1.2 Commemorative acts around the globe
Provided by UNC Libraries / Documenting the American South.
This lesson was developed using the Commemorative Landscapes collection. In this lesson, students will research and identify different commemorative acts across the globe. Students will share and discuss their findings, in order to examine commemorative acts among different people groups across the world.
- demonstrate an understanding of the meaning of commemoration.
- research and identify how communities remember important people and events.
- describe and discuss how communities commemorate important people and events.
- explain the various ways communities remember important people and events.
- illustrate the role of commemoration in our social lives.
This lesson might best be taught in coordination with the school media specialist. They can show you how to teach with databases.
Two 45-minute classes
- Computer lab or individual student computers
- Computer with internet connected to a multimedia projector
- Access to a search engine, such as Google
- Access to onlinenewspapers.com
- Access to the Commemorative Landscapes collection
- Explain to students that they are going to look at how different groups of people remember people and events that are special to them.
- Begin by explaining the purposes of research and outline strategies for beginning research:
- Brainstorm keywords
- Find background information
- Narrow topic
- Explain that sometimes a Google search is a good place to start when learning about a subject. Google the word “commemoration” and highlight the various results. Model through thinking aloud how to discern whether a source is useful or irrelevant. List five to six relevant sources on the board, ideally representing different commemorative practices across the globe.
- Explain to the class that each group is going to do some extra research using another database, such as onlinenewspapers.com, or books related to one of the results in the class’s google search. As a group, they will become experts on the specific act of commemoration and teach others in the class about it.
- Before students begin their research on their topic, ask students to think about the kinds of questions that they will need to answer to be expert teachers on the topic. Write the students’ questions on the board and ask them to reference them during their reading.
- Assign groups to a particular act of commemoration (e.g., building a monument, marking a holiday, commissioning a work of art). Encourage students to use an online dictionary to define words or their search engine to answer questions that they have while reading.
- After students learn about their group’s commemorative act, create a classroom jigsaw where group members are able to teach their classmates about their act of commemoration.
- After the jigsaw activity, ask the class these questions:
- What do all of these acts of commemoration have in common?
- How are these acts similar to the ways that we remember important events and people individually and as families?
- How are these acts different from the ways that we remember important events and people individually and as families?
- Why is it important that groups of people commemorate?
- As a class, discuss these questions and draw some conclusions.
- Highlight that one way communities commemorate important people and events is through the building of monuments. Explain that North Carolina communities have commemorated important people and events in a variety of ways. One way that North Carolina communities commemorate historical people and events is through the erections of monuments and markers.
- Introduce students to the Commemorative Landscapes collection, and allow students to see the variety of monuments that they can learn about.
Have students work in groups to research a monument in the Commemorative Landscapes collection.