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Designing a Monument Like Those of Pharaoh Ramses

Lesson Plan

Lesson Duration:  Two class periods

Curriculum Focus:  Visual Arts

Grade Level: 6-8

Student Objectives

Consider the purpose and meaning of monuments

Design a monument

Materials

Discovery School video on unitedstreaming: Great Egyptians: Ramses the Great Search for this video by using the video title (or a portion of it) as the keyword. Selected clips that support this lesson plan:

Sethi and Ramses Build Great Temples as Propaganda

A Stele Suggests Ramses Was the Pharaoh of Exodus

Building Tombs for Ramses' Family Requires a Village of Workers

Photographs of Ramses the Great’s building projects—either on the video or from other sources

Reference materials about the other American monuments listed in this lesson plan (see Procedures)

Drawing and/or  modeling materials

Procedures

1.

Give students a chance to examine pictures of the colossal statues that Ramses II erected of himself at Abu Simbel. (Note that some have been moved to make way for waters from the Aswan Dam.) Explain that in this project, students will have a chance to reflect on how we honor people with monuments. They will then apply some of their insights as they plan a commemorative monument.

2.

Next, introduce the issue of memorializing and aggrandizing oneself and others. (You might begin by examining the two words memorializing and aggrandizing, leading students to understand that the latter has negative connotations.)

3.

Explain that we don’t really know how Egyptians of the second millennium B.C. reacted to Ramses’ self-images. We do know, however, that in our times, monuments do provoke controversy. Ask students to research various reactions to the following monuments—during their planning, right after they were unveiled, and today:

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