As part of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration, Arlington National Cemetery has released a learning module on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Teachers, students and lifelong learners of all ages can use this module to understand the Tomb’s history, evolving meanings and enduring traditions.
Materials for teachers and students include lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations and activity guides, all of which are tailored for elementary, middle or high school audiences. For elementary and middle school students, lessons examine the origins and purpose of Veterans Day and Memorial Day, both of which involve national ceremonies at the Tomb. An additional lesson plan, “Who’s Buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?,” prompts students to reflect upon who is interred at the Tomb and why. For middle and high school students, a lesson plan on the theme “The Unknown Soldier and National Community” contains primary-source documents on the Tomb’s 1921 dedication, as well as readings and assignments on the Unknown Soldier’s significance as a symbol of the American people. Lesson plans align with national and state social studies standards and can easily be adapted for homeschooling or virtual learning.
Self-guided walking tours, rich with images and information, can be used either during a visit to the cemetery or for virtual exploration from home. In addition to the Tomb itself, stops on these walking tours include the gravesites of individuals who played important roles in the Tomb’s history, along with related monuments and memorials in the cemetery. The walking tours include maps and detailed directions.
Arlington National Cemetery’s Education Program was developed for both virtual and in-person learning. It includes resources specifically designed for teachers and educators, for students of all grade levels, for families visiting ANC and for adult lifelong learners. Audiences will discover the diverse history of the United States through the unique lens of the cemetery and its history. All materials can be accessed and downloaded free of charge at https://education.arlingtoncemetery.mil.
► Teaching the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (webinar with the National WWI Museum and Memorial)
Historians and educators from Arlington National Cemetery explain how to use the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier module of ANC's Education Program.
► Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration