Discuss the importance of monuments around the world, and assess students' familiarity with American monuments, such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial, or the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Students might use the Internet to learn more information about the purposes served by our nation's monuments and memorials.
A discussion of U.S. monuments might lead to a discussion about monuments from other cultures, such as the Egyptian pyramids, or to the recent destruction of ancient Buddhist statues by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
After the students have done some research about existing memorials and discussed the purposes served by those monuments, it is time to introduce a special project -- creating designs and/or models of monuments related to the September 11 attacks. The activity gives students an opportunity to do something constructive with their feelings about these events. Students design memorials and compose oral presentations in which they present their designs, and the ideas that led to the designs, to the class.
Use a rubric or criteria lists designed by the class to evaluate students' designs or models (to include evaluations of creativity and critical-thinking skills) and oral presentations (to include evaluations of presentation content and delivery).
Kathie Marshall, Mulholland Middle School, Van Nuys, California
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