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May

Title:  The Wall by Eve Bunting

In the book The Wall, a father and his young son visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to search for the name of the boy’s grandfather who he never knew.  Both father and son take great pride in finding his name on the Wall.  They also feel sadness that he could not be there to share their lives today.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is located in Washington, D.C.  It was designed and built to honor the soldiers who died or were missing in action during the Vietnam War.  There are over 58,000 names on the Wall.  The Memorial receives many, many visitors every year.

Questions/Activities:

Idea #1:  The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is described as black and shiny as a mirror.  It is shiny enough that visitors can see themselves in the walls of the Memorial.  When the Memorial was being built, there was much discussion about how it should look. Some suggested the Memorial should be filled with bright colors.  Others wanted a dark surface on which names would be written.  If you were designing a memorial to honor soldiers who sacrificed for our country, what would it look like and why?

Idea #2:  In the book The Wall, a teacher brought her class to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  What do you think the teacher meant when she said, “The names are the names of the dead.  But the wall is for all of us”?  Be prepared to share your answer.

Idea #3:  Make a list of questions your class would like to ask a soldier who went to war to protect our country.  Then try to identify someone in your community and invite them into your classroom or write to them with your questions.