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Recommended Reading: The Spanish-American War

Check out these resources if you are interested in learning more about the Spanish-American War.

Recommended Reading: African American History at ANC

Explore these resources if you are interested in learning more about the history of African Americans at Arlington National Cemetery.

Walking Tour: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the gravesites of individuals related to the Tomb's history.
On November 11, 1921, an unknown American soldier who died in World War I was laid to rest at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. On this walking tour, you will visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the gravesites of several individuals who took part in the Unknown’s 1921 burial ceremony. You will also explore other sites in the cemetery that invite reflection on the sacrifices of those who gave not only their lives, but also their names and identities in the service of the United States.
  • Length: 2 miles
  • Starting point: Section 5 (.3 miles from Welcome Center)

Walking Tour: The Spanish-American War

Arlington National Cemetery contains more monuments and burial sites related to the Spanish-American War than any other location in the continental United States.
Learn about the historical significance of the Spanish-American War by visiting the gravesites of individuals who played prominent roles in it, as well as the USS Maine Memorial, the Spanish-American War Memorial and other monuments.
  • Length: 1.2 miles
  • Starting point: Section 24 (1 mile from Welcome Center)

Walking Tour: Segregation and Civil Rights

Explore Arlington’s past as a plantation, learn about the Freedman's Village built on this property during the Civil War, and meet some trailblazers of the civil rights movement.
The history of African Americans at Arlington National Cemetery parallels and reflects the history of African Americans in the United States. This walking tour includes sites related to slavery, Reconstruction, segregation, the civil rights movement, and the continuing contributions of African Americans to the U.S. military and society.
  • Length: 5 miles
  • Starting point: Section 36 (0.2 miles from Welcome Center)
  • Because this walking tour is quite long, we recommend completing it in smaller sections.

Walking Tour: African American Firsts

This walking tour celebrates African American men and women buried at Arlington National Cemetery who were first in their fields.
Meet the first African American four-star general, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, the first boxer to appear on a U.S. postage stamp and many other pioneers. 
  • Length: 5 miles
  • Starting point: Section 33 (0.5 miles from Welcome Center)
  • Because this walking tour is quite long, we recommend completing it in smaller sections.

Walking Tour: African American Military Heroes

Learn about the lives of Tuskegee Airmen, members of the 369th Infantry Infantry Regiment (the “Harlem Hellfighters”), Medal of Honor recipients and more. 
Throughout U.S. history, African Americans have fought bravely for the United States and distinguished themselves in battle. This walking tour includes gravesites and memorials that honor the service of these heroic individuals. 
  • Length: 5 miles
  • Starting point: Section 40 (0.4 miles from Welcome Center)
  • Because this walking tour is quite long, we recommend completing it in smaller sections.

Lesson Plan: Who's Buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?

Primary sources enable students to consider who might be buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and why he is buried there.
Optional materials discussing Memorial Day and Veterans Day, along with their connections to the Tomb, are also included. Students will use the information they learn to reflect upon what the Tomb and/or holiday means to American society and to them. Resources include PowerPoint presentations and student reflection worksheets. 
  • One class period, 45-60 minutes total

Lesson Plan: The Unknown Soldier and National Community

Students explore efforts to define and unite the American national community by reading and discussing primary source documents related to the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1921.
Students will be asked to cite evidence from the documents as well as to reflect on their own experiences. Resources include a PowerPoint slide deck, primary source excerpts and discussion questions.
  • Two class periods, 50-70 minutes total

Lesson Plan: What Is the United States of America?

Students use maps to explore the concept of the United States of America as a nation and to learn about its geographic boundaries over time.
Resources for teachers include handouts and a PowerPoint-guided lesson on the United States' geographic expansion from the colonial period through today.
  • One class period, 35-45 minutes total

Lesson Plan: Spanish-American War Timeline

This timeline activity about the Spanish-American War can be used as an introduction, a review or at any time during a lesson/unit.
Timeline cards can be printed and ordered chronologically to give students an overview of events in the war.
  • One class period, 15-30 minutes total

Lesson Plan: Nurses in the Spanish-American War

Students use primary source documents and other resources to learn about the role of female nurses during the Spanish-American War.
The lesson also explores the expansion of career opportunities for women in military medicine before and after the war, and it addresses the different experiences of white women and women of color. Resources include quotes, images and cards with profiles of individual nurses. Students complete a gallery walk or work in groups on a jigsaw of teacher-curated resources.
  • Elementary: One class period, 45-60 minutes total
  • Middle: 1-2 class periods, 60-75 minutes total
  • High: 1-2 class periods, 60-75 minutes total

Lifelong Learners: Personal Accounts of the Spanish-American War

Explore photographs and personal accounts that tell firsthand stories about the Spanish-American War. Learners of all ages can use these primary sources in order to understand how Americans experienced the war in different ways.

Lifelong Learners: Nurses in the Spanish-American War

Through historical photographs and written accounts, learn about the role of female nurses during the Spanish-American War. Materials also examine how nursing expanded opportunities for women in the military.

Lifelong Learners: Historical Opinions on the Spanish-American War

This curated collection of primary sources illuminates a variety of historical opinions on the Spanish-American War and the United States' expanding global power.
As learners read, they will consider how Americans reacted to the war and the United States' changing role in the world at the turn of the 20th century. Materials also prompt readers to consider how such debates continue today. 

Lesson Plan: A Splendid Little War? – High School

Students use primary source documents and other resources to learn about arguments for and against the Spanish-American War in 1898.
Materials also explore the meanings and consequences of U.S. global expansion at the turn of the 20th century. Resources include personal accounts, historical photographs, political cartoons, historical commentaries and a student worksheet.
  • 1-2 class periods, 75-90 minutes total

Lesson Plan: A Splendid Little War? – Middle School

Students use primary sources and a worksheet to analyze historical perspectives on the Spanish-American War and the United States’ expanding global power.
Materials include resources for a teacher-led discussion, as well as a worksheet for students to complete individually or as a group.
  • One class period, 40-50 minutes total

Lesson Plan: Reconstruction Timeline

This timeline activity about the history of Reconstruction (1865-1877) can be used as an introduction, a review or at any time throughout a Reconstruction unit.
Timeline cards can be printed and ordered to give students an overview of important events during the Reconstruction era. For students who will be visiting Arlington National Cemetery, an optional set of Freedman’s Village timeline cards can also be printed and used.
  • One class period, 15-30 minutes

Lesson Plan: The Freedpeople of Section 27

Although Arlington National Cemetery is a military cemetery, it contains a section where thousands of African American civilians were buried between 1864 and 1867.
Through a class lecture and exploration of a Section 27 burial record, students explore what life may have been like for free African Americans during the years surrounding the Civil War. Students will write a short obituary for one of the African American civilians on the burial record.
  • Elementary School: 1 class period, 45-60 minutes total
  • Middle School: 1-2 class periods, 70-90 minutes total
  • High School: 1-2 class periods, 70-90 minutes total

Lesson Plan: Freedman’s Village at Arlington

Freedman’s Village was a federally administered temporary community of formerly enslaved African Americans established on the former Arlington estate in 1863.
In 1887, the government decided to close Freedman’s Village and evict the residents. After analyzing documents and summarizing the arguments on both sides of the issue—should Freedman’s Village be closed or remain open?—students choose their own stance and respond to a reflection question. For an extension opportunity, students can write a letter to the secretary of war explaining what they think should be done.
  • Elementary School: 1-3 class periods, 45-120 minutes total
  • Middle School: 1-2 class periods, 60-90 minutes total
  • High School: 1-2 class periods, 60-90 minutes total

Lifelong Learners: The Freedpeople of Section 27

In Section 27 of Arlington National Cemetery, thousands of headstones inscribed with “citizen” or “civilian” mark the resting places of free or formerly enslaved African Americans who died in and around Washington, D.C. from 1863 to 1867.
Read about who these people were and how they came to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and then explore a burial record for this section.

Lifelong Learners: Freedman’s Village at Arlington

Freedman’s Village was a community of formerly enslaved African Americans established on the former Arlington estate in 1863.
Through historical photos and personal accounts, learn about life in the village and the circumstances surrounding its eventual closure.

 

Lesson Plan: African American Celebrated Unit – United States Colored Troops, Civil War

The United States Colored Troops (official U.S. Army name), or U.S.C.T., were Civil War regiments composed of African Americans.
Although African Americans had fought in the military since the Revolutionary War, the formation of the U.S.C.T. was the first time that the U.S. Army had actively recruited them. Their service opened the door for future generations of African Americans in the military. Students learn about the U.S.C.T. and explore their significance in historical and cultural context. Resources include a PowerPoint slide deck and handout.
  • One class period, 15-20 minutes total

Lesson Plan: African American Celebrated Unit – Tuskegee Airmen, World War II

The Tuskegee Airmen have long been honored for their skills, valor and distinguished service despite facing segregation and discrimination.
From 1941 to 1946, nearly 1,000 African American military pilots completed their training in Tuskegee, Alabama. More than 350 of them served overseas during World War II; 84 lost their lives. Students learn about the Tuskegee Airmen and explore their significance in historical and cultural context. Resources include a PowerPoint slide deck and handout.
  • One class period, 15-20 minutes total

Lesson Plan: African American Celebrated Unit – “Buffalo Soldiers”

In 1866, Congress established the U.S. Army’s all-Black 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments and 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments, later known as the “Buffalo Soldiers,” to serve on the western frontier.
Students learn about the Buffalo Soldiers and explore their significance in historical and cultural context. Resources include a PowerPoint slide deck and handout.
  • One class period, 15-20 minutes total

Lesson Plan: African American Celebrated Unit – 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, World War II

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, popularly known as the “Six Triple Eight,” was an African American unit of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during World War II.
The 6888th became the only non-medical African American women’s unit to serve overseas during the war. Students learn about the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion and explore its significance in historical and cultural context. Resources include a PowerPoint slide deck and handout.
  • One class period, 15-20 minutes total

Lesson Plan: African American Celebrated Unit – 369th Infantry Regiment

The 369th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed the “Harlem Rattlers” and “Harlem Hellfighters,” had one of the most distinguished records of any unit in the history of the United States Army.
The 369th saw extensive combat in both World War I and World War II. Most of the men in the regiment were African American, although it also included Puerto Ricans. Students learn about the 369th Infantry Regiment and explore its significance in historical and cultural context. Resources include a PowerPoint slide deck and handout.
  • One class period, 15-20 minutes total