TeachersFirst's Veterans Day Resources

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

Explore these resources for ideas you can use to connect classroom curriculum to Veterans Day. Whether you choose to focus on Veterans Day and its history for one class period or to include a special curriculum project in honor of veterans, these ideas and resources will get you started.

 

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The Great Thanksgiving Listen - StoryCorps

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K to 12
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The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a project to gather recorded conversations between adults and students over the Thanksgiving weekend. Download the free toolkit to participate that...more
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The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a project to gather recorded conversations between adults and students over the Thanksgiving weekend. Download the free toolkit to participate that includes background information, lesson planning guides, permission slips, and more. Participation isn't necessary to enjoy conversations shared on the site. Click the browse button to find featured conversations or sort by recent or popular posts. Use the search bar to look for keywords or find popular tags such as family or school.

tag(s): family (59), thanksgiving (37), veterans (19)

In the Classroom

Although this project takes place over Thanksgiving, it is a useful resource for any time throughout the year. Use as part of your Veteran's Day activities to find conversations from military veterans. Listen to different family conversations to learn how families are different and alike. Use this site as a model to start your own generational conversations. Use a tool such as AudioBoomreviewed here to record conversations or create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Primary Source Sets - Library of Congress

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4 to 12
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln...more
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln through Women's Suffrage. Choose any topic to view Teacher's Guides and analysis tools including graphic organizers for students. Sort information to find materials meeting Common Core, State Standards, or national organization standards.

tag(s): 20th century (50), authors (118), black history (56), civil war (145), commoncore (92), constitution (72), hispanic (18), jefferson (19), lincoln (86), new deal (6), primary sources (83), segregation (15), thanksgiving (37), veterans (19), washington (36), westward expansion (29), womens suffrage (26), wright brothers (26)

In the Classroom

When introducing a new unit, show students photos from the era and have them describe what they see and what period they think it is. Find plenty of questions and activities (including a blank analysis organizer for students) in the Teacher's Guides. Also look at Library of Congress: for Teachers, reviewed here. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted for reproduction), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread, reviewed here. This tool allows users to narrate a picture. Include this site on your class webpage for students and parents to access as a reference.
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D-Day: Teachers' Sources - Imperial War Museums

Grades
8 to 12
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Investigate the events of D-Day and their impact on World War II with this simple but interesting resource. Scroll through the photos and short captions to see first-hand images of...more
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Investigate the events of D-Day and their impact on World War II with this simple but interesting resource. Scroll through the photos and short captions to see first-hand images of Allied Commanders, Hitler, soldiers going ashore, and more. Scroll all the way down the page to find a downloadable PDF with suggested activities, a D-Day PowerPoint, and a Hands on Science and Technology Challenge.

tag(s): d day (9), veterans (19), world war 2 (145)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a World War II unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a soldier, commander, or loved one during the D-Day invasion. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Make your D-Day lessons interdisciplinary by sharing the Hands on Science and Technology lesson with science teachers at your site.
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American Experience: D-Day - PBS

Grades
8 to 12
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This companion site for the PBS program of the same name offers a substantial number of resources with information about D-Day. Read the complete program transcript, stories from soldiers,...more
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This companion site for the PBS program of the same name offers a substantial number of resources with information about D-Day. Read the complete program transcript, stories from soldiers, and emotional letters sent to loved ones at home. Scroll through the timeline to understand how the events unfolded from 1939 through 1945. Choose the Teacher's Guide for several activities useful for understanding the impact of D-Day in the American and Global cultures.

tag(s): d day (9), veterans (19), world war 2 (145)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or as a guide for a lecture about D-Day within a US or World History Course. Have students create D-Day or World War II timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Have students make a multimedia presentation incorporating information found on this site using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here.

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National D-Day Memorial - National D-Day Memorial Foundation

Grades
8 to 12
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This informative site uses photographs, articles, maps, and videos to recapture the remarkable events of June 6, 1944. Choose the History tab to learn about D-Day events beginning with...more
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This informative site uses photographs, articles, maps, and videos to recapture the remarkable events of June 6, 1944. Choose the History tab to learn about D-Day events beginning with an overview of events leading up to the storming of the beaches of Normandy. Find background information on some of the important characters of this historic event. Be sure to scroll down the right side of the webpage to find links to Educational Tools such as lesson plans and first-hand accounts from Veterans of D-Day. At the time of review, some pages were still under construction so you may want to check back for updates. At least one of the videos is presented via YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): d day (9), veterans (19), world war 2 (145)

In the Classroom

Feature this site during a single lesson on D-Day or as part of any World War II unit. Challenge students to make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here. Assign students to create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Direct students to use a mapping tool such as Mapskip, reviewed here, to create a map of local landforms (with audio stories and pictures included)! Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a soldier, leader, or politician involved with D-Day events.

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Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project - University of North Carolina Greensboro

Grades
8 to 12
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The unique viewpoints of U.S. women veterans are well represented in this rich archive of photographs, oral histories, diaries, scrapbooks, and artifacts from the nineteenth century...more
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The unique viewpoints of U.S. women veterans are well represented in this rich archive of photographs, oral histories, diaries, scrapbooks, and artifacts from the nineteenth century to the present. The archive is particularly strong for women who served during World War II. It also includes World War I, Korea, Vietnam, The Cold War, Desert Storm, the Gulf Wars and the War on Terror. Search by date, branch of service, conflict, or by type of material, including over 350 oral histories.

tag(s): memorial day (13), oral history (11), primary sources (83), veterans (19), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (145)

In the Classroom

Use this archive for rich, authentic primary source material on the lives of women in the military. Consider having students, individually or in groups, choose a veteran and present her story to classmates. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free), reviewed here. Supplement classroom materials associated with a wartime era with the photographs, posters, and diaries provided here. Use these stories as part of a special focus for Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or Women's History Month. The archive would also be a particularly rich resource for students considering National History Day Projects.
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PBS Newshour Extra - PBS NewsHour Productions LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Find news and resources for grades 7-12 at PBS Newshour Extra. Search the site by Subject Area, Videos, Arts and Media, Science, and more. Explore news articles written for students...more
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Find news and resources for grades 7-12 at PBS Newshour Extra. Search the site by Subject Area, Videos, Arts and Media, Science, and more. Explore news articles written for students with the background and context needed to understand complex topics. The Daily Videos are ad-free and have related stories along the right side of the page. Read the current events news stories and follow the Extra Twitter feed. Don't miss the many free lesson plans including current events, American history, health, government, holidays, and more. Lesson plans are all aligned to the Common Core standards. Lesson plan topics vary from "Personal reflections on the poetry of Maya Angelou" to "Selma to Montgomery: An introduction to the 1965 marches" and countless others! Look for the Student Voices and Student Reporting Labs for those who would like to be published or to help a local PBS station produce the news.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): civil rights (110), elections (77), holocaust (39), memorial day (13), news (263), poetry (228), video (251), women (100)

In the Classroom

Watch the news together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to watch independently on laptops or at a learning station. Use any video or article as a current events writing prompt. Challenge students to create blog posts about them using Throwww, reviewed here. Throwww allows you to create "quick and easy" blog posts for one-time use only. Don't forget the many free lesson plans (already aligned to Common Core standards). Click on the Lesson Plans link to explore the countless topics available (Poetry, Veterans, Elections, Ebola, Civil Rights, and more). For articles and videos about conflicts and tension, you might want to have your students engage in a debate using a tool such as ProConIt, reviewed here. Keep your class up-to-date on the news using this site. Provide this link on your class website for students (and families) to access both in and out of your classroom.
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World War 2 Pictures in Color - WebCurl, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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World War 2 Pictures in Color offers an extremely large collection of pictures for public viewing. View daily photo uploads by the site's users or search for specific terms using...more
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World War 2 Pictures in Color offers an extremely large collection of pictures for public viewing. View daily photo uploads by the site's users or search for specific terms using the search bar. Other search options include most recent, most views, and subjects such as the branch of the military. Click on any thumbnail to view full size along with a description and comments. Users must register to upload photos or add comments. Comments are not moderated. Please note: these photos are free to VIEW not SHARE (no copy/paste or print). You CAN link directly to an image using its url. RIGHT click the image and select "copy image url" or "get info" to find that direct url and include it in a blog post or other tool that asks for image urls.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1930s (15), 1940s (13), hitler (10), images (257), veterans (19), world war 2 (145)

In the Classroom

View images on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as primary sources for World War 2 information. Share a few images a day during your unit about the war. Use these online images to show WWII veterans and spark conversations in face to face interviews. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a World War 2 event, soldier, or Commander after viewing and discussing the site's images. Be sure to discuss acceptable use policies and how to give credit when using images found on the Internet. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.

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What's Going On Now - John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

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8 to 12
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Are we living in the worst of times? Or is history simply repeating? This site looks at the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s through the lens of Marvin Gaye's 1971 album ...more
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Are we living in the worst of times? Or is history simply repeating? This site looks at the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s through the lens of Marvin Gaye's 1971 album "What's Going On." But more importantly, the site challenges us to examine the similarities between those days and the world the youth of today has inherited. The French have a saying, "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose," or the more things change, the more they remain the same. Compare the unrest related to the environment, to social change, to veterans issues. What about drugs, poverty, and faith? How are these issues expressed through popular music? This site presents compelling resources in music, video, and historical commentary, as well as strong teacher guidance to enable you to create powerful, involved lessons based on these questions. Fifty years ago, it was a call for "relevance" in the classroom; today, we search for "authentic" instruction. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

tag(s): 1960s (30), civil rights (110), cross cultural understanding (114), ecology (133), racism (18), veterans (19), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

History teachers struggle for "coverage," or the ability to teach across all eras. U.S. History teachers often don't get to the Vietnam era, but these resources are a superb reason for pressing forward. Teacher resources include a number of guided investigations and classroom listening guides that can be incorporated in their entirety or adapted to complement lessons on the Vietnam era in a recent U.S. History class, on social change for a Sociology class, or on contemporary music as an agent of political protest for a music class. For independent or gifted learners, this site could provide the basis for sustained small group inquiry as part of curriculum differentiation. Start by asking students to explore the site and write a blog post about their initial impressions.
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Celebrating America's Freedoms - Department of Veterans Affairs

Grades
4 to 8
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This site explores the history behind many of America's most beloved customs and symbols. While the reading level is a bit challenging for younger students, the content is excellent...more
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This site explores the history behind many of America's most beloved customs and symbols. While the reading level is a bit challenging for younger students, the content is excellent for lesson-planning. Topics include flag etiquette, and the origins of Veterans' Day, our National Anthem, and the Pledge of Allegiance.

tag(s): american flag (11), flag day (6), memorial day (13), national anthem (4), veterans (19)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site! This would be a great resource on a unit about patriotism, nationalism, or even Veterans day itself. Have students make an interactive book about a national symbol or holiday using Bookemon, reviewed here and share it with "little buddies" in a lower grade class.

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History of Memorial Day - History Channel

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6 to 12
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Use this quick resource for a lesson, or even an organizing activity at the beginning or end of a class, related to Memorial Day or in recognition of veterans. There ...more
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Use this quick resource for a lesson, or even an organizing activity at the beginning or end of a class, related to Memorial Day or in recognition of veterans. There are several video clips, links to further information, and other resources. There is advertising, both at the beginning of the video clips, and in the margins.

tag(s): battles (16), holidays (148), memorial day (13), veterans (19)

In the Classroom

Use one of the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector to deliver a quick lesson on the history of Memorial Day. There are also links to good content on military history, military leaders, and the various physical memorial sites that honor US military veterans.
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Dogs Serving Veterans - New York Times

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3 to 12
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This site offers a great starting point for class discussions of Veterans Day. It is an eight slide show about service dogs and how they are helping veterans who have ...more
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This site offers a great starting point for class discussions of Veterans Day. It is an eight slide show about service dogs and how they are helping veterans who have been disabled and as a way to dealing with stress. Each slide focuses on a veteran and his/her service dog and how the dog has enriched their daily life.

tag(s): disabilities (20), memorial day (13), veterans (19)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you study Veterans Day, the effects of war, or people with disabilities. Ask students to discuss a time when they have seen service animals and how they have been used to help someone. Discuss the information on the site and locate the countries where the veterans served on a map to help students understand what it means to go to war. Ask students to choose one slide and write a story based on what they see in the image. If your school is looking for a schoolwide service project, consider raising funds for service dogs.
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Science and Technology in World War II - National World War II Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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This interactive online exhibit investigates the role of science and technology in World War II, including everything from meteorology and materials to mathematical applications. Learn...more
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This interactive online exhibit investigates the role of science and technology in World War II, including everything from meteorology and materials to mathematical applications. Learn how radar, optics, nutrition, communications, and more affected the course of the war. Of course, the science of the atom bomb is featured, as well. Enter the "darkroom" to view artifacts and explanations. Click "Activities" to try a quiz, see the top ten technology achievements of the war, and send a coded message. All the activities within this site feature authentic sound effects, visuals, and newsreel-style video backgrounds. Learn about the importance of the moon in fighting the war, ask an expert a la 1940's radio, and more. Two introductory essays lend a very serious background to the topic and provide a scholarly context for the site. Lesson plans draw specific connections between science and history.

tag(s): atomic bomb (12), inventors and inventions (103), optics (13), photography (155), veterans (19), world war 2 (145)

In the Classroom

Help students see real world applications of science and the relationship of science to history by exploring this site. Assign student groups to investigate one aspect of science/technology and its impact on the war's outcome. Some portions of the site include text explanations, so be sure to partner ESL/ELL students or weak readers with someone who can help. Have students create multimedia presentations using a tool such as ThingLink, reviewed here, or GlogsterEDU, reviewed here, and underscoring the role of that technology. Connect this study to more current technologies and their role in the military or national security. Challenge students to decide: Does science drive history or does the military drive science? Even science teachers can take a moment on D-Day or Veterans Day to highlight the role of science in changing the course of history.
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Veterans' Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
K to 1
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Veteran's Day on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using...more
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Veteran's Day on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using Veteran's Day vocabulary words. There are printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): veterans (19), vocabulary (321)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here. Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you don't have the time to complete online books, have students share the definitions using a class wiki. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles!

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Veterans History Project - Library of Congress

Grades
9 to 12
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The Veterans History Project is both a valuable historical resource and a terrific jumping off point for a serious student or group project. The Veterans History Project uses volunteer...more
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The Veterans History Project is both a valuable historical resource and a terrific jumping off point for a serious student or group project. The Veterans History Project uses volunteer contributors to gather remembrances from war veterans and civilians who worked in support industries. The Project includes audio interviews, interview transcripts, letters, and other primary documents related to US wars beginning with World War I up through the present conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Use the site to search for and access already preserved accounts, or to design a student project to gather new accounts (note however that volunteers are limited to students in 10th grade or older).

To fully experience this site, you need Adobe Acrobat and Real Player. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): afghanistan (7), iraq (32), korea (16), resources (111), veterans (19), vietnam (36), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (145)

In the Classroom

Primary documents are a vital link between the students of today and the experiences of real people from the past. Students can access these interviews and accounts through searching by time period (WWI through the present), branch of service, gender, or POW status. As your class studies a particular conflict, assign students different accounts to research and then have them "portray" that person in a panel discussion about the war. Compare the experiences of persons filling similar roles across conflicts. Examine gender differences or the differences between those serving in the Navy and the Army. For a powerful long-term project, download the site's "field kit" and consider gathering new accounts for the project in your community.
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Echoes of War: Stories from the Big Red One - Ball State University

Grades
8 to 12
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"The War," the PBS series by Ken Burns on World War II, has provided teachers with a fabulous new resource for teaching this time period. This site focuses on ...more
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"The War," the PBS series by Ken Burns on World War II, has provided teachers with a fabulous new resource for teaching this time period. This site focuses on one component--the 1st Infantry Division, or "The Big Red One,"-- and its role during that war. The site includes close-ups of artifacts, interviews with soldiers, a Flash-enabled video gallery featuring historical footage, and a great Q & A style quiz on tactics and weapons.

tag(s): veterans (19), world war 2 (145)

In the Classroom

This site will be useful on a number of "fronts." Provide a link to this site for students who are doing research on World War II. Use the documentary footage to introduce a lesson or to provide visual impact. Use the highlighted artifacts (projected on a screen or whiteboard) to give a cultural or anthropological slant to a discussion of the war. The soldiers' stories might provide inspiration for students to interview local veterans (perhaps from WWII, but more likely from Vietnam or more recent Middle East conflicts), or could prepare a class for a guest speaker.
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Experiencing War - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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No, it's not blood and gore up close, but rather a collection of audio reminiscences from American veterans about their experiences in wartime. Created by the Library of Congress as...more
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No, it's not blood and gore up close, but rather a collection of audio reminiscences from American veterans about their experiences in wartime. Created by the Library of Congress as part of their American Folklife series, these stories are surprisingly personal and therefore all the more powerful. A faster connection improves performance.

tag(s): korea (16), memorial day (13), veterans (19), world war 2 (145)

In the Classroom

Use the audio interviews over the interactive whiteboard to show students what the war was like from the perspective of people on the ground, and the difference between the first hand account and the textbook. This is a great way to not only teach the content, but display for students the difference between a primary and secondary source. To further argue a point, use a Venn diagram on the interactive whiteboard to graphically display the differences. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).
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Remembrance

Grades
9 to 12
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This "labor of love" site offers a collection of essays and other writing by Vietnam veterans. The essays describe dozens of events, people, campaigns, and other aspects of the Vietnam...more
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This "labor of love" site offers a collection of essays and other writing by Vietnam veterans. The essays describe dozens of events, people, campaigns, and other aspects of the Vietnam conflict.

tag(s): veterans (19), vietnam (36)

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Oral Histories of World War II

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a collection of oral histories from people involved in the war. Most of the material has been transcribed, but there are a few bits that can be heard ...more
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This is a collection of oral histories from people involved in the war. Most of the material has been transcribed, but there are a few bits that can be heard as RealAudio clips. Many of the segments could use some additional context, but they effectively capture the scope and intensity of the experience.

tag(s): primary sources (83), veterans (19), world war 2 (145)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of WWI. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to have students hear some of the interviews from veterans of the Great War. Play the interviews following a lecture, and have students write down their responses at the end. This will insure students are listening and provide direction for a classroom discussion afterward.

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National World War II Museum - National World War II Museum: Learn

Grades
5 to 12
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Visit the New Orleans-based museum all about World War II via the web site and its various interactive components. While some areas (videoconferences) are fee-based, and some feature...more
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Visit the New Orleans-based museum all about World War II via the web site and its various interactive components. While some areas (videoconferences) are fee-based, and some feature information about visiting the actual museum, there is a rich collection of information and multimedia experiences to make world war II history meaningful. Find lesson plans at the left under "Teachers." Click WWII History button at the right to find many pages of information and a timeline. Don't miss many choices under Student Projects. The See and Hear menu (up top) offers more interactive options, such as a newly re-launched Science and Technology of World War II interactive with additional lesson plans included.

tag(s): d day (9), veterans (19), world war 2 (145)

In the Classroom

This site could be the focal point for an extensive unit on World War II, with different student groups investigating aspects of the war. Or feature this site during a single lesson on D-Day. Ask students to decide which technology depicted in the science and technology interactive was the most important factor in the outcome of the war. Share videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard, or assign students to create their own online posters about different facets of World War II using GlogsterEDU reviewed here.
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