Discussion and video about Remembrance Day
Bag of sugar. Video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86J_RTfg_zQ
In the circle, first talk about Remembrance Day- let them say what they know and if the following don't come up then tell them.
* It's on the 11th of November because the Armistice- the end of fighting in the First World War- was on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
* We use Remembrance Day to remember not just those who died in the first World War, but in all the wars since.
* We stop what we're doing at 11:00 on Remembrance Day and spend a couple of minutes in silence just to think about all the people who've died in wars, so we can live the way that we do.
* Usually, the 11th isn't a Sunday so we have a Remembrance Service on the closest Sunday as well.
* We traditionally wear a poppy because of a poem, written during the war, in a part of Belgium called Flanders- the poem's called In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae- he noticed poppies growing on fresh graves.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Get a bag of sugar out. Empty it on the floor. Tell them to start counting the grains- give them a couple of minutes. Tell them there's about 15,500 grains of sugar in a bag. Then tell them that in the First World War, 15 to 20 million soldiers were killed. If each grain of sugar represents one soldier, that's about 1,000 to 1,300 bags. That's a pile of sugar about as big as one of the tables.
In the Second World War, 40-72 million soldiers were killed. That's 2,500 to 4,700 bags. So that's a pile of sugar as bit as all four tables. And a lot of them didn't die quickly and painlessly- a lot of them would have died slowly, in the mud of the battlefield, in lots of pain. War isn't like in the computer games.
Before showing the video, point out most of the soldiers we see going away never came home. The people we see them say goodbye to, mostly, never saw them again. A lot would have had children, who never saw their dad again.