Veterans Legacy Program | Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

Veterans Legacy Program


Developed in conjunction with the National Cemetery Administration’s Veterans Legacy Program, these lesson plans are a part of the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s Teaching Literacy through History resources. 



  • Grades 7-12
  • Aligns with Common Core State Standards
Apple on a stack of books in front of a chalkboard

These lessons were developed to enable students to understand, summarize, and evaluate original documents of historical significance and to recognize how those documents reflect the diverse experiences of Veterans and Service Members in America’s Armed Forces who gave their full measure to the United States during and after various conflicts. Many of these individuals are honorably laid to rest in National Cemeteries. Students will learn and practice the skills to analyze, assess, and develop knowledgeable and well-reasoned points of view on visual and textual source materials.

Lesson Plans

World War II Portraits of Service: Why I Served

These five lessons explore how Americans who served in segregated and specialized units during WWII described their enlistment

  • Grades 7-12

Their Full Measure

These six lessons focus on the common threads that connected Service Members and Veterans across American history.

  • Grades 7-12

America’s Unseen Soldiers

These five lessons focus on soldiers from groups whose service has been largely “unseen” or underrecognized throughout US history: African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, Latinas and Latinos, and women.

  • Grades 7-12

The Soldier’s Experience: Letters from Four American Wars

These four lessons cover four distinct themes in soldiers’ letters across time: Draft/Enlistment, the War, the Home Front, and Returning Home.

  • Grades 7-12

Lives and Legacies of US Veterans and Service Members

Professional Development

A mix of online and in-person PD sessions exploring American Veterans' and Service Members' lives on and off the battlefield.

Lesson Plans

These units focus on the service and sacrifice of military personnel help students learn and practice the skills to analyze visual and textual source materials.

Online Exhibition

This online exhibition introduces viewers to nineteen men and women who served during six conflicts in American history.