E-Company Marines Remembered Curriculum Module

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Grade Level: 9-12

Arizona State Standards Grades 9-12:

1AV-P3. Reflect on and articulate reasons for artistic decisions.

PO 1. State reasons for making artistic decisions

PO 2. Evaluate the success or areas for improvement seen in the artwork

PO 3. Justify the evaluation of the artwork

2AV-P1. Analyze and interpret how elements of time and place influence the visual characteristics, content, purpose and message of works of art

PO 1. Determine the factors responsible for influencing works of art

PO 2. Analyze the ways in which a work of art expresses a point of view of the time and place in which it was created

2AV-P2. Describe the function and meaning of specific art objects within varied cultures, times and places

PO 1. Research a specific art object for its function and meaning within the culture chosen

PO 2. Compare and contrast the function or meaning of similar art images/objects of various cultures and times

PO 3. Compare images used today, from various times and cultures, for purposes and meanings other than originally intended

Honors Level

2AV-D1. Analyze the origins of specific images in the visual arts and explain their importance and influence from: Arizona Department of Education Standards-Based Teaching and Learning


Discussion for starters:

  • Do a brief history lesson (or include this webpage in an extended section) on wars of the 20th Century. Focus on how the wars have affected all communities, especially minority groups in the US and civilian groups who were present and directly affected (e.g. the Vietnamese, Koreans, etc.). Integrate the webpage into a discussion on the reality and lives of US soldiers who went to war.
  • Do a detailed lesson on the Korean War, often called the Forgotten War. The Discovery Channel provides lesson plans related to the Korean War that will be helpful to teachers grades 9-12.
  • Allow students to share their own families' experiences with relatives going to war.
  • A topic for reflection or a journal entry: Why do some people leave their communities and families to risk their lives in war?
  • Ask the class what are some of the hardships that soldiers face in war? Make a list and discuss them in detail.

Oral Histories

  1. Each student in the class can pick an oral history from E-Company Marines Remembered and write an essay about it (or discuss it in class, for a shorter lesson)
    1. Summarize the life of the individual, focusing on how they ended up in Korea.
    2. How do you think the person decided what to include and what not to talk about? Were they conscious or unconscious decisions (or both)? Many of them left out the more traumatic details. Why do think that is?
    3. Reflect on how memories work. Why do some things get remembered, talked about, put on webpages, while other things (or people) don't? Explain why this individual's experiences deserve to be memorialized.
    4. What does the person carry with them today from Korea ? Do you sense pride, trauma, sadness, nostalgia, fond memories, or anything else?
  2. Have advanced/mature students write imaginary oral histories of someone who went to war in Korea in E-Company. The easiest way might be to imagine an alternate life for themselves (the first part would then be memoir), or they can invent a history entirely.
  3. Students who have had family members go to war can write biographies about them to share with the class. Powerful biographies can be done about those who were killed in action, if a student is willing to gather information from family members.

Los Chavalones of E- Company: Extraordinary Men in Extraordinary Events
by Carlos G. Velez-Ibanez

Have students read the address and discuss it (or write an essay/journal entry)

  1. Summarize the points the author makes.
  2. Discuss the statement:

    "I think, in fact, the Chavalones that left that day were already extraordinary because they came from ordinary homes that had fought in the extraordinary event of survival -- surviving revolutions in Mexico, ethnocentrism and discrimination in the United States, underemployment, poor education, and lack of opportunity."

What does the author mean? How do you reconcile their experiences in the US with their positions of risking their lives in Korea for the US ? Cahis statement?

Would the backgrounds of the soldiers normally be seen a "extraordinary?" How does the author play with the concepts or ordinary and extraordinary?

What do you think of the address? Write your opinion, including what you would add or remove.

Gene Suarez Historical Diary

Have students look through Gene Suarez's photos. Ideally, the teacher could present them as an overhead for the whole class at once. A lesson about the Korean War would be helpful.

Print out the pictures and put them on the walls. Students can pick one or more pictures and write an extended caption, short story, or poem about it. Adherence to the historical "reality" in the picture isn't necessary (they should focus on describing exactly what "actually" happened). Reading Carlos G. Velez-Ibanez's address may be helpful.

Other projects

Oral History Project

This website from the Discovery Channel might be helpful: http://school.discovery.com/lessonplans/programs/koreanwar/

  • Carry out oral histories with veterans in students' neighborhoods, such as Iraq War veterans. Another topic could be chosen as well. Start with family members of students and then move to neighbors or others from their communities.
  • Have students make a list of possibilities, then divide into groups of three, with each group choosing one (or more) individuals.
  • After training them in interview techniques, especially in video (if available), have them practice brief, but relevant, interviews with each other.
  • Students should come up with a list of interview questions, then carry out their interviews. If possible, have them transcribe the interviews and publish them (after editing). You may also provide the material to university history departments as resources.

This module was developed by Roberto de Roock, Summer 2006.