National monuments include natural landmarks such as canyons, mountains, volcanoes and caves, as well as man-made landmarks such as bridges and forts. Some of the most popular national landmarks in the United States are the Statue of Liberty, Golden Gate Bridge, Mount St. Helens and Buck Island Reef. Teachers can make learning about national monuments an interactive experience by assigning projects to students.
Brochures provide students with a creative way to present their research on a national monument. Travel brochures inform and often persuade readers to visit a specific location and, to do this, they must contain interesting information and engaging graphics. Provide students with a variety of travel brochures so they can use them as a guide when designing their own. Also give students a list of example topics to include in their brochures, such as history, location, architecture and local attractions. The cover of each brochure should contain a picture of the national monument with an attention-grabbing caption. Encourage students to include only important information in a simple format, such as a bulleted list or chart. Paragraphs of information overwhelm readers. Students can make brochures with construction paper or use a computer program.
When doing a poster board project on a national monument, students will mostly use visuals such as photos, maps and charts. Students can use photos to document the monument's construction and use a map of the area to show its location. Other ideas to feature on the board include a photo of the monument's designer or architect, a time line of its construction and newspaper and magazine articles about the monument. All photos will have captions of a few sentences, offering a description to readers. Students can present their poster board projects to the class in an oral presentation.
Using an old shoebox, students can create three-dimensional mini replicas of national monuments. Place a shoebox on its side with the opening facing you. Place the shoebox lid underneath the side of the box lying on the table so that the lid lies in front of you. Students can paint the outside and inside of the box or coat it with construction paper. To create the national monument, students can use various craft materials such as modeling clay, toothpicks, cotton balls and popsicle sticks. Grade students on their creativity and accuracy.
Encourage students to visit a national monument, or organize a class field trip if possible. Students can write a two-page report about their visit, describing what they saw and learned. Students should describe what they were expecting before they saw the monument and whether their expectations were met. To help students remember the experience, they should take a notebook on the trip. Student reports can also include any pictures taken, accompanied by written descriptions.
- volcano mount st. helens from forest image by Nwrainman from Fotolia.com