Character Development Program: Online Training
Our world has gone more digital than ever, and the Medal of Honor Character Development Program is rising to the challenge with a new training program. For educators who want…
With Veterans Day only a few weeks away, now is the time to start planning lessons and activities for your classroom or school.
The Medal of Honor Character Development Program has elementary and secondary lesson plans that make it easy to explore the important role veterans play in our community and inspire students to show their gratitude for the sacrifices of our service members, both on November 11 and year round.
For detailed suggestions on how to approach Veterans Day in your classroom, check out our recorded webinar or keep reading for our plan to help your students experience the stories of Medal of Honor Recipients, connect with local veterans, and understand the impact veterans have on their country and their communities.
EXPERIENCE HISTORY THROUGH THE PERSPECTIVE OF VETERANS
A great activity for middle and high school students is to watch our Medal of Honor Recipient oral histories, which provide an individual veteran’s perspective on the experience of serving. Your class can watch the video independently, or the whole school can watch a video and then connect with that story in classes throughout the day.
For a more historical deep dive, check out our newest video, The Courage of the Submariner, which focuses on the stories of two WWII submariners who were eventually awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions.
After you’ve watched your selected video, lead a discussion with your class about the sacrifices our veterans make during service and how challenging it can be for them to come home, or have students write an essay about the importance of honoring and remembering those who have served our country.
MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL VETERANS DAY LESSONS
Use one these lessons to spark conversations with your students about Veterans Day.
Exploration of Commitment
In this lesson, students reflect on the deep commitment show by our service members. After your students have watched Reginald Myers tell his story, challenge them to think about how we can honor the commitment veterans showed during their service. How can we commit to helping the veterans who gave so much for our country?
What Makes a Veteran?
In this lesson, students will focus largely on veterans and the sacrifices they have made for our country. Featuring the story of Medal of Honor Recipient David G. Bellavia, this lesson explains the significance of honoring veterans and also helps students evaluate the challenges faced by veterans who return home from foreign conflicts.
Honor in the Face of Conflict
This lesson focuses specifically on Vietnam War veterans and incorporates the living history video of U.S. Army Sergeant Gary Beikirch, a Vietnam War Medal of Honor Recipient. Key takeaways from this lesson include the importance of honoring veterans and the challenges veterans face when they return home from war.
Portrait of a Service Member
This lesson is a great option if you are already planning on incorporating a visit from a local veteran or active duty service member into your Veterans Day plans. Featuring the story of Medal of Honor Recipient Jay Vargas, this lesson asks students to analyze the challenges service members face and learn how to develop insightful interview questions.
ELEMENTARY VETERANS DAY LESSONS
The Importance of Remembrance
Designed for upper elementary students, this lesson helps students identify the importance and symbolism of the Vietnam War Memorial as well as why it is important to remember all veterans.
I am a Good Citizen
This lesson is a great option for lower-level elementary students. It focuses on discovering what citizenship means and culminates with students writing thank you letters to service members through the non-profit organization Operation Gratitude.
VETERANS DAY ACTIVITIES
ADDITIONAL VETERANS DAY RESOURCES
Share the story of Dominique Claseman, 2023 Youth Service Awardee, who set out to raise $12-$15,000 for a local veterans memorial, but exceeded that goal, raising more than $77,000.
For elementary students, you can show your class our video of Medal of Honor Recipient Gary Beikirch reading “The Wall” by Eve Bunting and then facilitate a classroom discussion about the importance of honoring all veterans.
Another option would be to
ABOUT THE MEDAL OF HONOR CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
The Medal of Honor Character Development Program is a free resource that teaches courage, commitment, integrity, sacrifice, citizenship, and patriotism to students through educationally grounded lessons developed by teachers for teachers. Both the elementary and secondary resources of the CDP teach students to recognize and exemplify these values, making them useful as Social Emotional Learning resources, as a classroom management system, or as a tool to create a positive and healthy school culture.