• Students will have a basic understanding of the Civil Rights Movement
  • The students will be able to identify key figures of the Civil Rights movement
  • Students will be able to read and identify key points on a map
  • Students will be able to construct a monument [model] based on a drawing; based on a primary source [photograph, video, etc.]



3.1.4 Describe how the illusion of 3-D objects are depicted in 2-D works of art.

3.1.6 Identify and describe a contour drawing of an object found in the environment.

3.1.11 Identify and describe representational, abstract and nonrepresentational works of art.

3.3.6 Explore and form an opinion about public art and design in the neighborhood, such as monuments, parks, plazas, murals, buildings, and bridges. Explain how these structures contribute to the cultural life of the neighborhood.

3.5.2 Represent and construct architectural features (e.g., arches, columns, symmetry, domes, post and beam) identifying mathematical concepts.

3.5.5 Identify artists in the community who create different kinds of art (e.g., prints, ceramics, paintings, illustrations, sculpture, and buildings).

4.1.1 Identify various types of lines (e.g., straight/curved, thick/thin, long/short, vertical/horizontal/diagonal, contour, ruled lines, calligraphy, and other freehand studies from observation, imagination, and schematic studies).

4.1.5 Identify pairs of complementary colors (e.g. yellow/violet; red/green; blue/orange) and discuss how artists use them to communicate an idea or mood.

4.2.4 Draw people in proportion to objects found in nature or in their environment.

4.2.9 Use additive and subtractive processes in making sculptural forms.

4.3.3 Describe an historic district observing the architecture and landscape; speculate how it has changed since its original construction.

4.3.8 Identify and describe how a person’s own cultural content influences responses to works of art. Create a composition that illustrates a personal cultural celebration.

4.5.3 Draw diagrams, maps, graphs, timelines, or illustrations to communicate ideas or tell a story about a historical event.

5.1.6 Distinguish and describe the concept of proportion (e.g. in face, figure) and scale used in works of art.

5.2.3 Draw a figure study using the conventions of facial and figure proportions.

5.2.7 Draw a landscape showing foreground, middle ground and background using overlapping to demonstrate perspective in a real or an imaginary scene.

5.2.9 Communicate values, opinions, and/or personal insights in an original work of art.

5.3.8 Research the role of visual art and arts during the Harlem Renaissance, exploring how visual arts reflect society and relate to other art forms (e.g. music, dance & theatre).

5.4.3 Develop and use specific criteria individually and in groups to assess works of art.

5.4.4 Using specific criteria, students assess their own works of art and describe what changes they would make for improvement.

5.5.4 Design a poster that illustrates a theme.



  • October 29, 2009: Department of the Interior issues construction permit for King Memorial
  • March 11, 1982: Design and Plan for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial receives final approval
  • February 12, 1914: Lincoln Memorial gets final approval for Construction


Celebrating our Heritage: Civil Rights
Laura Shallop
Instructional Fair - TS Denison

Public Law 104-333

The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to permit the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity to establish a memorial...to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., pursuant to the Commemorative Works Act of 1986.

Download this file

MLK Memorial Virtual Tour

Warm Up

  • What is a monument?
  • Why do we have monuments?

After a brief discussion on the purpose and intent of monuments, show the aerial photograph of the national Mall asking the students to identify as best they can the memorial and monuments that they are familiar with. Acceptable answers would also include bridges, streets and other buildings. Some of the obvious answers would be the US Capitol and The Washington monument and the Lincoln Memorial.

  • Why do you know those places? Is it because you have visited them before or is it because they have a unique shape and you  can recall them from your memory?

New Material

Show the introductory clip of the Eyes on the Prize documentary, this will be some of the first exposure of the Civil Rights Movement that many of the students have seen as a collective unit.

Throughout the video clip which is only 2:21 minutes long, point out key figures of the Movement as they appear on the screen and what they role was in the Civil Rights Movement. Also indicate what that person or person(s) is currently doing in the Movement. be sure to indicate events as well, as the events are what help shape the movement.

Recall if anyone mentioned the King memorial if so acknowledge that student if not make them aware that they left one off... The last addition to The National Mall, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and show them the clip of the virtual tour. [This gives them a basis of the breadth and depth of the project at hand]


Part One: Who
Who was the Civil Rights Movement? Have the students amongst themselves discuss who was the Civil Rights movement; can a single person be given that title or is it a much larger scope. Lead the discussion by attributing people to places and places to events. [Have available some photographs and other periodicals of the Civil Rights Movement that may help guide their discussions. Remind them that the civil rights movement was not just reserved for men there were children also involved, and could and should be included in the discussion of who should get a coveted space on the National Mall, those children to include the Greensboro Four of Greensboro North Carolina, Ruby Bridges who was the first black student to attend an all-white elementary school.

  • Each student is to identify one person, or  group of people that they wish to memorialize on The National Mall.
Part Two: Where
One of the resources that will be made available to the students will be aerial photographs of The National Mall. Their chosen icon will be memorialized with a monument on The National Mall. What are the monuments and memorials in its direct vicinity.
  • Each student is to identify a place on the National Mall in which to build a memorial for their chosen Civil Rights Leader.


These are whole group discussions, to determine that the students have grasped an introductory concept of the long Civil Rights Movement. In the debate steer students to talk about their individual and Who did they choose, did the student choose a figure that embodies the Civil Rights Movement in such a way that they are worthy of a monument.

Has the student made a thought provoking selection of space, that will fully demonstrate the ideals of the individual. Is the space close to someone/something that had varying opinions of them.

Closure and Reflection

The students at this point have their marching orders... they will be building a monument on The national Mall of a Civil Rights Movement leader... that is not Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Now the process that normally takes a decade to complete we will attempt to complete in a fraction of that time. We must now design the monument. Traditionally monumental foundations have contest to design them, not us, we are the designer.