Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

World War One Dog Hero
Diane Nelson
US History
Time Frame:
One 45 minute class period
World War I

Grade Levels:
1, 2, 3, k

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  • Whole Group Instruction - Teacher will show students the National WWI Museum and Memorial PowerPoint, Animals of the Great War.  Have students “think-pair-share” for one minute, with a neighbor, to brainstorm why animals were important in wartime. 
  • Whole Group Instruction - Teacher will read, Why Did Sergeant Stubby Go to War? to the class using the document camera.  If time allows, show the movie trailer, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero.
  • Whole Group Instruction - Teacher shows the class primary sources - photographs of Stubby and Robert Conroy.  Discuss Stubby’s war vest and the medals of honor.  Point out the Purple Heart medal on Stubby’s vest.  Show primary source photograph of Purple Heart and discuss its meaning.
  • Whole Group Instruction - Explain each library center activity to students before breaking off into small groups. Students can move from center to center, choosing any activity they prefer.  Each center activity takes about ten minutes to complete.
  • Small Group Center - Make a brown paper bag Stubby puppet.
  • Small Group Center - Make a Stubby mask.
  • Small Group Center - Write a letter to Stubby using Fun Fact sheet
  • Small Group Center - Make an Origami Stubby
  • Small Group Center - Stubby coloring sheets/color a military medal
  • Small Group Center - Make a military medal of honor
  • Small Group Center - Quiet reading center - wartime animal books
  • Small Group Center - color a WWI map of Europe
  • Small Group Center - Think Like a Historian - analyze primary source photographs of wartime animals using small magnifying glasses
  • Listen to the Sergeant Stubby song and other World War I music, (e.g., Over There), during the library center time.

  • Second grade students will learn about the many important roles that animals played during wartime.
  • Second grade students will learn about Stubby, the war hero dog.

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:

I-SAIL Standards (Illinois Standards Aligned Instruction for Libraries)



  • Identify literary elements such as character and setting.


  • Ask how and why questions when presented with information.


  • Read or listen to nonfiction (biography, information books, poetry)


Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts



  • With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.


  • Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.


  • Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:


  • Book - Werling, C. (2018). Why Did Sergeant Stubby Go to War? Lowell Milken Center.
  • Book - Hoena, B. (2015). Stubby the Dog Soldier: World War I Hero. North Mankato, MN:

Picture Window Books.

  • Book - Bausum, A. (2014). Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog.

                               Washington DC: National Geographic.

  • Website - Fun Academy Motion Pictures (Ed.). (2018, April). Stubby: An American Hero.

                   Retrieved July 13, 2018, from http://www.stubbymovie.com/#history

  • Book - Klimo, K. (2015). Dog Diaries: Vol. 7. Stubby. New York, NY: Random House Children's


  • PowerPoint - Huneycutt, C. (n.d.). Animals of the Great War. Kansas City, KS: The National    

                   World War I Museum and Memorial.

·         Song - Callinan, T. (2018). Sergeant Stubby Song [CD]. https://sergeantstubbysalutes.org/ear-    
·         Movie Trailer - Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero [Video file]. (2018). Retrieved from  
·         Map - History Gal. (n.d.). World War I Map Activity (1914 and 1918 Europe Maps). Retrieved July 
                19, 2018, from Teachers Pay Teachers website:    

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
·         Harris & Ewig. (1921, May 13). Miss Louise Johnson & Stubby in animal parade [Photograph]. 
     Retrieved from http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2016886019/ 
·         National Museum of American History. (n.d.). Stubby [Photograph]. Retrieved from 
http://amhistory.si.edu/militaryhistory/collection/object.asp?ID=15&ImageID=613&printable=0&b     ack=0 
·         Edward C. Morse's Purple Heart [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://amhistory.si.edu/ 
·         Golden, K. (2011, May 23). Stubby: Dog, Hoya mascot, and war hero. Retrieved July 18, 2018,    
           from http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2011/05/stubby-dog-hoya-mascot-and-war-hero.html 

Technology Required:

Materials Needed:

  • Book - Why Did Sergeant Stubby Go to War?
  • Document camera
  • Smartboard
  • Speakers
  • Primary and secondary sources (see below)
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Copies of activities (see below)
  • Felt, ribbons, decorative items like stars and buttons
  • Laminated photos of wartime animals
  • Lined paper for letter writing
  • Pencils
  • Post-It notes
  • String
  • Variety of wartime animal books for primary grades
  • Brown paper lunch bags

Full description of activity or assignment.
  • Whole Group Instruction - teacher led
  • Think Pair Share - small student groups
  • Centers - small student groups

-       Paper Bag Stubby Puppet

-       Stubby Mask

-       Write a letter to Stubby using Fun Fact sheet

-       Origami Stubby

-       Stubby coloring sheets/color a military medal

-       Make a military medal craftivity

-       Quiet reading center - wartime animal books

-       Enrichment - color a WWI map of Europe

-       Think Like a Historian - analyzing photographs of wartime animals

Materials for this lesson

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:

I used a formative assessment.


  • Pre-assessment - ask students to write down three different types of animals or pets that were helpful during wartime.  Give students a pencil and Post-It note.  Students who need assistance writing can work with a neighbor.  Differentiate as needed.
  • Post-assessment - have students draw a picture of an animal or pet that were helpful during wartime and write two sentences about it.  For students who need help writing, they can draw a picture and have a student scribe for them, or just draw a picture.  Differentiate as needed.

 Materials for this lesson