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flags on a field at sunrise

In America: Remember, Educational Resources

Thank you for thinking about students’ emotional learning in the time of the pandemic. In America: Remember aims to recognize America’s grief and loss as a result of the pandemic. Artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg has created an art exhibition of white flags, one to commemorate each American who lost their lives due to COVID-19. You can visit this immense field of flags on the National Mall, in Washington, DC, from September 17 - October 3, 2021. Visitors will be invited to personalize flags for someone they have lost. Those who cannot visit in person can dedicate a flag on the In America: Remember website, and it will appear in physical form on the National Mall. 

As part of this recognition of America’s loss, two American University education faculty developed lessons and educational materials for teachers, school counselors, and other school personnel to utilize in conjunction with the In America: Remember exhibit. The goals of the lessons are:

    1. to support students’ social and emotional development,
    2. to strengthen their connection to U.S. history, and
    3. to promote the use of art to participate in our communities.

Links to all materials, resources, and alignment to Common Core State Standards are included.

Lessons are 30-minute instructional plans and resources for students to discuss the impacts of the pandemic while learning about and engaging with the art exhibition, In America: Remember.

Mini-Units provide teachers with an extended 90-minute lesson plan and extensive resources to discuss the pandemic’s impact, art’s ability to amplify emotion and social issues, and the art exhibition, In America: Remember.

In America: Remember Lesson Plans

Elementary Secondary

Elementary Lesson

Secondary Lesson

Elementary Mini-Unit

Secondary Mini-Unit

Educational Resources

COVID-19 (Science)

Loss and Grief

U.S History of Pandemics

Lesson Plan Creators

Jody Hagen-Smith is a former classroom teacher and current instructor in the School of Education at American University. Her teaching interest is the integration of learning science principles with early literacy instruction.

Dr. Lauren M. Shea works with teacher candidates as an education professor at The American University in Washington, D.C. Her current research and practice center on integrating language and literacy strategies in STEM.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to Lynne Brenner Ganek who provided financial support and guidance during the development of these educational materials.