Students consider the role Idahoans have played and continue to play in the US military. After watching video interviews with WWII veterans, students will express their appreciation to local veterans or active military.
This lesson is part of Great States: Idaho | Unit 10: Famous People of Idaho which reflects the rich and diverse history of the state. This culminating unit will enable students to understand how all people, including notable figures, are influenced by the environment in which they live and work.
Boise District 413.42: Describe the involvement of Idaho’s veterans in international conflicts.
- Blackboard or white board
- Video: WWII Prairie Memories | On the Beaches and in the Air
- A smart board, projector, or other type of screen to show videos to class
- Notebooks or loose-leaf paper
- Class set of American Conflict handout (optional)
- Ask students to think about the people that serve in our military and fight in wars. Explain that the branches of the military are the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Point out that Idaho is home to one military base: the Mountain Home Air Force Base, 50 miles southeast of Boise. See if they know any veterans (people who have served in the military) or anyone currently serving.
- Indicate that Idahoans have fought in every US war since achieving statehood in 1890. If you choose, distribute or project the American Conflicts handout so students can see a list of conflicts in which Idahoan soldiers have been involved.
- Explain that in some eras, all men of good health within a certain age range could be drafted to serve in the military. Today, the US military is an all-volunteer force. Idaho is one of the top nine US states in terms of the percentage of young people who choose to serve in the military.
- Ask students to think about why young Idahoans may choose to join the military (examples: adventure, job training, patriotism etc.). Make a list on the board. Then, ask what sacrifices members of the military might be expected to make (examples: life and health put at risk, separation from family). List responses on the board.
- Tell students that they will be watching video interviews of veterans from World War II, a war for which there was a draft but also widespread volunteer enlistment. As they watch, they should jot down any insight they get into why people served and what sacrifices they made.
Play the video WWII Prairie Memories | On the Beaches and in the Air [8:20].
- After watching the video, ask students to share any additional information they learned about the attraction and sacrifice of military service.
- To conclude the lesson, have students write letters of appreciation to veterans or current military in your community.