Of Monumental Importance
For younger kids: In order to help us remember important people or events, people in countries all across the world often try to protect the land or buildings related to an important piece of history. Sometimes they also put up monuments, like plaques, obelisks (tall towers) or statues that represent a person or event. There are a lot of both here at Minute Man National Historical Park and they can help you learn a lot about the people who fought in the Revolutionary War which led to the creation of the United States of America. We hope you enjoy exploring and learning about and from these buildings and markers while you visit the park. Check out the activity questions below.
For older kids: Have you visited Minute Man National Historical Park before? Have you noticed the historic monuments and markers though out the park? Do you think you really know what they are telling us about history? There are often clues to hidden meanings locked within these objects and sometimes they tell us more about the people who put them up than the events they are meant to memorialize.
By looking for these clues when you visit a monument, and thinking like a historian, you can learn so much more about the events and people who came before you. You can uncover deeper levels of history and maybe even some bias (unfair prejudice against someone or something) or inaccuracies in the monument’s message.
One example of a monument that tells us a lot about the time in which it was erected is the 1836 obelisk. Examin the words written on this monument and consider how they depict the battle. The citizens of Concord unveiled this "Battle Monument" on July 4, 1837, only 22 years after the conclusion of the War of 1812, a second war fought between Britain and America. During the ceremony, Ralph Waldo Emerson debuted his now famous poem, "Concord Hymn."
Activities:For younger kids: The monuments and markers in the park come in many shapes and sizes and are meant to remind us of everything from historic locations, to events, to people. At each monument, read the words and make note of what they look like, then answer these questions:
How many monuments and markers are at the North Bridge?
1. Why do you think there are so many?
2. Look at the shape and style of each monument. How are they the same? How are they different?
3. Is there one that helps you understand what happened here better than the others? Why?
4. Is there a monument or marker you like better than the others? How does it make you feel when you look at it?
5. If you got to design a monument to help people remember why the North Bridge is an important place, what would it look like? What words would you put on it? You can draw your answer!
For older kids: Explore the monuments and markers at the North Bridge and answer these questions:
1. What are the major differences in the look and design of the monuments? How are they the same?
2. Why do you think the monuments are designed to look this way?
3. How are the words on each monument different? How are they the same?
4. How do the monuments describe the British Soldiers who fought there?
5. Why do you think these words were used on each monument? You can ask a Park Ranger if you’re not sure.
6. Do you think there is any bias or inaccuracy in these monuments? Any parts of the story that have been left out? Do you think there should be signs helping people understand the context of each monument?
7. If you were to put up a monument today to memorialize the fight at the North Bridge and the start of the Revolutionary war, what would it look like? What would it say? Feel free to draw your answer.
Last updated: July 18, 2020