Serving Our Nation
Main Subject Area: Social Studies
Additional Subjects: Language Arts
Duration of Lesson: 90 minutes
Additional Subject Area Standard(s):
The United States Mint Web site (www.usmint.gov)
Appropriate websites for researching coin histories or biographical information about military veterans
Copies of a group chart (columns should be where students write their information, the rows should be as follows: name of the war, name of the coin/medal selected, name of the veteran(s)commemorated, the branch of the military in which that individual(s) served, and the event or behavior that made that individual memorable)
Poster board (1 sheet per group)
Coins Used in Lesson:
Grade Level(s): 3-5 6-8
2. Ask the students why they believe that these coins/medals were created? Who were they meant to honor? Answers should relate to the idea that these coins/medals were created to honor people who served in the military.
3. As a class, discuss and define the word veteran. Ask students to explain why the United States Mint would decide to produce such coins, rather than ones honoring a different segment of the population?
4. Split the students into five groups representing different wars that the United States participated in.
5. As a member of the group, each student will use either the United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change™ Web site or another source to find a coin or medal that was created to honor the service of someone (or several people) who participated in that war.
6. Independently, the students will research why that coin was created. Who did it honor? They will also need to research some biographical information about the person/people that this mint product honors. Students will need to determine what in which branch of the military that individual served, and what event or behavior made them particularly memorable.
7. After completing this independent research, one student representing each of the five groups will assemble into a new group.
8. In these new groups, the students will create a chart listing the name of the war, the name of the coin/medal selected, the name of the veteran commemorated, the branch of the military in which that individual served, and the event or behavior that made that individual memorable.
9. In these groups, discuss what are some common characteristics of military veterans that transcend the particular war in which they fought.
10. Instruct each of these groups to develop a poster based on their discussion. This poster should describe what it means to be a military veteran and should include illustrations as well as written words.
11. A representative from each group should present the poster to the class and explain why the images and words were selected.
12. Create a bulletin board entitled “Those Who Served to Keep Us Free” and post each group’s poster.
Assessment / Evaluation:
Differentiated Learning Options: