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Learning Objectives

Students will learn about the meaning of a memorial and research famous dog memorials.

*Note: This is a multi-day lesson that would be great to teach as a preface to Memorial Day.


Grade Levels



National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies

Theme 2: Time, Continuity, And Change


Materials Needed

AKC Article, “15 Incredible US Dog Memorial Sites to Visit”: HERE

Lined Paper

Scholastic Article, “Memorial Day Observed”: HERE

Computer or another device with Internet access

Poster Board (One per group of two)

Art Supplies (markers, scissors, glue stick, stickers, etc.)



Introduction and Guided Instruction

  • Ask students if they have ever heard of the term “memorial” before. Have students share their ideas, background, and experiences.  Talk about how a memorial is something designed to preserve the memory of a person, animal, event, etc., such as a monument or a holiday.
  • Talk about the significance of Memorial Day and that we celebrate it to remember those brave Americans who we have lost that have served in the armed forces, such as the Army or Marines.
  • Hand out the Scholastic article, “Memorial Day Observed.” Have students partner read the article and write three facts that they learned on lined paper.  Review as a class.
  • Transition into a discussion about dog memorials. Talk about how there are many monuments across the country to commemorate or honor important dog heroes or stars of their local communities.
  • Hand out the AKC Article, “15 Incredible US Dog Memorial Sites to Visit.” Close read together as a class.  Discuss any unknown or difficult words.  Have students circle all the names of the dog memorials.

Independent Group Activity

  • Pair each student with a partner. Assign each group a different dog memorial from the AKC article to conduct further research on.  Ensure each group has a computer or other device with internet access. 
  • Instruct student groups to locate and write down 5 additional facts relating to their assigned dog memorial on lined paper. These facts must be different than the ones provided in the AKC article.  They must write down what website they found their information on and make sure that the information is written in their own words and paraphrased.
  • Hand out one poster board and art supplies to each group.
  • Instruct students to create a poster highlighting important information about their assigned dog memorial. They will use information from the AKC article and the other facts that they are able to locate online.  They can cut out the picture of the dog memorial from the AKC article to glue on their poster, and include any other pictures they find online as well.

Review and Closing

  • When students are finished, display the posters around the classroom so they are visible. Assign each poster a number and display this number above the poster.
  • Divide the entire class into even groups of however many posters there are.
  • Explain to students that they will be doing a timed “Gallery Walk.” They will rotate around the classroom to each poster and have 2 minutes to write a few sentences that explain what they learned about each dog memorial.
  • Allow the class time to complete the gallery walk. Have students talk about their favorite dog memorial that they learned about.


Ciampaglia, Dante. “Memorial Day Observed.” Scholastic, n.d.,

Meyers, Harriet.  “15 Incredible US Dog Memorial Sites to Visit.” American Kennel Club, 02 May 2019,