• How We Learn: Sample Projects
  • Seventh Grade


Seventh Graders Imagine Monuments

"My monument, if it were real, would be set in a cobblestone street, in an old, Italian market square. It would be surrounded by brown apartment buildings that look very much as they did during the Holocaust. The model that I made is of clay, wood, and wire and is only about 3 inches x 3 inches x 7 inches large. The real monument would have a bronze cow on top of a wooden cart, the wheels would be bronze, and, instead of a wooden animal attachment, it would be a bronzed rope, very thick. If this were real, it would be 5 feet high, 6 feet wide and 10 feet long. It would be roughly real life proportion, and would hopefully blend in with the crowded market square.

"I chose this to commemorate all the young Jewish girls who were slaughtered like cattle during the Holocaust. This idea was inspired by the song 'Donah,' which was written by a young girl on the floor of her barracks in the concentration camp. This is dedicated to her, and all the people like her, who were young girls like you and me, but were sadly slaughtered because of Hitler's crazy ideas. By creating this I hope that people can see how we relate to all the sufferers, so that they will consider, before there is a next time, that all the people being hurt are humans just like them."

Seventh Grader, 2003

Teacher's comment: Art, science, and humanities combined for a while as students worked on a project for "Facing History and Ourselves." Working to scale, they designed and built a model of a monument to a person, event, or idea they feel passionately about. The assignment included (as exemplified above) a description of what the full-size monument would look like-size, materials, color, etc.—its location, and the reason for its importance. They researched and considered the properties of various building/sculptural materials for effect and appropriateness. After writing a description of her monument, each student sketched it from at least two directions, and added background and ground around it. They were encouraged to use their imaginations, creating settings to suit their designs.