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Veterans and POWs

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Summary

Students will use online resources (including the U.S. Mint's 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 U.S. POW Commemorative Coin.

Coin Type(s)

  • None

Coin Program(s)

  • Commemoratives
  • Generic

Objectives

  • Students will investigate the role veterans and POWs played in our nation’s history.
  • Students will research ways veterans and POWs have contributed to our society.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts

Grades

  • Sixth grade
  • Seventh grade
  • Eighth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Two
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 46-90 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups

Terms and Concepts

  • POW
  • Veteran

Materials

Preparations

Bookmark relevant sites for student research.

  1. Discuss as a class and define the terms "veterans" and "POWs." Write the definitions on the board.
  2. Make a K-W-L chart on the board to record what the students know about veterans and POWs and what they want to learn about them. (It’s likely that most students don’t know there is a commemorative coin honoring U.S. POWs.)
  3. Show the students the Web site about the POW coin and have one of the students read the description of the coin to the class.
  4. The coin uses the symbols of an eagle and the National Prisoner of War Museum in Andersonville, Georgia. Discuss why these are fitting symbols for the coin.
  5. Have the students work in groups to visit the Web sites about the POW Museum, researching answers to these questions:
    •  How did Veterans and POWs contribute to our society?
    • What were conditions like for POWs?

  6. Have each student write an essay about how the contributions of POWs have impacted their lives.

There are no modification options for this lesson plan.

Use students' notes from the research and their essays about how the contributions of POWs have impacted their lives to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Knowledge to Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Culture and Cultural Diversity
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners to understand and apply the concept of culture as an integrated whole that governs the functions and interactions of language, literature, arts, traditions, beliefs, values, and behavior patterns
  • enable learners to analyze and explain how groups, societies, and cultures address human needs and concerns
  • guide learners as they predict how experiences may be interpreted by people from diverse cultural perspectives and frames of reference
  • encourage learners to compare and analyze societal patterns for transmitting and preserving culture while adapting to environmental and social change
  • enable learners to assess the importance of cultural unity and diversity within and across groups
  • have learners interpret patterns of behavior as reflecting values and attitudes which contribute to or pose obstacles to cross-cultural understanding
  • guide learners in constructing reasoned judgments about specific cultural responses to persistent human issues
  • have learners explain and apply ideas, theories, and modes of inquiry drawn from anthropology and sociology in the examination of persistent issues and social problems

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Time, Continuity, and Change
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners to understand that historical knowledge and the concept of time are socially influenced constructions that lead historians to be selective in the questions they seek to answer and the evidence they use
  • help learners apply key concepts such as time, chronology, causality, change, conflict, and complexity to explain, analyze, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity
  • enable learners to identify and describe significant historical periods and patterns of change within and across cultures, including but not limited to, the development of ancient cultures and civilizations, the emergence of religious belief systems, the rise of nation-states, and social, economic, and political revolutions
  • guide learners in using such processes of critical historical inquiry to reconstruct and interpret the past, such as using a variety of sources and checking their credibility, validating and weighing evidence for claims, searching for causality, and distinguishing between events and developments that are significant and those that are inconsequential
  • provide learners with opportunities to investigate, interpret, and analyze multiple historical and contemporary viewpoints within and across cultures related to important events, recurring dilemmas, and persistent issues, while employing empathy, skepticism, and critical judgment; and enable learners to apply ideas, theories, and modes of historical inquiry to analyze historical and contemporary developments, and to inform and evaluate actions concerning public policy issues.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Research
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • help learners understand the concepts of role, status, and social class and use them in describing the connections and interactions of individuals, groups, and institutions in society
  • help learners analyze groups and evaluate the influences of institutions, people, events, and cultures in both historical and contemporary settings
  • help learners to understand the various forms institutions take, their functions, their relationships to one another and how they develop and change over time
  • assist learners in identifying and analyzing examples of tensions between expressions of individuality and efforts of groups and institutions to promote social conformity
  • help learners to describe and examine belief systems basic to specific traditions and laws in contemporary and historical societies
  • challenge learners to evaluate the role of institutions in furthering both continuity and change
  • guide learner analysis of the extent to which groups and institutions meet individual needs and promote the common good in contemporary and historical settings
  • assist learners as they explain and apply ideas and modes of inquiry drawn from the behavioral sciences in the examination of persistent social issues and problems

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