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world war 1 memorial
Photo by Gotta Be Worth It

May 15, 2023 2023-05-15

Digital Learning • Learning Support

War, Remembrance, and Commemoration Through History

Throughout recorded history, monuments, both grand and simple, help remember sacrifices made by humans in time of conflict and war. By studying these various commemorations, students can learn about the societies that built them and compare social values and responses to conflict.

The War Memorial HQ website gives students the opportunity not only to examine the “faces” of memorial and commemorative sites but also to critically examine these primary sources. Asking who built a memorial and when it was built and where it was placed prompts discussions of the meaning and purpose of these commemorations and how they relate to the event or person being commemorated.

Observing how visitors interact with the commemorative site also illustrates the emotional response the site elicits and its effectiveness. Iconography and symbolism at the site are more subtle aspects of the imagery and memory being created. Thus, studying the design, art, architecture and geography of memorials, in addition to the history, incorporates a variety of disciplines and critical thinking skills. Memorial sites continue to develop and are subject to change over time in any society. Historical memories are subject to reevaluation, and the geographic locations of the sites also undergo change and development with the society around it.

The Teaching With Memorials webpage includes worksheet/assignment examples that can be used with the memorials on the site, along with other activities. It also includes a personal cemetery research assignment.

Cultural Awareness Social Studies

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