Language Arts and Art Activity
Students celebrate a historical or contemporary figure whom they admire.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Reference books on local history
- Art supplies
WHAT TO DO
- Give students several examples of local public (and private) places that are
named after a notable person and ask them to add other examples to the list.
These might include schools, libraries, streets, airports, and hospitals.
Explain that these places usually have a plaque or other marker that tells
about the person so honored. (If possible, visit a site that has a
commemorative plaque or other marker.)
- Explain that these places often receive their names in a dedication ceremony
that celebrates that person's life and achievements. Tell students that they
are going to nominate a local person they would like to see so honored. (Advise
them that this can include historical figures.)
- Have teams of students cooperate to gather information and draw up brief
written nominations that include a general statement of their nominees'
- Ask a spokesperson from each team to present the nomination to the class.
After a open discussion of the nominees, have the class vote to choose one
- Form a site-selection committee from representatives of each team. The
responsibility of this committee is to take a walking tour of the school and
select the best site for a marker. They should also make note of at least two
- Once they have approval from school authorities, have students plan the
dedication ceremony. Assign each team responsibility for a different aspect of
the ceremony, such as research, artwork, music, and writing. Include as many
students as possible in the actual ceremony, which might include any of the
An unveiling of the marker
A playlet about the person's life
A song, sung by the class
A program for guests
- Once you have set a time for the ceremony, invite school officials and
others to attend. Allow time for practice and a run-through. If possible,
enlist a family and community member to take pictures and/or make a video tape
of the dedication.
Have classroom writers prepare a publicity release on the dedication ceremony
for the local newspaper. Or they might send the information in a letter to the
Invite a member of the local historical society to speak about historical
figures who have been honored in similar ceremonies. Students can then present
the historical society with copies of the material they prepared.
Students may be able to excite enough interest in their honoree to have an
annual ceremony established on a significant date in that person's life.
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