From the 127th Annual Meeting column of the October 2012 issue of Perspectives on History

World War II at the New Orleans Meeting

AHA Staff, October 2012

Session 222. Sacrifice for Freedom: The Normandy Institute–Telling the Stories of America's D-Day Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines

Sunday, January 6, 2013: 8:30–10:30 a.m.

Sheraton New Orleans, Bayside Ballroom A

Sponsored by the AHA Teaching Division

Chair: Ann Claunch, National History Day

Panel: Kevin Wagner, Carlisle Area School District

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.

Also, the Local Arrangements Committee has organized two Tours of the National WWII Museum, Tour 10 on Saturday, January 5, 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and Tour 13 on Saturday, January 5, 1:00 p.m.– 5:00 p.m.