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Make Your Senses Work

Suggested Level

Suggested Applications

Middle and High School Social Studies, Language Arts

One Class Session

Students will:

  • define and state examples of imagery
  • make connections to the Recipient’s actions
  • appreciate the extent of sacrifice involved in patriotism

Medal of Honor Focus: Leo Thorsness, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam War

Introductory Activity:
Students will respond to the following prompt: “Using your five senses, describe a football game.” Any school- sponsored activity can replace the football game. Students will share their answers with a partner.

Whole Group Activity:
The teacher will then ask a few students to share their responses with the whole class.

The teacher will define “imagery” and guide the students to connect imagery to the previous activity.

Small Group/Individual Activity:
While viewing the video about Leo Thorsness, students will complete the graphic organizer on the worksheet.

Whole Group Activity:
The teacher will check for understanding with a discussion of the graphic organizer.

Concluding Activity:
The teacher will lead a discussion about the five senses and Leo Thorsness’ story. The students will write responses to the following tasks:

  1. Define imagery.
  2. Identify one thing that stood out about the sensory images of war.
  3. In light of Thorsness’ vivid descriptions of war, how do you think he would explain patriotism?

Responses, graphic organizer, and discussion

Leo Thorsness Living History video, worksheet

Extended Activity:
Students will respond to the following prompt: After viewing the video, identify a characteristic of citizenship that Leo Thorsness demonstrated. Use two examples from the video to support your answer.

Living History Video

Additional Resources