Hall of Fame
Social Studies, Language Arts, and Art Activity
Students create a Hall of Fame of the West.
You may want to share this information about halls of fame with students:
- A Hall of Fame was founded at New York University in 1900 to honor outstanding
The Baseball Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown, New York, where legend has it
- The National Women's Hall of Fame was established in 1969 in Seneca Falls, New
York, where the first Women's Rights Convention was held in 1848.
- There is a College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana.
- There are other halls of fame, including one for rock and roll music.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Reference materials about the West and people of the West, including various
- Nomination Form (to be created by students)
- Art materials
WHAT TO DO
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Did he affect other people's lives in a positive way?
- Is she a role model?
- Did his accomplishments change events?
- Did what she accomplished surpass what others did?
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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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
- 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.
- Display the finished work in museum fashion.
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
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