Final Project

For this course’s final project, each student designs an original memorial to commemorate an event or movement from history that they believe is important. Through the process of creating their own. memorial, students will develop research and communication skills, a broader understanding of memory landscapes, and a thoughtful awareness of design aesthetics.

Here is more on the details of the project:

Note: I purposefully limited students to choosing either a historical event or movement for commemoration because I didn’t want students to design monuments to individual people.

Here is a guide that students can use to help them organize their thoughts as they design their memorial:


  • Logistics:
    • Introduce the project earlier during Week 4, perhaps during either Lesson 12 (7/26 on the calendar above) or Lesson 13 (7/27), so that students have more time to think about possible topics.
    • If at all possible add an extra work period between Lesson 17 (Tuesday, 8/3) and Lesson 18 (Wednesday, 8/4) so students can have more time to complete their projects.
  • Project Requirements:
    • How structured do you want this project to be in terms of milestone deadlines and exit tickets? How much guidance do your students need?
    • Think about modifying the research requirements to the abilities of your students. If they are very familiar with research, include a more rigorous research component (perhaps a written report). If they are less familiar, provide ample resources (like databases, search engines, archives, and free newspaper links), clear expectations, and continuous support to your students.
    • Consider whether students might be allowed to create their projects into another medium, such as CAD.
    • For students completing drawings of their memorials, consider requiring students to submit another drawing of the memorial from a different angle so that drawing projects are equally rigorous as construction/CAD projects.
    • For students who are building physical models, you may want to indicate a minimum size requirement; alternatively, you may just want to speak with each of those students individually to see what they are thinking.
  • Presentations:
    • How will students present their projects? To small groups? To the whole class?
    • How do you want members of the audience to engage with each presentation (compliments, questions, etc.)?

This is a really incredible project. I found the one-on-one meetings with students the most fulfilling in terms of pushing their thinking to go deeper and seeing what they come up with. I also had the incredible opportunity to host a virtual family/community showcase where students could share their projects in front of a large group of people including their families. You may also consider doing something like that so students can show off what they made and what they’ve learned!

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