Women have been involved in every military conflict in our nation's history. In this activity, students will commemorate one female veteran by researching her story and designing a monument in her honor.
Show your students the 1994 Women Veterans Silver Dollar coin (or a photocopy of it). Have students read the November 1999 Coin of the Month. When they have finished reading, ask students to discuss the contribution that Margaret Corbin made to the Battle of Fort Washington during the Revolutionary War. As a class, sketch a design for a monument to honor Margaret Corbin's bravery and loyalty to her country.
Challenge your students to select a female veteran and research her contribution to the armed services. Possible veterans could include: Sybil Ludington, Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, Deborah Samson, Elizabeth Zane, Jane Delano, First Lt Sharon Lane, Ellen May Tower, Emeline Pigott, Clara Barton, and Sarah Edmunds. Students can use the "Valuable Veterans" guide to direct their research.
When students have finished their research, have them design a 3-dimensional memorial to their female veteran. Instruct students to plan their monument first, using the "Sketch It Out!" document.
Give students plenty of materials to work with, such as: cardboard, play dough, clay, paints, scissors, glue, pipe cleaners, toothpicks, craft sticks, felt, construction paper, etc. Encourage students to be creative!
When students are done, have each student explain their project to the class. Encourage students to share how their memorial represents their veteran and the contributions she made to a battle, war, or particular branch of the military.
To extend this activity, invite a female veteran in to visit your classroom. Have her give a presentation to your students on her role in the military.
The project described above reflects some of the national standards of learning as defined by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), and the International Society for Technology in Education. These standards are listed below:
Language Arts Standards
Gather and use information for research purposes. Students will select one veteran and research her background and contribution to the military.
Social Studies Standards
Individual Development & Identity: Students will examine the lives of several important American veterans.
Individuals, Groups, and Institutions: Students will explore the relationship between women and the military and how it has evolved since the Revolutionary War.