Lesson Plan: Selective Service

Selective Service

Selective Service Director Don Benton discusses the mission of the Selective Service.

Description

The Selective Service is an independent agency of the U.S. Government that maintains information on young men who may be called to serve in the military if necessary. In this lesson, students will examine the role of this agency, how it functions and the potential for women to be included in it.

Procedures

  • Step 1:

    Students can use the following handout to take notes as they view the collection of video clips.

    Handout: Selected Service (Google Doc)

    As a class, view the video clip below to provide background information on the Selective Service. Use the questions that follow to guide class discussion.

    Video Clip 1: Selective Service (1:25)

    Selective Service Director Don Benton discusses the mission of the Selective Service.

    1. What is the Selective Service?

    2. According to Don Benton, why does the country need the Selective Service?

    3. Explain the mission of the service.
  • Step 2:

    Have students view the videos below individually, as a whole class or as a jigsaw activity. Use the questions below to engage in class discussion or have students present their information to the class if this is completed as a jigsaw activity.

    Video Clip 2: Selective Service: Conscription (1:02)

    Selective Service Director Don Benton explains the process of implementing a draft should it become necessary.

    1. Who decides to implement a draft?

    2. Explain the process of enforcing a draft.
  • Video Clip 3: Registering with the Selective Service (3:03)

    Don Benton discusses the law that requires young men to register with the Selective Service.

    1. Explain the law that requires men to register with the Selective Service.

    2. What penalties are imposed on people who do not register?

    3. Explain the relationship between the Selective Service and a conscientious objector.
  • Video Clip 4: Women and the Selective Service (1:29)

    Don Benton discusses the issue of requiring women to register with the Selective Service.

    1. Describe the issue regarding women registering with the Selective Service.
  • Video Clip 5: Selective Service: Deferment (2:25)

    Don Benton discusses deferment during a conscription.

    1. Describe the process of conscription and deferment as Don Benton discusses.
  • Step 3:

    As an exit slip, ask students to respond to the following questions:

    • Should the U.S. maintain the Selective Service System? Explain your reasoning.

    • Should women be required to register with the Selective Service? Justify your response.

    • What changes to the system would you suggest?

Additional Resources

  • Lesson Plan: The Selective Service Act and History of Military Conscription in the US

    The Selective Service Act enacted on May 18, 1917 after America had declared war on Germany and entered into World War I, gave the federal government the power to increase the size of the national army through the compulsory enlistment of men aged 21-30. The law was amended in August 1918 to expand the age range to include all men aged 18 - 45. In this lesson students will look at military drafts used throughout US history, and the evolution of the Selective Service Act from World War I through the end of the Vietnam War.

  • On This Day: Selective Service Act

    On May 18, 1917 President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Selective Service Act, authorizing the federal government to raise a national army for the American entry into World War I through the mandatory military service conscription for all males between the ages of 21 to 30.

Vocabulary

  • Compliance
  • Conscientious Objector
  • Conscription

Topics

Bureaucracy & Regulation

Grades

Middle SchoolHigh SchoolUniversity