Historical Significance Guided Question Form
LE Monuments and Memorials
Primary Source Evidence Report
Monuments and Memorials
Students will select a person, persons, or event from the Pre-war to Civil War era that had a significant impact on African American and United States history. They will design a monument or a memorial and create a proposal for it.
African Americans in the Civil War Era
United States History to 1865
Jeff Girvan (Prince William County Schools)
Task Overview: Students will select a person, persons, or event from the Pre-war to Civil War era that had a significant impact on African American and United States history. The project will involve the following:
- Identifying and defending who or what they intend to memorialize and the significance of this to future generations
- Designing the monument or memorial (model or drawing)
- Drafting arguments for funding the proposed memorial, using primary sources and conveying the historical significance
- Preparing a speech to their classmates who will determine if they think this proposal could possibly be funded.
USII.1 The student will demonstrate skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision making, and responsible citizenship by
a) analyzing and interpreting artifacts and primary and secondary sources to understand events in United States history
c) interpreting charts, graphs, and pictures to determine characteristics of people, places, or events in United States history
d) using evidence to draw conclusions and make generalizations
e) comparing and contrasting historical, cultural, and political perspectives in United States history
f) determining relationships with multiple causes or effects in United States history;
g) explaining connections across time and place;
h) using a decision-making model to identify the costs and benefits of a specific choice made;
i) identifying the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and the ethical use of material or intellectual property
j) investigating and researching to develop products orally and in writing
USI.8 The student will apply social science skills to understand westward expansion and reform in America from 1801 to 1861 by
e) explaining the main ideas of the abolitionist and women’s suffrage movements
USI.9 The student will apply social science skills to understand the causes, major events, and effects of the Civil War by
a) describing the cultural, economic, and constitutional issues that divided the nation
b) explaining how the issues of states’ rights and slavery increased sectional tensions
d) describing the roles of Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Frederick Douglass in events leading to and during the war
e) describing critical developments in the war, including the location of major battles
f) describing the effects of war from the perspectives of Union and Confederate soldiers (including African American soldiers), women, and enslaved African Americans.
Unpacked Standards: Complete the K.U.D. Chart
Students will apply their knowledge and understanding of certain aspects of the Reform, Expansion, and Civil War period through the perspective of African American history
Students will understand what makes a person or event significant in history and why multiple perspectives of people and events need to be remembered and taught
This project offers students the opportunity to apply almost every skill in the course.
Teachers will have a discussion focusing on how the past is remembered and taught. As a whole class discussion or in smaller groups provide an example of a monument or memorial and ask students who or what is this memorial or monument representing (an example would be the African American Civil War Monument)? What story is it trying to convey? Why is it important that we as a nation remember this? Ask students if they think monuments or memorials are meant to provide insight into the past or is their other motivations behind them.
After this discussion, explain to the class that they are going to be creating a project that focuses on African American history in the pre-war through Civil War era. Their selected topic should be something that has been studied in class; however, if they can provide a good argument as to why someone else or some other event should be included, they may do that. The attached Monuments & Memorial Packet (A Fitting Memorial Planning document, Primary Source Evidence Report, and the Historical Significance Guided Questions Form) will explain in more detail the tasks the students must complete and includes a rubric to self-assess.
The focus should be on a significant person, group, or event as the student will have to defend their choice and explain the significance. Students need to understand that monuments and memorials have a purpose not just for the present but for the future as well. The inscription, design, location, and message are all important to ensure future generations will understand the significance of the selected topic.
Students will work not only to create an idea but to critically think about this as a real proposal they will give to a governing body that may or may not fund or allow the monument or memorial to be constructed. Students will need to consider the historical significance of location and research possible costs for their project. It will require them to focus on the story they want to tell and how the location, design, and inscription will do this.
Students will share their proposals with their classmates, making a speech that addresses not only the historical significance but also the potential for funding their project.
You need to think about how the past is remembered and taught. Your teacher will provide an example of a monument or memorial and ask you who or what is this memorial or monument representing? What story is it trying to convey? Why is it important that we as a nation remember this? Ask students if they think monuments or memorials are meant to provide insight into the past or is their other motivations behind them.
After this discussion your teacher will provide the Monuments & Memorials Packet (A Fitting Memorial Planning document, Primary Source Evidence Report, and the Historical Significance Guided Questions Form) that provides details to the tasks you will need to complete for this project. The focus of the project is African American history in the pre-war through Civil War era. You should select a topic that has been studied in class; however if you are excited to do your research and project on a person, group, or event not studied in the course you may prepare an argument to persuade your teacher to allow it.
The focus should be on a significant person, group, or event as you will have to defend your choice and explain the significance. You need to understand that monuments and memorials have a purpose and the inscription, design, location, and message are all important to ensure future generations will understand the significance of your selected topic.
You will also need critically think about this as an actual proposal that you may present to a governing body. You will need to consider the historical significance of location and research possible costs for the creation of the memorial or monument. You must focus on the story you want to tell and how the location, design, and inscription will do this.
Write a proposal and a speech for your monument that focuses on the role of African Americans in the Civil War era. Consider your audience: the Federal, state, or local government where the proposed monument will be located.
- Complete the Historical Significance Guided Question Form.
- Select two historical sources to use as evidence that provide perspective and context, using the Primary Source Evidence Report for each primary source used. (Student must explain why the sources were selected, why they are reliable pieces of evidence, and what historical perspective is supported by the source.)
- Create a sketch design of your monument.
- Write an inscription for your monument.
- Consider potential funding resources and estimate how much the proposed monument will cost.
- Prepare a speech introducing your proposed monument to your classmates to determine whether funding sources for the proposal should be pursued.
By the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Collaborative, 2021