GRADE LEVEL

9-12

SUBJECT(S)

Art, Social Studies

Cemetery/Memorial

Epinal American Cemetery

Fallen Hero

Harvey Madore

“ Private First Class Harvey Madore is one of thousands of soldiers who fought in World War II. Many of these ordinary men and women will never be recorded in the history books. This lesson challenges students to best memorialize the sacrifice of Madore and the thousands of ordinary Americans who lost their lives in World War II. ”
-Shane Gower

Overview

Students will use images to analyze how the World War II Memorial and Epinal American Cemetery memorialize the sacrifice of fallen soldiers in World War II. Students will design an element to add to either the World War II Memorial or Epinal American Cemetery and explain how they think this addition would help honor the sacrifice made by the fallen.

Activity Download Activity

Historical Context

When studying World War II, typical servicemen are often forgotten. The airman who flew bombing missions over Italy, the nurse who treated wounded soldiers in southern France, or the infantryman who lost his life crossing the German border on the way to Berlin are not well-known. These unsung heroes made their sacrifice with too little acknowledgement or recognition. After World War II, the American Battle Monuments Commission established permanent cemeteries for these fallen heroes who died making this sacrifice. In the 1990s an effort was initiated to construct the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., which was dedicated in 2004.

Objectives

At the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to

  • Analyze how the World War II Memorial and Epinal American Cemetery memorialize sacrifice;
  • Explain how architectural design, horticulture, landscape, use of text, and art can memorialize sacrifice; and
  • Identify an aspect of sacrifice that could be added to either Epinal American Cemetery or the World War II Memorial.
Standards Connections

Connections to Common Core
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Connections to C3 Framework
D2.His.7.9-12. Explain how the perspectives of people in the present shape interpretations of the past.

Materials
Lesson Preparation
Procedure

Activity One: Harvey J. Madore (30 minutes)

  • Read aloud the Fallen Hero Profile of Private First Class Harvey J. Madore.
  • Ask students:
    • What sacrifice did Private First Class Madore make? How was his family affected?
    • How could we try to remember and honor the sacrifice made by Private First Class Madore and others like him?
    • Where do we see examples of attempts to memorialize the sacrifice of the World War II generation?
    • What do the examples look like?
    • What characteristics do the examples have?

Activity Two: Modeling Analysis (15 minutes)

  • Project one photograph from the World War II Memorial Photograph Collection.
    • Teacher Tip: You may need to explain to students that the World War II Memorial, which opened in 2004, is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
  • Model the analysis of the photograph by asking students to follow the OIF (observe/infer/feel) model:
    • What do you observe in this photograph?
    • What do you infer from this photograph?
    • What do you feel when viewing this photograph?
    • What evidence do you see of an attempt to honor sacrifice?
  • Project one photograph from the Epinal American Cemetery Photograph Collection.
    • Teacher Tip: You may need to explain to students that the American Battle Monuments Commission cares for overseas U.S. military cemeteries and memorials from World War I and World War II. Epinal American Cemetery is a World War II Cemetery located in Dinozé, France.
  • Model the analysis of the photograph by asking students to follow the OIF (observe/infer/feel) model):
    • What do you observe in this photograph?
    • What do you infer from this photograph?
    • What do you feel when viewing this photograph?
    • What evidence do you see of an attempt to honor sacrifice?

Activity Three: Analyzing a Memorial (60 minutes)

  • Divide the students into groups of three to four students each.
  • Distribute one Memorial Analysis Handout to each student.
  • Review the key terms with the students (horticulture, landscape design, architectural design, use of text, and art).
  • Assign half of the student groups to analyze the World War II Memorial Photograph Collection and half of the student groups to analyze the Epinal American Cemetery Photograph Collection.
  • Distribute the relevant photograph collection to each group. Print paper copies or share the photographs digitally for students to view on their devices.
    • Ask each group to select one photograph, explain why they selected it and describe how it memorializes sacrifice.
  • Pair groups who analyzed different memorials and distribute one Comparison Chart Handout.
  • Ask students to share a different photograph from each element (horticulture/landscape, architecture, text, and perspective) and explain why they think these images demonstrate how sacrifice is memorialized.
Assessment
  • Distribute one copy of the What is Missing from the Memorial? Handout to each student.
    • Teacher Tip: Teachers may choose to assign the students to add to the memorial they analyzed in the previous activity or add to the other group’s memorial.
  • Ask students to decide what aspect of sacrifice is missing or deserves more attention from the memorial.
  • The What is Missing from the Memorial? Rubric can be used to assess the students’ posters.
Methods for Extension
  • Students with more interest in memorials and their design may research the other American Battle Monuments Commission cemeteries and memorials as well as other sites like the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, and the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, commonly known as Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii.
  • Students in art classes may analyze design concepts and other links to art curriculum standards.
Adaptations
  • Teachers can adapt the project to younger learners or English language learners by changing the focus of the activities to identifying rather than analyzing.
    Students can create their design electronically using web-based programs or computer software.
  • Teachers can group students in several ways. One grouping strategy would be to have groups of heterogeneous ability work their way through the entire project.