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Walter Ehlers: Man of Courage, Sacrifice and Patriotism

Suggested Grade Level

Suggested Values

Suggested Subject Matter

3 Patriotism, Sacrifice, Courage English/Language Arts/Social Studies

Objectives
Students will:
• Understand the character values of patriotism (supporting freedom), sacrifice (giving up something) and
   courage (standing up to fear) and how these traits were exemplified by Walt Ehlers.
• Identify examples of patriotism, sacrifice and courage as described by Walt Ehlers in interviews and video clips.
• Develop a background and understanding of D-Day through videos, slideshows, and/or videos.


Category: Primary

Core Value Focus: Patriotism, Sacrifice, Courage

Recipient Focus: Walter Ehlers

Introductory Activity (includes introduction, individual, small group, whole group, and concluding activities:

Day One:
• Show the video of “Proud to Be An American” and have students watch quietly. After the video, have students
   generate ideas that were particularly touching or interesting on the worksheet. Discuss.
• Show a map of the United States, point out the locations in the song. Students can color the worksheet.
• Show a video, or slideshow, or D Day book. Discuss to give a background of what happened at Normandy.

“Proud to Be an American”
If tomorrow all the things were gone
I'd worked for all my life
And I had to start again
With just my children and my wife
I'd thank my lucky stars
To be livin' here today
Cause the flag still stands for freedom
And they can’t take that away
And I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up
Next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain't no doubt, I love this land
God bless the USA
From the lakes of Minnesota
To the hills of Tennessee
Across the plains of Texas
From sea to shining sea
From Detroit down to Houston
And New York to L.A.
Well, there's pride in every American heart
And it's time we stand and say
That I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up
Next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain't no doubt, I love this land
God bless the USA.
And I'm proud to be and American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up
Next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain't no doubt, I love this land
God bless the USA

Day Two
• Review the posters and information from the last lesson.
• Show a copy or pass out a copy of the vocabulary words.
• Discuss any vocabulary or imagery that comes to mind. Suggested vocabulary: luck, freedom, defend, and
   pride. Students could play “memory” with partners.
• Watch the vignette on Walt Ehlers. Stop as needed to discuss or explain words of situations that may be
   confusing. Students take notes on the graphic organizer.
• After the video, have a class discussion about the information presented. Students should zero in on common
   themes and general facts: Brothers often served together; some families lost more than one family member;
   Patriotism-men signed up to serve because they wanted to support our country; Sacrifice-service men sacrificed
   their lives protecting our country from attack because they believed in what they were doing; Courage - service
   men did everything they were asked and beyond, showing courage even though they were scared; training and
   leadership (amphibious landings, combat, weapons, office work, physical training, discipline).

Day Three
• Make a flag. Students can work individually or with partners. (See attachment) - Create a group flag that displays
   the images of patriotism, sacrifice, or courage.
• Students share out their newly designed flag. Display in the classroom.

Assessment:
Teachers monitor discussions and the work students do to fill out the graphic organizers. Teacher assesses
the final product of a flag for each group or classroom

Extended Activities:
• Play United States Bingo, where students identify the locations of different states.
• Students learn the song and perform (See attachment).

Resources:
Download lesson to view accompanying worksheets.