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Lesson Plan

Remembering the Fallen

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1st Place, Best Lesson Plan Contest 2010-2011

Grade level: Middle School & High School

Approximate Length of Time: 2-3, 50 minute class periods

Goals: Students will analyze battlefield monuments and memorials to compare and contrast the ways in which the Union and the Confederacy memorialize their fallen.


  1. Upon viewing various monuments, students will be able to analyze the monuments and memorialization of Civil War soldiers through charts, oral discussion, and formal writing.
  2. Upon viewing various monuments, students will demonstrate the ability to compare and contrast Confederate and Union memories of the Civil War.

Materials Used:

Download the lesson plan, along with the following materials, at the bottom of this page.

Anticipatory Set/Hook:

What do you do to remember loved ones who have passed away? How do governments choose to remember those who died defending them? What do these memorials tell us about what was important to the people who built the monument?


Activity 1

  1. Use the question “What do you do to remember loved ones who have passed away?” as a warm-up.
  2. Discuss student answers and use those answers to lead into the question “How do governments choose to remember those who died defending them?”
  3. Distribute Monument Analysis Chart.
  4. Using Sample Monument, fill in Analysis Chart as a whole class.
  5. Divide students into small groups (2-4 students).
  6. Reserve time in the computer lab, and assign each student a battle. Ask each group to complete an Analysis chart for two photographs, one Confederate and one Union memorial.
  7. As a whole group, have a couple of groups share their findings.
  8. Collect groups’ analysis sheets and review them before handing them back the next day.

Activity 2

  1. Pass back groups’ analysis sheets.
  2. Distribute Venn Diagrams.
  3. Give student groups 15-20 minutes to fill in Venn Diagrams comparing Confederate and Union memorials.
  4. As a group review a few of the students’ findings.
  5. Distribute Essay Organizers.
  6. Ask students to fill in organizers.

Activity 3

  1. Distribute copies of the grading rubric.
  2. Give students class time to write the essay.
  3. Have students staple rubrics to essays when turning them in.


What did the memorials have in common? What other ways might the fallen soldiers have been memorialized?


Students will be given feedback on their analysis forms and essay organizers. Essays will be scored using the attached rubric.


Allow groups to orally present their compare/contrast conclusions

Assign students to create a museum exhibit demonstrating the similarities and differences between Confederate and Union monuments.

Assign students to design their own monument. (Potential long-term research project involving research of a different battle, or a specific military unit.)