Grade Level

High School Lesson

Document Type

Lesson Plans


Medal of Honor--Study and teaching; United States--History--1933-1945--Study and teaching;


Learning Objectives

  • Understand the criteria for receiving a Medal of Honor
  • Make connections between geography and chronology to grasp the evolution of World War II by organizing individual battles into the context of military campaigns and theaters of war
  • Understand how an individual act of valor fits into the broader historical context of a war and how learning about veterans’ personal war experiences gives insight into military strategy and campaigns

Lesson Overview

  • Students use the stories of Medal of Honor recipients to outline the battles and chronologies of World War II’s major military campaigns. Working individually or in groups, they research the acts of valor that led to the awarding of the Medal and place these stories into the broader context of the war. The class will determine how best to organize this information to understand how World War II unfolded in different theaters of warfare.


Department of History


This lesson plan was developed for the Veterans Legacy Program, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Veterans Legacy Program offers educators an integrated new suite of lesson plans designed to teach students about the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans, and to take advantage of our national cemeteries as historic places for teaching and learning — both in the classroom and on-site. The educational resources of the Veterans Legacy Program draw on rich stories from national cemeteries to offer teachers a variety of hands-on activities directly connected to national curriculum standards.

Original Date




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