WASHINGTON, D.C.—In honor of Veteran’s Day, 18 new World War II lesson plans are being released on the award-winning, This free resource for teachers was produced out of a partnership between National History Day®, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Designed to reinvigorate the study of World War II in American classrooms, the site features lesson plans on a variety of subjects from art to science and everything in between. The new lesson plans were created by 18 extraordinary teachers who participated in the 2016 Understanding Sacrifice program.

Each teacher chose one local American service member who made the ultimate sacrifice and is buried or memorialized at an ABMC cemetery in Southern Europe or North Africa. Teachers spent a year uncovering the life story of their fallen hero. Concurrently, teachers developed in-depth lesson plans utilizing their research that focused on one element of World War II. Because immersive experiences create richer teaching materials, the group then journeyed to southern Europe to walk in the footsteps of history to see first-hand the places that influenced the outcome of the war.

Using this experience, the teachers designed lesson plans specific to their teaching discipline. These lesson plans are a free resource designed to help American students better understand the sacrifices that soldiers made during World War II. Designed for middle and high school classrooms, the lesson plans are multi-disciplinary and can be applied in history, art, math, science and English classrooms. Using primary and secondary sources, videos, and hands-on activities, students are transported from the modern-day home front to the war front of the past. From determining supply priorities for the troops to role-playing the challenges faced by a paratrooper to gaining an understanding of the roles of women and minorities, students will walk away with a vivid understanding of vast scope of World War II history and the men and women who risked everything.

“This partnership with the American Battle Monuments Commission and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has allowed us to take 18 extraordinary teachers to battlefields and memorials of northern Europe,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Their unique experiences can now help teachers around the world bring history to life with the materials added to”

These are the educators who have materials being published on on November 11, 2016.

Each lesson plan is based on solid scholarship, integrated with Common Core Standards, and makes use of interpretive materials provided by the ABMC. They are accompanied by research and eulogies about fallen heroes of World War II who are honored at ABMC cemeteries in southern Europe and north Africa.

About National History Day®:
National History Day® is a non-profit education organization based out of College Park, MD. Established in 1973, National History Day® seeks to promote the learning and teaching of history through a variety of curricular and extra-curricular programs that engage over half a million secondary students around the world each year. More information is at

About ABMC:
Established by Congress in 1923, the American Battle Monuments Commission commemorates the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces. ABMC administers 25 overseas military cemeteries, and 27 memorials, monuments, and markers.

About VA National Cemetery Administration:
Established in 1974, VA’s National Cemetery Administration (NCA) operates 134 national cemeteries and 33 soldiers’ lots and monuments sites. More than 4.3 million Americans, including Veterans of every U.S. war and conflict, are buried in VA’s national cemeteries. For Veterans not buried in a VA national cemetery, VA provides headstones, markers, or medallions for placement in private cemeteries around the world.

About the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media:
The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University uses digital media and computer technology to democratize history— incorporating multiple voices, reaching diverse audiences, and encouraging popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. For more information, visit

Lynne O'Hara
Director of Programs
Phone: 484-919-2595
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