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Overcoming Obstacles

Suggested Level

Suggested Applications

Middle and High School History, Language Arts, Vietnam War

Students will:
• Demonstrate their knowledge of events that occurred during the 1960s, specifically through
  a soldier’s life during the Vietnam War.
• Make personal connections to the recipient.

Medal of Honor Focus: Clarence Sasser, Private First Class, U.S. Army, Headquarters Co.
   3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division / Vietnam War

Introductory Activity:
Teacher will write the following on the board: “Describe a time in your life when you overcame a difficult
circumstance and how you did so.” Students will write five to seven lines to answer the question. Students
will share their response with a partner and then discuss their responses as a class.

Whole Group Activity:
The teacher will give students the "Double Entry Journal template." The template has pre-selected quotations
from Clarence Sasser about his experience. The teacher will ask students to write down their connections and
wonderings about Clarence Sasser’s vignette.

Small Group/Individual Activity:
At the conclusion of the vignette, the teacher will pair students to share their double entry journal responses and
lead a discussion about what stands out for them about Clarence Sasser’s story and how he overcame this difficult time.

Concluding Activity:
Students will complete a 3-2-1 reflection, describing three things that stood out, two questions they have, and one
connection or application they made to own their life.

Student discussion, double entry journal, reflection

Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty. NY: Artisan, 2006.

Extended activity:
Students will view items in a box with artifacts from the 1960s and make inferences on their purpose and use.
Discussion on how the Vietnam War differed from other wars.

Quote: "The most important possession you have is your name - never dishonor it." - David H. McNerney, Army-Vietnam War

Download the lesson to see a Double Entry Journal Template and Sample Worksheet/3-2-1.

In Their Own Words - Clarence Sasser