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Designing a Monument Like Those of Pharaoh Ramses

Lesson Plan2

Mount Rushmore

The Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

The field of chairs for the Oklahoma City bombing victims

A local or regional monument


Encourage students to uncover and discuss the form that controversies about any of these monuments have taken.


Next, challenge students to become designers themselves. Give them the option of designing a monument to themselves or to an important person, dead or alive. Here are some questions to stimulate their thinking, but encourage students to raise other issues as well:

What do you want viewers to think about or feel when they see the monument?

Should the monument be realistic (such as the Lincoln Memorial) or abstract (such as the Washington Monument)?

Should the monument be positioned indoors or outdoors?

Out of what material(s) should the monument be made?

How big or small should the monument be?

Should the monument consist of one structure (or piece) or several structures (or pieces)?

Should the monument encourage viewers to touch it or walk through it, or should the monument be roped off or made unreachable in some other way?

What, if anything, should a plaque on or near the monument say?


Ask students, working alone or in small groups, to apply their answers to the preceding questions by sketching the monument on paper, drawing it on a computer, or using clay or other media to create a three-dimensional model of a monument in honor of themselves or someone else.


Encourage students to write the copy for a plaque that will appear on or near the monument. Alternately, students may want to prepare a flyer or brochure that visitors to the monument can take home with them.


Assuming that students select important people (as opposed to themselves) to memorialize, set up one or more forums for students to share their products with other classes or community groups.

Discussion Questions

Published by Discovery Education. © 2005. All rights reserved.

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