Historic monuments and markers are in the news for the stories they tell, the people they memorialize, and for the stories left untold. This inquiry uses St. Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial to introduce students to visual thinking and symbolism. It then asks them to analyze the Soldiers’ Monument in Brattleboro and consider the perspectives of those depicted. Finally, students are asked to find and review the markers in their own communities, taking action if they feel it is needed. The power of monuments on our landscape and in our communities continues to be strong and occasionally can lead to violence such as what we saw in Charlottesville, VA, in 2017.
Grade Level: Middle-High School
Topics: Monuments & Memorials, Civil War
Systemic racism is a foundation of American society. Throughout history Black Vermonters have faced bias and discrimination, and this is still true today.
Compelling Question: Who decides which stories are being told?
Historical Thinking Skills: Historical Empathy, Multiple Perspectives