In this lesson pupils examine ‘national’ commemorations, before moving on to explore some local forms of commemoration.
- Introduce pupils to different types of commemoration – See Resource 3 for examples.
- Discuss the special ways in which a country remembers its dead.
- Teacher guides discussion by selecting some examples of commemorating the dead in national tragedies and the public commemorations which follow them, for example,
- the anniversary of the 1988 Lockerbie air crash or
- the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
- Pupils use the images to explore how some commemorations are celebrated publicly by whole countries and how these are sometimes called national commemorations, for example,
- National Memorial Day in the US held on last Monday in May,
- Holocaust Memorial Day on 26th January each year .
- Ask pupils to suggest examples of other national days (e.g. May Day).
- Draw attention to the fact that these commemorations are public and openly celebrated by everyone in the country.
- Can pupils suggest other forms of public or national commemorations, e.g
- the Hillsborough disaster commemorated in September 2012 in Liverpool, 23 years after the event.
By the end of the launch stage children will have made a list of five or six examples of national commemorations.
- Teacher circulates a set of fourA4 topic cards to each group and explains the role of NGOs such as Oxfam or Amnesty International.
- Children are asked to arrange each one of the commemorations from their list under one of the topic cards.
- Each group then shares their ideas and begins to look for links between them.
- Was there anything that the children found surprising?
- Which of the four cards had the shortest list and why?
- Which one had the longest list? Can pupils suggest why?
- What have they found out about commemorations in other countries?
- Did the activity help them to understand how commemorations are organised?
- Do they feel national commemorations can be a good way for a country to remember certain events and people?
- Should a national commemoration take place immediately after an event and how long should it be celebrated for?
- Who should decide what a county commemorates?
- Suggest words and phrases which describe a national commemoration. The agreed list might be displayed in the classroom.