Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Veterans' Day Program

It's a busy time of year in the life of a music teacher. The holidays are approaching, which typically means we are in performance mode. I never found time to post anything in November, so I thought I would let you know what we have been up to at Crestline. Our 5th graders presented a Veterans' Day Program, and our K-3 students began learning music for their winter concert.

Our 5th Grade Veterans' Day Program is a very special tradition at Crestline. Each year, we honor about 100 men and women who have served, or are presently serving, our country in times of war and peace. 

Prior to the performance, 5th graders write poems, letters, or thoughts about veterans. We highlight a selection of their writing through videos during the program:

In addition to the videos, one of the highlights of the program is the performance of "Step In Time," which includes themes from each military branch. Veterans stand when their song is performed. It is always moving to see them join in singing, sometimes with tears streaming down their faces.

Although 5th grade students are the only ones who perform that day, any student in the school can honor a veteran. As the veterans stand in front to be recognized (approximately 10 at a time), they are presented a small flag by their student(s). A parent committee organizes this aspect of the program, as well as a breakfast prior to the program.

Following the performance, our 5th grade students complete a reflection sheet that allows them to think about things they might not otherwise consider:

You can download a copy here:

We find that our students feel so much patriotism and respect for veterans after working on this program. It's a very moving performance, and the veterans are always so appreciative. We enjoy making sure our veterans know we are thankful for their service.

If you like the idea of a reflection sheet following a performance and would like to use one after your upcoming winter concert, you might like to read my Winter Concert Reflection post for ideas.


  1. where is the winter concert reflection?

    1. I fixed the link to the Winter Concert Reflection post. Sorry that it wasn't working before. Thanks for letting me know! You can find the link to the document in the post below the second image. Let me know if you have a problem.

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  2. What did you use to make these quality videos? I am interested in doing this at my school!

    1. I used a basic video camera and imported the video clips into iMovie on my MacBook. The videos are always a meaningful addition to the program that guests appreciate. I have found that giving the students writing prompts guides them into writing thoughtful ideas that can work together to form a cohesive video. Good luck!

    2. I forgot I had posted my most recent Veterans' Day writing prompts. In case you missed them:

    3. Thank you! Might be back for help! Haha.

  3. I love this idea and my principal and I have talked of doing a concert like this this school year. I'd be interested to know what songs you used for this concert and how you went about getting the veterans to know about it and attend. Thanks in

  4. I love this idea! I've been looking for music to Step in Time, but have only found videos. What did you use?

  5. happy vaterine day and have a nice day
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