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Introducing the Medal of Honor

Suggested Grade Level

Suggested Values

Suggested Subject Matter

Third - Sixth Grade Patriotism, Citizenship, Commitment, Courage, Integrity, Sacrifice

45 minutes

Students will:

  • Use background knowledge to create a classroom graphic organizer (KWL Chart)
  • Collaborate and communicate their prior knowledge to help organize their thoughts about the Medal of Honor

Materials Needed:

Introductory Activity:
Create a KWL chart (the letter K stands for “what you know”; the letter W stands for “what you want to know”; the letter L stands for “what you learned”) on classroom flip chart paper. Have students use their own notebook paper to create the same chart.

Ask the students what they already know about the Medal of Honor and what they want to know. Have students fill in the first two sections of the chart, leaving the last section to fill in at the end of the lesson. Encourage them to write down anything they think they know about the Medal, even if they are not sure it is correct. They will find out more about the Medal of Honor during the lesson, and they can see if their ideas are correct.

Small Group Activity:
Have students form groups of two to three and discuss the “K” section of the chart and the “W” section of the chart. They will communicate their prior knowledge and as a team collaborate on one answer to add to the “K” and “W” sections of the classroom KWL chart. A scribe from each team will write the team’s answers on post- it notes and add them to the classroom KWL chart.

Whole Group Activity:
Watch the video “Medal of Honor: In Their Own Words.”

Small Group Activity:
After viewing the video, have students review the “K” and “W” sections of their charts and discuss with their small groups.

Concluding Activity:
Come back to the chart that is displayed in the classroom and lead a discussion about what facts students knew at the beginning of class and which of their “want to know” questions were answered by the video.

Identify any questions students posed which were not answered and provide answers or look for answers together.

Have students complete the last section of the chart by answering the question, “What did you learn?” Their answers can either be a short sentence or a one-page essay, depending on the time available.

Encourage students to continue to let you know what else they want to learn about the Medal of Honor. Answer questions or research the answers as a class.


Participation, individual KWL charts