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Living Monuments

Two blog posts in two nights!!!! My budget is done and graduation practice starts tomorrow.... Stick a fork in me because the end is nigh.
Like most middle school teachers, I love to end the year with something very interactive. For those of you that don't teach middle school, just close your eyes and imagine why you don't teach middle school. Now multiply it by 12. That is what we eighth grade teachers call June.
Usually I end with the kiddos making plays or videos about the various groups that went west, but I decided to abbreviate my Manifest Destiny and add in a unit on Social Reformers. I didn't have time for plays so I went in my way back machine and pulled out an old favorite machine. They're called tableaux (defined as an interlude during a scene when all the performers on stage freeze in position and then resume action as before.) or living monuments. Students have to convey information through a single staged scene with no words. They are encouraged to use props, signs and we also use Google Presentation to create backgrounds for our monuments.

The above are backgrounds one of my groups made for Frederick Douglass. They made the train he was on when he escaped slavery, a crowd he spoke to, and his newspaper.
The project was perfect!!!! The kids told me they had a blast and it was a great way to keep them on track for the end of the year.
If you are interests in the project, feel free to wander on over to Teachers Pay Teachers and you can buy the project there. It comes with rubrics and research graphics organizers.
What do you do at the end of the year to keep your kids engaged?


  1. I LOVE this idea and am so excited to have found your great blog - I am your newest follower!

    1. Thanks! I've done this with various topics and the kids always love it. It is sooooo much easier than staging plays:)

  2. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)


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