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Singapore American School Educator Contributes to WW2 Teaching Resource

leave a comment » features lesson plans that personalize US involvement and sacrifice in World War II

SINGAPORE /PRNewswire/ — National History Day (NHD), the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media are launching a new, free digital resource for teachers on Veterans’ Day: This website includes 21 lesson plans created by US teachers who took the trip of a lifetime this summer to discover the stories of World War II fallen heroes buried and memorialized overseas as part of the Understanding Sacrifice education program.

Matthew Elms, a social studies teacher at Singapore American School, created a lesson plan for social studies and English classrooms after doing extensive research on the Akimoto brothers who fought alongside one another in World War II. Understanding Sacrifice took Elms to Europe to follow in the footsteps of U.S. Army Pfc. John Akimoto and U.S. Army Pvt. Victor Akimoto from Los Angeles, California. A Japanese-American Family’s Experience During WWII incorporates role-playing and graphic organizers for students to gain a deeper understanding of issues that Japanese-Americans faced during the war. Through a single family’s account of the war, students gain an understanding of what it meant to be a Japanese-American during World War II and the impact the war had on families. Elms’ lesson plan is hosted on along with those of the 17 other teachers who participated in Understanding Sacrifice. Elms took the project a step further and penned a young adult non-fiction book that details the full story of the Akimoto brothers titled When the Akimotos Went to War: An untold story of family, patriotism and sacrifice during World War II.

To see Elms’ profile of the Akimoto brothers, visit:

Teachers selected local US service members who lost their lives in northern Europe. Through months of intense study and in-depth research, the teachers uncovered the stories of their fallen heroes while developing a broader understanding of the campaigns and battles in which they fought. The group then traveled through northern Europe, from the United Kingdom to France to the Netherlands and Belgium, to visit overseas cemeteries of US troops and to walk the battlegrounds where they gave their lives.

“National History Day is always looking for new and engaging ways to demonstrate the power of history,” said NHD Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “This partnership with the American Battle Monuments Commission and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University allowed us to take 18 extraordinary teachers to battlefields and memorials of northern Europe. Their experience can now aid teachers around the world through 21 engaging lesson plans about a variety of topics.”

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

The following teachers created lesson plans to invigorate the teaching of World War II in US classrooms:

  • Alan Birkemeier – Central Middle School in Columbus, IN
  • Joseph Boyle – Morrison R. Waite High School in Toledo, OH
  • Maile Chow – Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu, HI
  • Donald DavisGeorge Washington High School in Chicago, IL
  • Matthew Elms – Singapore American School in Singapore
  • Brendan Gallagher – Carroll County Career & Technology Center in Westminster, MD
  • Gayla Hammer – Lander Middle School in Lander, WY
  • Julie Heintz – Mississippi School for Math and Science in Columbus, MS
  • Melanie Hunt – Morristown East High School in Morristown, TN
  • Amanda KordeliskiIrving Middle School in Norman, OK
  • Katherine LorioWestfield High School in Chantilly, VA
  • Christina O’Connor – Hingham High School in Hingham, MA
  • Cherie RedelingsFrancis Parker School in San Diego, CA
  • Patrick Slowey – Steamboat Springs High School in Steamboat Springs, CO
  • Erica SwensonBruce M. Whittier Middle School in Poland, ME
  • Brian Weaver – Central Bucks High School – West in Doylestown, PA
  • Kamilah Williams – Suitland High School in Forestville, MD
  • Pren WoodsAlston Middle School in Summerville, SC

About Singapore American School

Singapore American School (SAS) is an independent, non-profit, coeducational, college preparatory day school offering an American curriculum with an international perspective for students in preschool through grade 12. SAS has the largest Advanced Placement program outside of the United States, is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in the U.S., and offers the American High School Diploma at the senior level. Established in 1956, the school primarily serves the American and international expatriate communities of Singapore.

For more information, please visit or contact the SAS communications office or +65-6360-6031.

Media Contact:

Vanessa Spier (
Strategic Director of Communications
Singapore American School
40 Woodlands Street 41 Singapore 738547

Source: Singapore American School

Written by asiafreshnews

November 12, 2015 at 10:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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