WOW is an acronym for the Wonders of Washington D.C. In this project, students will work in heterogeneous groups to explore the national monuments, memorials and other important landmarks in Washington D.C.. Students will use their research as a basis for working collaboratively to propose a new monument in our nation's capital.

In this task, students work in groups of four to complete the following task "The President has hired you as the owners of a consulting firm to encourage tourists to visit our capitol for what he calls Project WOW - the Wonders of Washington D.C.. He agrees that there are many fantastic landmarks in the city but there are more memorials that he thinks could be added to honor others who have made a great contribution to our nation. The problem is that he only has enough money right now to invest in one. He wants you to help him make his decision. Who should be honored first? What will the new memorial look like? You make the choice!"


This webquest is a combination of design and persuasion tasks and was created for students in Grade 4 to support their exploration of Washington D.C. The webquest is planned for five forty minute class periods. At times, there will be two teachers interacting with the class.


Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks
History and Social Science
1.1 On a map of the United States, locate Washington, D.C. and identify it as the capital of the United States of America; locate Boston and identify it as the capital of Massachusetts. (G)
4.13 Identify major monuments and historical sites in and around Washington, D.C. (e.g., the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, the Smithsonian Museums, the Library of Congress, the White House, the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the National Archives, Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and Mount Vernon). (G)
4.15 Describe the diverse nature of the American people by identifying the distinctive contributions to American culture of:
A. at least three indigenous peoples in different areas of the country B. African Americans C. major European immigrant groups
3.3 Adapt language to persuade, to explain, or to seek information.
3.4 Give oral presentations about experiences or interests using eye contact, proper place, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
27.1 Create radio scripts, audiotapes, or videotapes for display or transmission. (ELA W5.6
27.2 Create presentations using computer technology. (ELA W5.7)
27.3 Create a media production using effective images, text, music, sound effects, or graphics. (ELA W5.13)
27.6 Create media presentations that effectively use graphics, images, and/or sound to present a distinctive point of view on a topic. (ELA W5.19)
27.8 Create coherent media productions that synthesize information from several sources.
Technology Literacy Standards
1.24 Create a multimedia presentation using various media as appropriate
3.8 Create projects that use text and various forms of graphics, audio, and video (with proper citations) to communicate ideas.
7.D.1 Select, create, interpret, and utilize the following tabular and graphical
representations of data: circle graphs, Venn diagrams, stem-and-leaf plots, tables,
and charts.
Science and Technology
1 Recognize, interpret, and be able to create models of the earth’s common physical
features in various mapping representations, including contour maps.

Essential Questions

How does geography and people’s habits affect the placement of a memorial?
How do the materials used and design impact people’s interaction with a memorial?
How does a memorial’s design reflect the personality of the person being honored?

Students will understand that there are monuments in Washington D.C. that were created with a vision and a purpose.
Students will be able to identify the major monuments in Washington D.C. and explain some of their history.
Students will be demonstrate the ability to show critical thinking through a discussion of essential questions.
Students will work cooperatively and collaboratively to create an original presentation that synthesizes the work of the four group members.


Students will work in groups of four to use higher level thinking skills to “analyze, synthesize and evaluate” their findings in order to make a decision about the best person to be honored, what the monument will look like and where it will be located. They will use the results of their decision and the research they do on other monuments to create a short video presentation to persuade the president.

Grouping will be made by the teacher and may either support or grow student's capabilities. To group students, be aware of the following needs: Cartographer - strong technical skills. Architect - strong artistic skills. Project Manager - strong organizational and people skills. Producer - good technical and research skills.

The flow of the project would be:
  • Each member of the four person group completes an assignment using notetaking sheets provided by the teacher.(Links to these resources are provided on each of the project web pages.) The architect will research at least four monuments to find out what the design looks like and what materials it is made from. The cartographer will find the monuments and other important Washington places of interest and plot them on Google Earth. The producer will research why the monuments were created and important facts about them. The project manager will make sure that group members are working on their jobs and will also research three people being considered for the honor.
  • Each role will then go to a "seminar" to discuss essential questions about their role. The questions are found on the Seminar Notes Sheet - a link for this form is found on the Process Page for each role. They will discuss one answer they have written and will choose an answer that another seminar member has given to write on the second part of the form.
  • The Team Members will then return to their original teams for the Project Summit. Prior to the discussions about the new memorial taking place, the class will watch a short video about being a good group member and create a set of five rules to follow (a link to this form is on the Project Summit page). After each group has created their rules, a class discussion should be held. What does it mean to have a good discussion? What if differences occur? How do they know when a decision has been made?
  • Next, using their Project Summit form (a link to this form is on the Project Summit page), the group members will meet to discuss their research, present their findings and come to consensus. They will be encouraged to think about reasons for their choices and to persuade others why they should agree.
  • When consensus is reached, the Project Manager and producer will create a persuasive script for their presentation using a storyboard. The cartographer will map the new monument and produce a map for the presentation. The architect will design and sketch a new monument.
  • All group members will be involved in filming their original presentation which will be a video. The videos will be presented to "Congress" - another fourth grade class - who will choose the winner.

Scaffolding includes the use of original videos, pre-selected sites, note taking sheets, decision making sheets, tutorials,aproject rubric, storyboard forms and teacher monitoring, modeling and intervention as needed.

Resources needed

Google Earth download
Video Camera
Paper & markers
Research forms (links to each form are found on the student pages)
Internet access




This cross curricular lesson incorporates multiple intelligences and promotes the 21st Century Learning Skills of creativity, collaboration and communication. Students will have the opportunity to work together to create an original product while learning about our nation's capital.

Credits and references

I would like to thank Mr. Don Langenhorst and the members of Team Holland for their feedback and support while creating this webquest. Parts of this webquest were modeled after the following webquest Farley, Kimberly. "A Chance of a Lifetime: Come to the New World". Walpole Public Schools. July 2, 2010