Lynne O'Hara, Central Bucks High School-West
Nathan A. Huegen, The National World War II Museum
This panel discussion will be presented by five Normandy Teacher Scholars from the Albert H. Small “Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom” Student and Teacher Institute which is organized through the National History Day program. The teacher scholars will provide a broad overview of their experiences in working with the Institute from the in-depth research with the National Archives to the five-day excursion into the Normandy countryside and historic D-Day sites. The program is unique because it offers the opportunity for students and teachers to learn collaboratively. In this model, teachers and students learn together. They read, discuss, and research. Teachers can provide structure and guidance to allow student research to expand beyond what students realize is possible.
The focus of the discussion will be on how to apply and replicate the mission of the Institute on a smaller scale within classroom settings across the nation. Particular attention will be made to reproducing the “Fallen Soldier” research component, whereby participants selected a soldier from the D-Day invasion and developed a website in honor of his or her sacrifice during the invasion. This can take a variety of forms, from individual or group research to classroom simulations, to archival document collections, to living history of veterans from the World War II and Korean War era. These applications can range from a one or two day lesson plan to a unit-long or year-long project for the classroom or extracurricular setting. The teacher scholars will expand on how fellow educators can assist students to develop and hone their historical research skills while telling the stories of America’s World War II veterans. The teacher scholars will also incorporate how educators can develop lasting, working relationships with historical societies and military installations locally and nation-wide.
Paper or presentation titles
1. Overview of the Normandy Institute – Dr. Ann Claunch, Curriculum Director, National History Day
Ann will explain the origins of the Albert Small Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Student and Teacher Institute. She will explain the vision of Mr. Small, and the development of the program over the past two years.
2. Application in a classroom setting – Fallen Soldiers – Kevin Wagner
Kevin will discuss the Fallen Soldier component.
3. Application in a classroom setting – Veterans Interviews – Lynne O’Hara
Lynne will discuss the piloting of a Veterans Interview project. Collaborating across two high schools, she has worked with a colleague to develop a program in which students in small groups meet with and interview veterans from World War II and the Korean War. This program has been developed in partnership with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 175 and the Army Heritage Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The talk will focus on the lessons of developing a program like this as well as importance that community partnerships can play in this process.
4. Tapping into Resources (Interviews, AHEC, WWII Museum, etc.) –Nathan and/or Jeff
5. Research Process Tips – Michael Kern or Nathan Heugen
Q&A / Discussion on Application Possibilities in Attendees Classrooms.