Sunday, 5 November 2017

Remembrance Day and Firework Safety

Hi all

This is a very special week for us in the UK. It starts off with Guy Fawkes Night (or Bonfire Night) and ends with Remembrance Day.

If you've managed to pick up my last post you will know that Guy Fawkes is one of those typically British customs with a rather nasty undertone. It originates during the reign of King James II when Catholic protestors plotted to overthrow him by blowing up the House of Parliament with him inside! Fortunately for him the plot was foiled. Unfortunately for the plotters this meant trouble. The plot was hatched by Robert Catesby and his co-conspirators but they had persuaded Guy Fawkes to guard the gunpowder kegs hidden in the cellars beneath the House of Parliament. An anonymous letter alerted the king and Guy was caught. Needless to say his demise was rather sticky (and very unpleasant..).

Today we still remember the Gunpowder Plot on 5th November, celebrating by lighting bonfires complete with effigies of poor old Guy, setting off fireworks and generally being merry.

This is a perfect opportunity to teach children about the firework code and fire safety. For older children I have prepared a useful reading resource packed full of facts and some worksheets to practise their comprehension skills. It is on sale for the next few days for just £1.60.

On Sunday we celebrate Remembrance Day. Remembrance Day takes place on the second Sunday of November when a 2 minute silence is held to remember all those civilians and servicemen and women who fought in World War I and subsequent conflicts. Church services and parades are held and poppy wreaths laid by cenotaphs and memorials.

At school children often come into classes to sell paper poppies, often without realising their significance. I have always made a point of telling them the story behind the poppy and why we wear them at this time of year. I have pulled together a similar resource that helps to inform children by putting them in control of their own learning. They can read the facts about Remembrance Day and answer questions. The fact sheets can be used in so many other ways: try getting them to make posters about how they can remember; or make a class memory book where children can write short memories about a person or a special pet.

More details of the British Legion's Poppy Appeal and lots of teaching resources can be found here

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