Monday, March 27, 2017

Monument Museum

What is a Monument Museum?

A Monument Museum is a live interactive museum where students represent monuments and symbols of the United States.  It also happens to be one of my favorite activities of the school year.  

Monument Museum - Interactive event where U.S. monuments and symbols come alive!
You might be asking yourself... where do I begin if I am interested in hosting a Monument Museum with my students?  Great question!
This blog post will provide you with all of the steps needed to have your class participate in an interactive Monument Museum.  Before you begin, I highly recommend that you click on the link below.  It is a freebie from my TpT store with the PDF versions of the items included in this post. 

Follow these step by step guidelines to create an engaging event that students and parents will absolutely cherish:

1.   Have students select a monument or symbol to research. Use the suggested list for ideas.  Some monuments/symbols should only be assigned to one person (ex. Statue of Liberty), some may be assigned to more than one (ex. National Rose), and some must be assigned to more than one (ex. Mount Rushmore).  
Suggested List of U.S. Monuments and Symbols
2.  Encourage students to research their assigned monuments or symbols.  The following websites are recommended:
3.  Assist students as they write their speeches.  Their speeches are written as if they are actually the monuments and/or symbols.  Use the speech templates provided as a guide.

4.  Provide time for the students to practice and memorize their speeches for the big event.

5.  Choose a location for the Monument Museum.  If possible, I recommend the cafeteria.  It is a huge open space for students to spread out and not be on top of each other.

6.  Send home invitations inviting parents and family members to the Monument Museum.  Ask parents to assist with costumes and props.  It is amazing how creative and helpful some parents can be when gathering the materials needed for this event.

7.  Assign this additional activity, Construction Paper Creations, while students are preparing and practicing their speeches.  It is amazing how creative students can become when given only three items to use: construction paper, scissors, glue.  Remind students that they are not allowed to use pencils, crayons, and markers.  Check out these amazing creations:

Mount Rushmore Construction Paper Creation

Washington Monument Construction Paper Creation

Uncle Sam Construction Paper Creation

NASA Construction Paper Creation

Bald Eagle Construction Paper Creation
National Rose Construction Paper Creation
So... the big event is approaching!  What do I do now?

1.   Set up 1-2 dress rehearsals.  Invite other classes to the practices.  Students will have the opportunity to practice their speeches and become more comfortable dressed as their monument and/or symbol.  Classes chosen to attend the museum will learn valuable information about the monuments and/or symbols of the United States.  Win-win for all!

2.  Assign students specific places that they will stand and/or sit during the Monument Museum.  Provide students with  ”PRESS Me” buttons.  These buttons are placed in close proximity to the students and are easily accessible to the invited guests.
Monument Museum Press Me Buttons (Color) 
Monument Museum Press Me Buttons (B/W)
3.  During dress rehearsals, explain to the invited classes what will occur once they enter the museum.  I recommend having the students placed into groups of 3-4 children.  One child is selected as the captain and that specific student presses the red button to activate the monument and/or symbol.  

Here are some suggestions/recommendations:

*   Tell the students not to share too much information about the Monument Museum with their family members.  Invited guests are usually expecting a presentation where they will sit and listen to speeches.  It is so rewarding to see their reactions as they walk around and watch the monuments and/or symbols come alive.

*   Ask parents if you can keep any costumes/props used by the students.  I found it very helpful to reuse many of the generously donated items year after year. 

*  Take pictures of the big event.  Wonderful memories to share with the students and their families.

Monument Museum -Interactive event where U.S. monuments/symbols come alive!
Monument Museum -Interactive event where U.S. monuments/symbols come alive!

    Please check out my American Symbols product from my TpT store.  This will also help your students research information about the monuments and symbols of the United States.  Graphic organizers and fact sheets are included for some of the suggested monuments and symbols.

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