Hall of Fame

Social Studies, Language Arts, and Art Activity

Students create a Hall of Fame of the West.

BACKGROUND

You may want to share this information about halls of fame with students:

WHAT YOU NEED

WHAT TO DO

  1. Tell students that they are going to create a Hall of Fame of the West to honor men and women of both the past and the present who came from that part of the country and whose accomplishments are deserving of recognition. Explain that inductees to their Hall of Fame can be in various fields: explorers, government officials, military men and women, astronauts, thinkers, artists, scientists, inventors, writers, painters, musicians, and so forth.

  2. Encourage a general discussion about halls of fame and why they exist. Discuss the process by which someone enters a hall of fame. For example in professional baseball, the player must be retired before he is eligible for nomination. His eligibility lasts a few years, during which time selected people vote on the nominations. If a candidate receives enough votes, a plaque with his image and information about him is installed in the museum.

  3. Have students, working in teams of four or five, establish criteria for their Hall of Fame of the West. To stimulate discussion, suggest that they frame questions such as the following that can be asked about each candidate:

    Students can then use the questions to compose a Nomination Form, to be completed by each student who nominates a candidate to the Hall of Fame. There should be space on the form for biographical information.

  4. Regroup students to form Nomination "panels." You may want to suggest a minimum and/or maximum number of nominations for each panel, for example no more than one per panel member.

  5. Help students to establish voting procedures. For example, can nominees be chosen by a simple majority of votes? Should the vote be by paper ballot or by show of hands?

  6. Have individual students complete a Nomination Form for each candidate. Circulate the forms so that everyone has a chance to read all of them before the election.

  7. For each candidate chosen for induction, have individual students create a poster collage of his or her life. Other students can be responsible for writing a brief biography and description of the honoree's accomplishments.

  8. Display the finished work in museum fashion.

TEACHING OPTIONS

Without being arbitrary about numbers, guide students to include women as well as men and to go beyond pop culture figures for their nominees. Also, encourage students to make their nominations inclusive of native and ethnic peoples.

For added atmosphere, invite student artists to add posters of western scenes. Writers can add informational posters of background information about the West. Good organizers can arrange the displays to represent particular themes, states, or in chronological order.

Arrange tours of the Hall of Fame of the West by other classes. Have students act as guides. Conclude each tour with a live or recorded concert of tunes from western states.


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