Lesson Plan: Extra! Extra! Read All About the American Memorial Park and War in the Pacific National Historical Park

Summary

Students will play the role of a local news reporter and write an article about a national historical park or memorial and its significance to American history. Students will also learn what a memorial and historical park is, discover the difference between living and non-living memorials, and design their own park or memorial.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America the Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will play the role of a local news reporter and write an article on a national historical park or memorial and its significance to American history.
  • Students will learn what a national historical park or memorial is, discover the difference between living and non-living memorials, and design their own memorial or national historical park.
  • Students will understand importance of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam in the War in the Pacific.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art

Grades

  • 3rd
  • 4th
  • 5th

Class Time

  • Sessions: Three
  • Session Length: 30-45 minutes
  • Total Length: 91-120 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students will have a basic knowledge of the following:

  • National park
  • National monument
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Guam
  • Pacific Ocean
  • World War II
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Design

Terms and Concepts

  • National historical park
  • National memorial
  • Living memorial
  • Non-living memorial
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Guam
  • World War II
  • Pacific

Materials

Preparations

  • Bookmark the links above in advance.
  • Make copies of the following worksheets:
    • Journalist Notebook worksheet
    • Pacific Press Newspaper worksheet
    • Picture This! Design Your Own National Memorial or Historical Park worksheet

Worksheets and Files

Lesson Steps

Session One

  1. Display pictures of famous national memorials, including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and Mount Rushmore. Ask the students to identify each one and brainstorm why they exist (i.e., to commemorate, or remember, a person or event that that was especially significant). Ask students to think of a few local memorials and explain their significance.
  2. Display pictures of national parks, like the Grand Canyon National Park or Yosemite National Park. Ask the students to identify each park and brainstorm why they exist (i.e., to preserve the nation's natural resources for the benefit of future and current generations). Ask them to name some national parks.
  3. Display pictures of national historical parks, like Appomattox Courthouse and Lowell National Historical Park in Lowell, Massachusetts. Explain that parks can also be national historical parks, which preserves an area that generally extends beyond single properties or buildings, and its resources include a mix of historic and sometimes significant nature features.
  4. Explain the concept that some monuments are living and non-living. A monument can be a physical structure or statue or historical building (non-living), or it can also be a park or wildlife preserve (living). Discuss the significance of a living vs. non-living monument and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  5. Explain to students that the United States Mint issues quarters that highlight a different national site in each state, territory, and the District of Columbia. The program, called America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, is releasing two new quarters featuring national parks or historic sites for the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.
  6. Display an enlarged image of the American Memorial Park quarter reverse. Ask students to identify some of the images they see and make predictions about what each element means. Capture the predictions on chart paper.
    1. American Memorial Park quarter reverse: www.usmint.gov/coins/coin-medal-programs/america-the-beautiful-quarters/american-memorial-park
  7. Display an enlarged image of the War in the Pacific National Historical Park quarter reverse. Ask students to identify some of the images they see and make predictions about what each element means. Capture the predictions on chart paper.
    1. War in the Pacific National Historical Park quarter reverse: www.usmint.gov/coins/coin-medal-programs/america-the-beautiful-quarters/war-in-the-pacific-national-historical-park
  8. Explain to students that they are local news reporters and are assigned to research and write an article in the local newspaper about either the American Memorial Park or the War in the Pacific National Historical Park.
  9. Explain that the first step to writing an article is to conduct research. Pass out the Journalist Notebook worksheet with guiding questions to help in their research. Review the questions with the students.
  10. Provide access to a computer lab and/or internet resources for students to conduct research. Use the NPS websites as starting points.
    1. American Memorial Park: www.nps.gov/amme/index.htm
    2. War in the Pacific National Historical Park: www.nps.gov/wapa/index.htm
  11. Once students have completed their research and answered their guiding questions on the worksheet, have them share-out the research they found with the whole group. Record their answers on chart paper and compare and contrast predictions and knowledge learned.
  12. If students are able to visit the American Memorial Park or War in the Pacific National Historical Park, proceed to Session Two.
  13. If students are not able to visit the park, proceed to Session Three.

Session Two (Optional – if students are able to visit the park)

  1. Review the terms national memorial and historical park. Review the predictions and evidence gathered from student research from Session One for the American Memorial Park and/or War in the Pacific National Historical Park.
  2. Ask students what additional questions they have or topics that they want to learn more about. Model to students the thought process. For example:
    1. For the American Memorial Park quarter: "I want to learn more about the flags. Why are there five of them, and what do they mean?"
    2. For the War in the Pacific National Historical Park quarter: "The soldier appears to be walking through water to get to an island. Why are they walking towards the island instead of away from it?"
  3. Explain to students that once they have completed their research, it is time to go visit the park to learn more information. Have students brainstorm a list of questions that they want to answer about the park(s) and compile the questions in a notebook.
  4. Visit the park and have the students record answers to their questions and make observations about the park in their notebooks.

Session Three

  1. Review with students the importance of national memorials and historical parks, including American Memorial Park and the War in the Pacific Historic National Park.
  2. Explain to students that once they have completed their research, they will be writing an article in a newspaper about the park of their choosing and incorporate evidence from their online research and/or observations from their visit.
  3. Have students review their notes and draft an outline of their article. Depending on the grade level and ability, have each student write 3-8 sentences about the park that answers some of the following questions:
    1. What is the name of the park?
    2. What type of park is it? (Memorial vs. historical park, living vs. non-living, etc.)
    3. Who does it honor?
    4. Where is it located?
    5. When was it founded?
    6. Why does it exist?
    7. Optional: What is your favorite part about the park?
  4. Pass out the Pacific Press Newspaper worksheet and have students write their final version of the article on the worksheet. If time permits, have students draw a picture of their favorite part of the park and write a one-sentence caption describing the picture.
  5. Have each student present their article, describe the information about the park, and if applicable, what their favorite part was.

Session Four

  1. Once students have completed their article, discuss the components of the park that they researched with the whole group.
  2. Explain to students that memorials and historical parks are all around us, including in our local community. Ask students to brainstorm an idea for a historical park or national memorial that they would like to see.
  3. Pass out the Picture This! Design Your Own National Memorial or Historical Park worksheet.
  4. Ask students to either write or verbally explain their park or monument design using the following guiding questions, including:
    1. What is the name of the park?
    2. What type of park is it?
    3. Who does it honor?
    4. Where is it located?
    5. When was it founded?
    6. Why does it exist?
    7. Allow each student to present their design and describe their park.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Have students write a written response about their park.
  • Have students present their design and written response orally.
  • Allow students to use a scribe or computer to complete the article, design, and/or explanation.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have the students research another national monument or historical park from the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program and write an additional article about it.
  • Have students select a state of their choice to research and explain why the national park or site was chosen to be featured on the America the Beautiful quarter.
  • Have students design a quarter that represents things that matter to them and explain why each component is included.

Assess

  • Evaluate the newspaper article, design, and students' participation to assess how well the students have met the lesson objectives.

Common Core Standards

Discipline: English Language Arts

Domain: Reading: Informational Text

Grade(s): 3, 4, 5

Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.7: Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.3: Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.7: Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.9: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Discipline: English Language Arts

Domain: Writing: Research to Build and Present Knowledge

Grade(s): 3, 4, 5

Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.7: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.8: Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.7: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.8: Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.7: Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.8: Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

National Standards

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.