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Monday Morning Ready05.09.2018
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The Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol includes two statues from each of the 50 states, depicting notable people in the states’ histories. Most of the collection, displayed in National Statuary Hall and throughout the Capitol, depict white men. Now, for the first time, a state-commissioned statue representing a black American will join their ranks.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

Why do you think the U.S. Capitol has statues depicting notable people from each state?

Grade 5-6

Why do you think most of the statues in the U.S. Capitol depict white men? Do you think more of those statues should be replaced? Why or why not?

Grade 7-8

Mary McLeod Bethune accomplished many things during her lifetime. Which accomplishment do you think makes her most worthy of having her likeness displayed in the National Statuary Hall? Why?

Grade 9-10

Why do you think other black leaders criticized Mary McLeod Bethune for her focus on vocational education rather than higher education? Who do you think was right? Why?

LESSON PLAN
Design a Statue

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, identify the two historical figures that represent your state in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Encourage students to identify reasons why these two people would be honored with a statue. Discuss the significance of their statues being featured in the U.S. Capitol.
  2. Have students identify other famous or historical people from your state. If you wish, invite them conduct research to add more names to the list.
  3. Instruct students to pick one person from the list who deserves to be included in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Give students time to conduct research to learn more about this person's life and accomplishments.
  4. Provide art supplies. Instruct students to draw a picture and/or design a statue depicting the person they chose. Challenge them to write a list of reasons explaining why they think this person should represent their state in the U.S. Capitol.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their pictures/models and lists of reasons with the class. After all students have presented, create a ballot that includes all nominees. Don't forget to include the two people currently depicted in the Collection! Instruct students to vote for the two people they think best represent their state. Tally the ballots and discuss the results.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
As a class, brainstorm a list of famous or historical people from your state. Then divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to pick one person they think most deserves to be included in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Give groups time to draw a picture of their statue and compile a list of reasons supporting their nominee.
Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to brainstorm a list of famous or historical people from your state. Then have them pick one person from the list who they think most deserves to be depicted in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Give groups time to conduct research and create a list of the person's accomplishments. Then have them draw a picture and/or design a statue depicting their nominee.
Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct partners to brainstorm a list of famous or historical people from your state. Have them pick one person from the list who they think most deserves to be depicted in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Give partners time to conduct research. Instruct them to compile a detailed list of the person's accomplishments. Then have them examine the statues featured on the National Statuary Hall Collection site. Encourage partners to draw a picture and/or design a statue of their nominee that is distinguished enough to be included in a U.S. Capitol collection.
Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct partners to brainstorm ideas. Then have them pick one famous or historical person from you state that they think most deserves to be depicted in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Give pairs time to conduct research. Instruct them to compile a detailed list of the person's accomplishments and then draw a picture and/or design a statue of their nominee. Invite pairs to present their nominees and hold the class vote. Examine the results. Did the class vote to replace either or both of their current state statues? Encourage students to use facts to explain the results.
VISUAL RESOURCES: NATIONAL WAR MEMORIALS: HIGHLIGHTS COLLECTION
SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
Before Memorial Day, Brush Up on Your Flowers
As Memorial Day approaches, read this story from the National Museum of American History to learn three ways floral symbolism and military history are connected.

Memorials: Art for Remembering
This Art to Zoo lesson plan from the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access explores the ways that people have been honored with memorials. Students create their own memorial after examining examples in their own community and around the world.

Remember Me Fondly
In this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, elementary students compare the ways in which American and Mexican cultures express ideas of remembrance and honor ancestors.

United We Stand
This online exhibit from the National Museum of American History explores a World War II campaign by the nation’s magazines to promote national unity, rally support for the war and celebrate Independence Day. The site includes activities in which high school students can analyze authentic magazine covers from July 1942 and view a timeline and brief video news clips that explain the importance of the home front during World War II.

West Point in the Making of America
This National Museum of American History online exhibit features four interactive activities about the graduates of West Point. Visitors will learn more about the roles the U.S. Army played in the development of the U.S. and the world in times of peace and war.

Make Your Own Quilt Square
Quilts do more than just keep us warm. They preserve history by telling stories about the people who made them. In this hands-on activity from the National Museum of American History, students will make a quilt square in honor of a person who is important to them.

The Lincoln Memorial
Watch this Smithsonian Channel video to learn why, in a city filled with monuments, this one really stands out.
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