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EDUCATION with Student News

Learning Activity: Women in Combat

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(CNN Student News) -- Students will learn about the different branches of the U.S. military and the history and roles of American women in combat.


Group students and send each group on an online scavenger hunt to learn about the different branches of the U.S. military and the history and roles of American women in combat. Instruct students to locate information on the following related topics:

  • the roles of women in the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War,
  • the Women's Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 and other key legislation related to women serving in the armed forces, such as admitting women to military service academies (1976), allowing them to fly in combat missions (1991), and permitting women to serve on combat ships (1993), and
  • military jobs that are currently closed to women.
  • After groups share their findings with the class, pose the following questions for class discussion:

  • Should women be allowed to serve in combat? State your rationale.
  • Should all military jobs be open to women? Explain.
  • Should American women between the ages of 18 and 25 be required to register with the Selective Service, as men are required to do? Why or why not?
  • Correlated Standards

    Social Studies

    Standard II. Time, Continuity and Change: Students will learn about the ways human beings view themselves in and over time.

    Standard V. Individuals, Groups and Institutions: Students will explore how institutions (e.g. schools, churches, families, government agencies) are formed, what controls and influences them, how they control and influence individuals and culture and how institutions can be maintained or changed.

    Standard VIII. Science, Technology and Society: Students will examine the relationships among science, technology and society.

    Standard X. Civic Ideals and Practices: Students will examine the ideals, principles and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic.

    The Curriculum Standards for Social Studies ( link) are published by the National Council for Social Studies ( link).


    Iraq, women, combat, war, Selective Service, jobs



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