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Teacher Feature

Teacher Feature

Highly Honored

Overview

Students will learn about the Medal of Honor, the highest award for individuals serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, and the coins created to commemorate it.

Activity

As a class, read the August Coin of the Month to learn about the Medal of Honor, featured on the 2011 Medal of Honor commemorative gold coin.

Discuss the specifics of receiving the Medal of Honor with the students:

  • The highest award for valor
  • Presented to an individual serving in the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Given to one who has the “courage to do the right thing and to think of others before oneself.”
  • Presented to a person who “distinguishes him or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty.”

Have the students define the terms “valor,” “gallantry,” and “intrepidity.”  As a class, discuss the definitions and the importance of these words in connection with this award.

The figure on the reverse of the coin is Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and war.  Have the students research to find out more about her, and the qualities she represents.  As a class, discuss the connection between the qualities Minerva represents and the qualities the Medal of Honor commemorative coin represents.

Ask the students to think of others as they go through their day.  Challenge the students to have the courage to do the right thing and to think of others before themselves and share those selfless experiences with the class.

Make a Connection

Minerva is also featured on the obverse of the 1915 Panama-Pacific octagonal 50-dollar coin. Visit the June 2007 Coin of the Month to learn more.


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