TeachersFirst's Veterans Day Resources

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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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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 (10), 1940s (10), hitler (9), images (216), veterans (18), world war 2 (136)

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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Pearl Harbor Raid - US Navy

Grades
8 to 12
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This informative site includes a plethora of photographs and a detailed account of the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The direct links have comprehensive information...more
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This informative site includes a plethora of photographs and a detailed account of the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The direct links have comprehensive information and pictures of the raid and the devastating results. There is a section dedicated to remembering this defining moment in our history.

tag(s): pearl harbor (9), veterans (18), world war 2 (136)

In the Classroom

Visit this website and share the images of the Pearl Harbor attack on your classroom whiteboard. Keep the memory of this "Day of Infamy" alive, as we approach its 70th anniversary in 2011. Discuss how the tragic "surprise" helped shape our national defense policies and that even now, Pearl Harbor remains the subject of a regular flow of documentaries, dramatic productions, books, and articles. Help students see the connections in history by reflecting on the image of the well-known, torn American flag, poster with the quote from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: "... we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain ..." Engage students in a critical thinking activity to compare and contrast those two famous battles. They can use the Venn Diagram online tool reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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

Grades
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 (28), civil rights (92), cross cultural understanding (88), ecology (130), racism (15), veterans (18), vietnam (32)

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 (12), flag day (9), national anthem (3), veterans (18)

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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Go For Broke National Education Center - Go For Broke National Education Center

Grades
9 to 12
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With the number of World War II veterans dwindling each year, today's students may not have had the opportunity to speak directly to a World War II vet. This site ...more
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With the number of World War II veterans dwindling each year, today's students may not have had the opportunity to speak directly to a World War II vet. This site provides video oral histories from Japanese American World War II veterans. There are some short video clips available for any site visitor, but access to the majority of the archive requires registration. Consider registering under your email address; however, be aware that you must agree not to share your password to the site. The site requires RealPlayer to view the videos. The link to the "learning center" provides additional resources for teachers using the archive.

tag(s): japan (58), japanese (42), oral history (8), veterans (18), world war 2 (136)

In the Classroom

Sharing a video clip from a Japanese American World War II veteran would be useful in a discussion of the lives of Japanese Americans during the war. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. While many were sent to internment camps, others served honorably in the US military. Students who are doing research would also find these archives useful, provided they are able to register and gain access. If you can research and find your own World War II vet, consider connecting with them in person of via Skype reviewed here. Skype allows you to make FREE phone calls from computer to computer anywhere in the world. If you have students working on history day projects, this site can demonstrate the power of primary sources.

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History of Memorial Day - History Channel

Grades
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 (12), holidays (129), memorial day (6), veterans (18)

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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VA Kids, 6-12 - US Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Grades
6 to 12
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This site provides good information and resources about Veteran's Day for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. There is a section with interactives to help provide...more
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This site provides good information and resources about Veteran's Day for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. There is a section with interactives to help provide student interest; however, the games aren't related to Veteran's Day. There is an in-depth section about the Veterans Administration that explains the role of this department and many of the roles such as providing health care resources, research, and maintaining cemeteries. Especially helpful is the section entitled "About Veterans" - there is an excerpt from a 2003 speech about veterans, famous veterans page and student stories about veterans. Be sure to visit the link to the American Flag for resources on the history of the flag, displaying the flag and the origins of the playing of Taps.

tag(s): flag day (9), veterans (18)

In the Classroom

Read the student stories about veterans together as a class as a model for a class assignment for writing about Veterans Day. Create a link on your classroom computers for students to use when researching American symbols. Ask your students to visit the site and create a multimedia presentation from the information they learn there. Have students create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
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VA Kids - US Dept. of Veterans Affairs

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K to 5
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This site was published by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for elementary students to help them learn more about veterans and the flag. There is a section defining a ...more
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This site was published by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for elementary students to help them learn more about veterans and the flag. There is a section defining a veteran and prompting students to find out who they may know that may be a veteran. Another link is to games such as Make a Medal, Creative Coloring, and Patriotic Pairs. There is also a link that tells about the history of the American flag along with rules for proper display of a flag.

tag(s): flag day (9), veterans (18)

In the Classroom

Create a link to the sites for students to read the information and play the games during your Veterans Day or Flag Day unit. Introduce the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to your Veterans Day unit and to gauge your students' prior knowledge.
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Dogs Serving Veterans - New York Times

Grades
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 (14), veterans (18)

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 (11), inventors and inventions (96), optics (13), photography (134), veterans (18), world war 2 (136)

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 (18), vocabulary (306)

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

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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 (31), korea (16), resources (101), veterans (18), vietnam (32), world war 1 (38), world war 2 (136)

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 (18), world war 2 (136)

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

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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), veterans (18), world war 2 (136)

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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Vietnam - Stories Since the War - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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From the PBS Point of View series. A collection of short remembrances from Vietnam veterans on their personal experiences since the war. Navigation requires some patience. ...more
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From the PBS Point of View series. A collection of short remembrances from Vietnam veterans on their personal experiences since the war. Navigation requires some patience.

tag(s): veterans (18), vietnam (32)

In the Classroom

As a starter or introductory activity - select one of the shorter reflections hosted on the site and project it on to the board, with instructions for students to read the passage and reflect in a journal prompt. Allow students several minutes to respond, allowing them to share afterwards or simply relate the passage to what the class will be about. Starters like this are a great way to get students immediately focused as they enter the class, as well as preface the content to be studied later.

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Remembrance

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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 (18), vietnam (32)

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Oral Histories of World War II

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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 (73), veterans (18), world war 2 (136)

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 (6), veterans (18), world war 2 (136)

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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