World War II was the biggest and deadliest war in history, and more than 30 countries were involved in the massive conflict. What do you know about the history, significance, and symbolism of the World War II Memorial?
At the turn of the nineteenth century, democracy was still a novel form of government and it was uncommon for leaders in other countries to voluntarily leave and relinquish control of power. Elections for heads of state were rare, after all. While not as grand as some European palaces, the White House elegantly serves as a home and working office for our nation’s temporary executive. In both name and image, it is an iconic representation of American democracy and is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world.
Despite its construction being halted due to war and its structure damaged by natural forces, the Washington Monument has stood the test of time as a testament to our nation’s first commander in chief and president. Did you know that it was the tallest structure in the world when it was completed in 1884?
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was designed by Maya Lin, a 21-year old student from Yale University, whose entry beat out more than 1,400 other submissions in a design competition for the new memorial. At the time of its unveiling in 1982, the minimalist design generated a fierce backlash and negative reaction. Today, however, Lin’s design is highly regarded and considered one of the finest examples of memorial architecture
At one point, the Capitol Building was the geographic center of Washington, D.C. Today, it remains as one of the most pristine examples of American neoclassical architecture, also called “Federal architecture.” In fact, the name “Capitol” (with an O) was first proposed by Thomas Jefferson, as a reference to Capitoline Hill in Rome.
The factors that led to the rise of the Nazi Party and eventual appointment of its leader, Adolf Hitler, as Chancellor of Germany, are long and complex. The period in Germany between the two World Wars, known as the Weimar Republic, was tumultuous and marked by crossparty conflict that pitted various factions against each other. Out of this chaos, the Nazis and the far-right seized power and plunged the world into another war. In the end, millions of Jews and others who resisted fascism were murdered in concentration camps and brutal warfare.
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Early efforts at establishing a museum dedicated to the accomplishments and history of African Americans date back all the way to 1915. African American veterans of the Union Army were dissatisfied by the racial discrimination they still faced and lobbied for the creation of a national memorial or museum. Opened in 2016, the Smithsonian’s NMAAHC is the result of decades of organizing to tell the stories of those who suffered under slavery and fought for civil rights and desegregation.
While the Smithsonian Institution is commonly associated with its more famous history and natural science museums, they also administer the National Portrait Gallery. It is the only museum in the United States dedicated entirely to portraiture and contains portraits of many famous and notable figures from American history, including official portraits of U.S. presidents.
Did you know that the National Archives consist of dozens of facilities spread across the country? But the headquarters, housed in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., contains some of the country’s most precious documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Emancipation Proclamation.
The land that Mount Vernon occupies was first owned by the Washington family as early as the 1670s. Expanded upon and passed down through generations of the family, it is most famous as the house and plantation of George Washington. Today, you can see it restored in all its glory on the banks of the Potomac River, across from Washington, D.C.
Honest Abe hardly needs an introduction. The president who held the union together and brought slavery to an end is revered and honored by all. But what do you know about his grand memorial in our nation’s capital? And what do you think Lincoln could have accomplished had he not been assassinated?
Did you know that the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States? What other fascinating facts can you uncover about our national library?
The longest-serving president, FDR (as he was commonly known) served a record four consecutive terms and led the United States through most of the Great Depression and World War II. What else do you know about the thirty-second president?
Thomas Jefferson may be best known as our third president, but he also accomplished many other feats. What do you know about Jefferson’s life and accomplishments, as well as his other memorial in our nation’s capital?
MLK is the first African-American and one of the few non-presidents to be memorialized on the National Mall. In addition to any prior knowledge you may have, use your research skills and the resources provided within to answer the questions in this worksheet.
Located in Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., the national cemetery of the United States is the hallowed resting place of more than 400,000 American citizens and foreign nationals who have given their lives to defending this country. Among these are notable figures, including President John F. Kennedy and civil rights activist and WWII veteran Medgar Evers. What else do you know about the history and significance of Arlington National Cemetery?
The Smithsonian Institution is often referred to as “the nation’s attic,” due to its diverse collection of important historical artifacts. One of the core pieces of this is dedicated entirely to the cultural heritage and achievements of the United States.
This is the most popular museum in Washington, D.C. In fact, it’s the second most popular museum in the country (behind New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art) and fifth most popular in the world! Inside, the museum houses an eclectic collection of aircraft, including the plane flown by the Wright brothers, the command capsule from Apollo 11, and the Bell X-1 – the first plane to break the sound barrier.
Opened in 1910, this museum traces its origins back even further, to the founding of the Smithsonian Institution itself. Originally housed in the Smithsonian Castle – which is located directly across the Mall – it was once known simply as the National Museum. Today, the museum is the most visited natural history museum in the world.
Censorship is more than strict rules against nudity or the bleeps heard when someone curses on radio or television. Censorship may include different rules, ideas, or concepts depending on where you are in the world. Whenever you travel, you should always be mindful of the fact that your destination country’s outlook on censorship might starkly contrast with what you have been taught is acceptable or unacceptable in your home country. What is permissible in one country may lead to being arrested in another. It is a good idea to stay abreast of the history and laws for your destination country when traveling.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides a program for the conservation of threatened and endangered plants and animals and the habitats in which they are found. The law also prohibits any action that causes a "taking" of any listed species of endangered fish or wildlife.
Learning about new, interesting global music can make you a better musician by introducing new styles, forms, and instruments. Take some time to listen to some new music. Ask your parents and neighbors about the music they grew up with. Change your streaming station. Do some outside research.
It's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words...but what are portraits trying to tell us? Portraits and photographs (yes, even selfies) can be used to send messages, convey feelings, share experiences, or gain power. Expressions can show everything from privilege to poverty, despair to joy. Official portraits and photographs are an excellent way to preserve these messages, feelings, or experiences.
We’ve pulled together some interesting facts about some of the many places that you can travel to on a WorldStrides travel program. These videos can be used as a short distraction during the day to have your students learn some fascinating fun facts about some of the most iconic cities and locations in the world.
Studies show that human activity is causing major changes to Earth’s climate. Leaders in environmentalism share a sense of responsibility towards preventing further global climate change and improving the overall state of the environment. These leaders are innovative thinkers who dedicate themselves to preserving the planet. The lessons and activities in this section are designed to encourage your development as an environmental leader.
Thanks to technology, exploring the world has never been easier. Whether you are looking for a creative way to get your students excited for your upcoming travel program or just want to help your students learn about the world from their home or classroom, look no further! This lesson is designed to generate student-led investigation, research, and planning.