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Nathaniel LaPrade

November 21, 2023

Shortest Marine on Record Says His Height is His ‘Greatest Strength’

Ask students: What motivated Nathaniel LaPrade to join the Marine Corps despite being the "short kid"?


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Nathaniel LaPrade applied for the Marine Corps as soon as he was eligible in high school. “I saw a Marine recruiter came to our school and it was almost like an instinct, like I had to have that. It was discipline, it was order,” he said.

For a transcript, click here.

News wrap alternative: Check out recent segments from the NewsHour, and choose the story you’re most interested in watching. You can make a Google doc copy of discussion questions that work for any of the stories here.

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Warm Up Questions

  • Who is Nathaniel LaPrade?
  • Where did Nathaniel LaPrade complete his Marine Corps Recruit Training?
  • How does Nathaniel LaPrade plan to contribute to the Marine Corps in the long term?
  • Why does Nathaniel LaPrade aspire to become a logistics specialist?
  • What challenges did Nathaniel LaPrade face during Marine Corps boot camp?

Focus Questions

What motivated Nathaniel LaPrade to join the Marine Corps despite being the "short kid"?

Media literacy: Find an example of someone in history overcoming a barrier in history.

Alternative: See, Think, Wonder: What did you notice? What did the story make you think? What story would you want to find out more about? Where would you go to learn more?

For More

What students can do: Discuss — in what ways does LaPrade's story highlight the importance of mentorship and guidance in challenging situations?

Check out this Student Reporting Labs video on a program that helps student's overcome barriers:

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Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

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PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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