With a partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

States     United     a     is     Day     Memorial     holiday     federal

2.

country     who     died     their     women     have     serving

3.

their     they     sacrifices     for     freedom     remember     made

4.

People     memorials     war     and     cemeteries     visit

5.

-     flags     mast     fly     until     at     lunch     half     time

6.

Memorial     to     history     a     quite     is     There     Day

7.

of     soldiers     slaves     dozens     Union     The     buried

8.

New     birthplace     official     the     be     to     claims     York

9.

in     official     became     name     The     1967

10.

be     part     of     a     three-day     weekend     the     day     should


DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________


THE MEMORIAL DAY SURVEY

Write five questions about Memorial Day in the table. Do this in pairs/groups. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

Without your partner, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

Return to your original partner(s) and share and talk about what you found out.  Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.


WRITING

Write about Memorial Day for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________


HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information about Memorial Day. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Memorial Day. Write about what happens around the world. Include two imaginary interviews with people who did something on this day.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. POSTER: Make your own poster about Memorial Day. Write about what will happen on this day around the world.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

ANSWERS

Check your answers in "THE READING / TAPESCRIPT" section at the top of this page.


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