Learning at Home: Worksheets and Activities on Legacy

Each week, the WorldStrides Education team prepares new lessons and activities around a broad, central theme that aims to give teachers, students, and parents new tools and resources that can be useful in the classroom (the new online classroom, that is) and at home. This week, our focus is on Legacy.

Are legacies written in stone? Can they be re-written? Who writes them anyway? As we head toward Memorial Day, we’ve got legacies and the symbols of memory on our minds. 

Chances are that this Memorial Day weekend will be totally different than any of the other Memorial Day weekends you’ve ever had before. So, what to do? Our advice – be creative and be thoughtful. It’s the thought that counts, right?

We hope you decide to do just that – make it count and honor the spirit of the occasion in new ways that add meaning and significance that is special to you and yours.

There is honor in sacrifice. There is a reason we have a holiday that reminds us to look back and remember the ones who gave their all to advance us to where we are today, whether they are memorialized or not. We owe it to the people and generations before us who demonstrated the meaning of courage and bravery, just like future people and generations will do for us.

A remarkable chapter of our human history is being written as you read this. What is your role in it? How will you remember this time? What legacy will you – will we – leave behind?

Social Studies Worksheets and Activities

Best for: Middle School and High School 
⏳: 1-2 hours 
How does your community recognize the legacy of veterans and other leaders?
The famed American author William Faulkner once remarked that “The past is never dead. In fact, it is not even past.” As we celebrate Memorial Day in the United States, it’s important to reflect on past events in our history, the contributions of leaders, and how we commemorate their legacies today.

In Washington, D.C., there are a number of war memorials and monuments. You can take a virtual tour of some of the most well-known of these, like the World War II Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  But did you know there are many more memorials that commemorate the sacrifices of men and women who served in America’s other wars? Learn more about D.C.’s lesser-known war memorials, like the Women In Military Service For America Memorial and the African American Civil War Museum and Memorial.

A screenshot of a worksheet

Science Worksheets and Activities

Best for: Middle School and High School 
⏳: 45-90 minutes
What does your legacy look like?
Scientists are constantly asking questions, collecting evidence, and refining their knowledge. Thanks to their efforts, each generation can come to understand the world a little more fully than those who came before. In these activities, students will revisit the legacy of a famous scientist, and consider how their own legacy could be recorded.

Screenshot of a worksheet "What does your legacy look like?"

International Worksheets and Activities

Best for: Middle School and High School 
⏳30 minutes – 2 hours
How deep do your roots go?
What are the lasting traditions of your family’s cultural history? It’s time to explore your family’s roots, where you’ve come from, and where you’re going! How much do you know about your family’s background? Do some family research that incorporates biological, cultural, and ethnic characteristics. Interview family members to discover your roots. You never know what may surprise you!

Screenshot of a worksheet "How Deep do Your Roots Go"

Movement Activities

Best for: Middle School and High School 
⏳30 minutes to set up, days to complete
The 2020 Alternate Olympics
With this year’s summer Olympics being postponed until July 2021, now is the best time for you to host your own Olympic games to create a fun, new legacy.

Plan your Olympic games independently, with your family, or virtually with a group of friends. Pick three to five events you would like to compete in. If wanting to host your Olympics virtually, have you and your friends either compete at the same time or film your events and share the results. Even consider orchestrating an opening ceremony! Mail or have a parent drive a symbolic torch between competitors.

Here are a few ideas to consider for your Alternate Olympics:

  • Track and Field – Discus Throw – Use a basketball, a frisbee, or any other non-breakable and consistent item.
  • Gymnastics Floor Exercises – Choreograph and perform your own floor routine, and don’t forget the music.
  • Track and Field – 400 meter run (one mile)
  • Swimming – 200 IM – Simulate the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle strokes while running 50 meters each
  • Cycling Road – Ride your bicycle an agreed-upon distance and time it
  • Chariot Race – Fill a wagon or wheelbarrow with a predetermined weight and see how far you can pull it in 30 seconds.
  • Consider repeating these Olympic ceremonies every year to track improvement and build your legacy as the creator of the Alternate Olympic Games!

Start by watching an overview of the history of the Olympics and background on Olympic legacy. When you’re done, ask yourself and your family about how physical activity and competition brings people together.

Social and Emotional Learning Activity

Best for: Middle School and High School 
⏳: 30-60 minutes
Your mark, your legacy
What is a legacy? Watch this TEDx talk by Nicole Nageli, a thirteen-year-old who shares her thoughts on how to create a lasting legacy.  She shares some tips on how to create your vision and then take action. Leaving a legacy doesn’t have to be something that makes you newsworthy, but something that makes a difference in someone else life. Here are a few ideas on simple ways to leave your mark. What can you do to leave a lasting legacy in your community?

Art Learning Activity

Best for: Middle School
⏳30-60 minutes
…and the crest is history
Coats of arms have been in use by European nobility since the twelfth century. Their purpose is to visually symbolize the values and accomplishments of the family, group, or nation that they represent – particularly as they travel and venture outside of their kingdom or realm.

The study of these symbolic crests is known as heraldry. To practice some heraldry yourself, explore whether or not your family name has an associated crest or coat of arms. As you explore the roots of your family, you may find that they originated in a location where you can trace your surname to an official family crest. If you are unable to find one, try creating your own!

Click here to search for your family name or learn about the elements that make up a crest, the location of each within the coat of arms, and what the different symbolic images and colors are typically identified with.

Two important elements are the shield of arms and the family motto. Think about the ideals of your own family and what colors, animals, short phrases, and symbolism could align with them. You can use the link above to look for an existing example for your family, or get creative and make your own. You can do this using an online tool like this, or you can draw, paint, or sculpt one.

Our theme for next week will be Challenge. Be sure to come back to check out more timely resources and activities to share with your students! And, if you want to give our Education team some feedback or ideas for future topics, reach out to us at discovery@worldstrides.com