Lesson Plan

Monuments at the Battlefield

A dogwood tree blooms in front of the US Monument at the Cowpens National Battlefield Visitor Center


GOAL:  To have students recognize how people and events are represented by monuments. 


Students will describe, contrast and compare the two monuments on the grounds of Cowpens National Battlefield, the Daniel Morgan statue in Spartanburg and monuments in general.
Students will develop creative thinking skills by creating visual representations of events and people.


Information on famous monuments, including Egyptology. Examples: Pyramids, obelisks, the Washington Monument, the Arc de Triomphe, the St. Louis Arch and the Vietnam Memorials in Washington, D.C.
Pencil, markers and paper



1. Research old and new monuments in various parts of the United States. Research how new monuments come about (the creation of the Vietnam Memorials in Washington, D.C., is well-documented.)
2. Explore and discuss what design elements are used to make a monument effective. Consider size and scale, location, shape, symbolism, materials, style.


Create a new, original monument for the Battle of Cowpens. Pretend that no monument has ever existed commemorating the Battle. The design for the new monument should symbolize the importance of the Battle in American history. Using pencil, markers and paper, make a drawing showing the new monument as clearly as possible.

The drawing should show the scale of the new monument by including representations of people and other recognizable objects in the drawing. A separate paper including a map indicating the monument location could be used.

Try to make the drawing as detailed as possible and include an inscription on the monument. (The words of the inscription will probably not be able to be shown clearly on the scale drawing of the monument. A separate sheet of paper may be used to write the actual inscription.)

Specify the materials to be used in the new monument.


Display designs in classroom and have students compare and discuss each. Have students select one “winning” design from all the ones created. Invite another class to examine the designs and select one as the best. Have each student research and make an estimate for an actual cost of building his or her design.