This comprehensive unit about memorials can be used to develop your students' understanding and appreciation for significant national days such as Remembrance Day, Memorial Day and ANZAC Day. Students also develop a connection with and recognise the importance of remembering and acknowledging their history. The unit concludes with students creating a memorial for something/someone they believe worthy of this recognition.
This unit about memorials includes:
1. A study of the book Memorial by Gary Crew and illustrated by Shaun Tan. A copy of the book Memorial is needed to make full use of this unit. Your school or local library may have a copy. At time of writing, hard copies are available through Amazon and Booktopia. Digitial copies are available through Amazon. This text is a wonderful story of Old Pa and Son. It explores Grandpa’s memories of their local war memorials, a Moreton Bay fig and a statue of the unknown soldier, and considers whether living or non-living memorials are of greater value. Students will listen to, explore and reflect on the meaning of this story and each illustration as they develop an appreciation for memorials. Optional, printable worksheets are included.
2. Students explore the use and purpose of war memorials and other memorials.
3. Students are given tasks to:
a. research school and local memorials
b. create a memorial for someone/something that is of significance to them
This editable PowerPoint contains teacher notes and ‘Hints’ on slides to help scaffold students’ learning. The visual hints could be deleted if the teacher thinks students engage deeply in the text without the assistance of these. When I taught this unit to a Gifted and Talented class, I did not use visual hints and they were able to take notes without the printable worksheets. I would recommend the visual hints and printable worksheets be used for mainstream or learning support classes.
My students and I loved working through this unit over three weeks as we researched and visited memorials located at our school and in our local community. Students developed connections with their history and have an understanding of features (names of buildings, plaques, trees, statues) which they had not previously recognised. Students then created a memorial about someone or something that they considered important in their own lives. Some children created memorials about grandparents, which became cherished family items. Others created tributes to famous scientists and adventurers.