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Exploring American Veterans

Veterans Day and Memorial Day are excellent times to introduce your students to the important role that the military has played in our country's past and the freedoms that they will continue to protect in the future.  Use the resources listed below to bring each of these special days into your classroom.

Lesson Plans:  These step-by-step instructions will bring American coins and medals into your everyday classroom curriculum.

    WWII Silver Dollar Obverse
  • Veterans and POWs:  In this lesson plan for grades 6–8, students will use online resources (including the United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change Web site) to investigate the role veterans and POWs played in our nation's history.  This activity is related directly to the US POW commemorative coin.
  • Serving Our Nation:  In this jigsaw activity for grades 3–5 or 6–8, students will read about and research the lives of specific war veterans to compare their common characteristics and differences.

Teacher Features:  Try these classroom activities to spark your students' interest in these holidays.

  • Valuable Veterans:  Women have been involved in every military conflict in our nation's history.  In this activity, students will commemorate one female veteran by researching her story and designing a monument in her honor.
  • Time To Honor:  In honor of the Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar, students will read and learn about the accomplishments of John Paul Jones and the Continental Marines.  Students will understand the importance of famous quotes and mottos.

For more ways to commemorate Veterans Day and Memorial Day in your classroom, visit:

The Library of Congress:  The Veterans History Project, organized by the Library of Congress, provides the opportunity for Americans of all ages to conduct and record interviews with war veterans who have served our nation.  This is not only an opportunity for students to connect with American history, but it is also an important way to help preserve our nation's records.

The Department of Veterans Affairs:  This Federal organization has developed extensive classroom resources to help honor the sacrifices and patriotism of those who have served in the U.S. military.