TOPEKA EDUCATOR’S YEAR OF RESEARCH PUBLISHED ON AWARD WINNING WEBSITE FOR TEACHERS
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Seaman Middle School teacher Mr. Kyle Johnson spent the last year researching the life of Technician Fifth Class Clinton W. Butefish as part of the Understanding Sacrifice program. On Veteran’s Day, Johnson’s eulogy for Technician Fifth Class Clinton W. Butefish and lesson plan, titled USO Camp Shows Inc., will be published on ABMCeducation.org. The 2016 Understanding Sacrifice program is a partnership between National History Day®, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. The year-long professional development program is centered around Fallen Heroes of World War II who are buried or memorialized at an ABMC cemetery in Southern Europe or North Africa. In July 2016, Johnson joined 17 other extraordinary educators as they traveled through southern Europe, walking in the footsteps of history. Using their research, teachers created lesson plans, Fallen Hero profiles, and eulogies now published on the award-winning ABMCeducation.org.
Designed to reinvigorate the study of World War II in American classrooms, the lesson plans are multi-disciplinary. 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. Johnson’s lesson plan is based upon a year of research using primary and secondary sources. Johnson said, “I teach an elective drama class where drama students engage in a unit on historical reenactment with a focus on historical research skills. It is my hope that this lesson can be used in drama or social studies classes to learn about the role of entertainers in World War II.” Accompanying the lesson plan is a Fallen Hero profile for Technician Fifth Class Clinton W. Butefish. “Clinton W. Butefish served with honor. He gave his life fighting to protect his fellow soldiers even after the vehicle he was manning had been disabled. His valor serves as an example for us all,” said Johnson. He hopes students will walk away with a vivid understanding of the high cost paid by all Americans during this war.
“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 southern 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 ABMCeducation.org.”
Each lesson plan is based on solid scholarship, integrated with Common Core Standards, and makes use of interpretive materials provided by ABMC. They are accompanied by research about fallen heroes of World War II who are honored at ABMC cemeteries in southern Europe and northern 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 nhd.org.
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 http://rrchnm.org.
About Kansas History Day:
Kansas History Day is a non-profit education organization in Topeka, KS. KHD offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle- and high-school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. These research-based projects are entered into contests at the district and state levels, where the top student projects have the opportunity to advance to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. KHD also seeks to improve the quality of history education by providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for educators. KHD become a non-profit education organization in 2008.