This week I decided to do another mini unit break from our Before Five in a Row curriculum to talk about the military, the Marine Corps and what their auntie does. She just deployed to Afghanistan a couple weeks ago for six months. I guess this falls under social studies for us.
I really thought finding books would be easy, but it turned out not to be so. My Amazon searches for military kids books brought up things that were not even books, like t-shirts with guns on them.
Then, the first few books I did find were written specifically for kids that had a parent (dad) that was deployed or deploying to use as a coping and explanation tool. That’s all well and dandy and those kids definitely need books like that, I think, but I just wanted to have something that would be more situation general and could help me explain what the military/Marine Corps was.
I finally found and settled on:
A Salute To Our Heroes: The U.S. Marines by Brandon W. Barnett
This one is really cute! The Marine Corps mascot Chesty the bulldog takes you on a tour of the U.S. Marines from boot camp at Parris Island to deployment, various jobs, homecoming and the Silent Drill Platoon parading around on the White House lawn in front of Marine One.
There was even a shout out to my sister’s job:
Next up was:
Big Military Machines by Mary Kate Doman
This one is really simplistic and has perfect preschooler sentences.
The boys were really into all of the books with their tanks and big ships, but Big Military Machines is a favorite. It is a really small book too, not much bigger than my hand, so it is just the right size for carrying around and looking at the pictures.
And our last book for this week was:
Alpha Bravo Charlie: The Military Alphabet by Chris L. Demarest
This one was fun for going through the whole alphabet. The illustrations were really great for each of the letters. My favorites were:
I reminded the kids about when we saw Auntie Cherie deploy last time and watched her “man the rails” on the USS Greenbay.
I always kind of liked the idea of having a more exciting journalism job, but it just wasn’t where my future was.
I also considered H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet by Devin Scillian, but decided one alphabet book was enough for our purposes. I didn’t want to go overboard with the books around here.
The books brought a lot of questions, some of which I didn’t always have the answers to. In Alpha Bravo Charlie, the illustration for M is a MASH unit and there is a hurt patient. The kids wanted to know why he was hurt and why he had been fighting. The parachute pictures also brought a lot of questions, “Why are they in the air? Why did they jump out of the plane?”
Music and PE coalesced in marching to the US Marine Corps Band playing Sousa’s Greatest Hits (Sprout in undies because we are on the tail end of potty training for the last time, woohoo!!!).
Our craft was to make some cards to send to Auntie. We’re putting together a little care package too.
I made a few photocopies of the page from Alpha Bravo Charlie that had the whole military alphabet and cut out the letters to “sign” the kids’ names on their cards and some special “secret” messages they told me to tell her.
There are some recent pictures of the kids in the cards for her too.
Avory’s card was my favorite.
We miss you Cherie! Stay safe! We can’t wait until you come back home!