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The Washington Monument (District of Columbia) is one of the most recognizable structures in the United States. Its prominence comes because it commemorates George Washington, who remains one of this country's most admired leaders. The history of the monument reflects Washington's contributions to the development of the United States and shows how people have debated the best way to honor important citizens. The lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file for the Washington Monument, the visitor's guide to the monument, source material about George Washington, and the structure built to honor him. The lesson plan can be used in teaching units on the American Revolution, the early Federal period, or the formation of a national identity, a collective memory, and interpretations of the past. The lesson is divided into eight sections: (1) "About This Lesson"; (2) "Getting Started" (Photograph Analysis Worksheet); (3) "Locating the Site: Maps" (Portion of L'Enfant Plan for Washington); (4) "Determining the Facts: Readings and Documents" (George Washington and the Early Republic; Samuel Blodgett's Broadside; Construction of the Monument; Finishing the Monument); (5) "Visual Evidence: Images" (The Washington Monument; Robert Mills's Design for the Washington Monument; The Washington Monument during the Civil War; Alternative Designs for the Washington Monument); (6) "Setting the Stage"; (7) "Putting It All Together: Activities" (Qualities of a Leader; Designing a Memorial; Local Memorial Study); and (8) "Summary." (MR)

Descriptors: Built Environment, Heritage Education, Historic Sites, History Instruction, Middle Schools, Presidents of the United States, Primary Sources, Secondary Education, Social Studies, United States History

Teaching with Historic Places, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1849 C Street NW, Suite NC400, Washington, DC 20240. Tel: 202-208-6843. For full text:

Autor: Kopin, Stephanie A.


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