Mount Rushmore Teacher Resources
Find Mount Rushmore educational ideas and activities
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Math at Mount Rushmore
Exactly how big is Mount Rushmore? Young mathematicians develop their ability to find the area of complex figures as they look at one of our nation's famous monuments. Scholars begin by learning a brief history of Mount Rushmore and the methods used to create this spectacular sculpture. These techniques are then put into practice as children create and replicate drawings on cardboard boxes using a plumb-bob, ruler, and protractor. Finally, students use grids to calculate the area and lines of symmetry in the faces of the nation's great leaders. For higher grades, consider introducing the concept of scale when working with pictures of this enormous monument. This lesson spans over three to four days and uniquely brings together the subjects of math, history, and art.
Mount Rushmore as Sculpture
What are non-traditional sculptural materials and how can they be used to reinvent a work of art? The class examines the techniques and materials used in the creation of Mount Rushmore; they then re-imagine the piece using sculptural material such as toilet paper, chopsticks, paper clips, or spaghetti. The final project will be a three-dimensional interpretation of the larger-than-life sculpture.
Carving Tools at Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore contains the faces of four great American leaders, but it also shows the power of artistic ability. Learners will examine the tools, techniques, and reasons why Mount Rushmore was constructed. They focus their attention on how the sculptors had to use very specific tools at different points in the project to achieve their desired results. They each sculpt a small figure using considerations for the design process such as, planning, final product, and which tools they'll need to achieve the desired end results.
Preservation at Mount Rushmore
Mt. Rushmore wasn't built in a day, but how long will it stick around? How quickly is it eroding and what causes the fastest weathering? Explore these questions and more in a fun, interactive lesson about the earth's natural processes of weathering and erosion.
Fifth graders gather information about Mount Rushmore though a picture and then through a book about it. In this Mount Rushmore instructional activity, 5th graders recall and write about two locations considered while planning Mount Rushmore.
In this reading comprehension learning exercise about Mount Rushmore, students observe pictures and read a short passage. Students write 5 short answers.
Students inspect Mount Rushmore. For this Mount Rushmore lesson, students explore American symbols. Students log on to Second Life and investigate Mount Rushmore. Students communicate learning using differentiated options.
The Next President on Mount Rushmore is...
Learners research Mount Rushmore. In this presidential monuments lesson plan, students evaluate whether the presidents should have been part of the memorial, based on the research. Learners write a persuasive paper on who the next president on Mt. Rushmore should be.
The Next President on Mount Rushmore is...
Learners explore Mount Rushmore. In this presidential history instructional activity, students identify the presidents memorialized on the monument and then determine which president they think should be added to the monument.
Designing a Monument
Art students are going to love designing and creating their own monuments. They discuss the purpose and power found in the carving of Mount Rushmore, then consider how and who they would like to immortalize through the sculptural process. They use any mediums available in the art room to create a copy or interpretation of Mount Rushmore; they explain their process to the class.
Learners examine the life, contributions, and influence of Teddy Roosevelt. They view a slideshow lecture and take notes on a handout, filling in the blanks on the handout. Students then write a persuasive letter to a governmental committee about why Teddy Roosevelt is a good candidate for the Mount Rushmore monument.
Every Day Edit - Mount Rushmore
In this everyday editing worksheet, learners correct grammatical mistakes in a short paragraph about Mount Rushmore. The errors range from punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and grammar.
Patriotic Places: The Smithsonian Institution and Mount Rushmore
In this patriotic places: The Smithsonian Institution and Mount Rushmore, 4th graders read about these places and answer questions about them.
What an Accomplishment
Middle schoolers identify and discuss the images on the back of the South Dakota quarter. They discuss the differences between facts and opinions, and research information about the four presidents memorialized on Mount Rushmore.
Follow the Leader
Here is a phenomenal lesson plan on the three branches of government for your second and third-graders. It presents this often-confusing information in an easy-to-understand format. Many excellent activities and worksheets are embedded in the plan, including coloring in the reverse side of the South Dakota State Quarter and identifying the four famous faces on Mt. Rushmore.
Follow the Leader
Students examine the roles of national leaders and the three branches of government and their duties. They view and discuss the images on the South Dakota Quarter Reverse transparency, complete a worksheet, and create a mobile of the three branches.
Four Famous Faces
Each one of our quarters is embellished with a famous face or image representing the state it came from. This instructional activity uses South Dakota's state quarter to get kids thinking about monetary value, what the president of the United States does, and famous historical figures. Web links, worksheets, and a full 2 day procedure is included.
Students explore proportional reasoning. In this middle school mathematics lesson plan students investigate scale drawings as they create a proportional representation for the carvings on Mt. Rushmore.
Rock 'N Roll Mount Rushmore
Students, in groups, gather information about the sculptor Gutzon Borglum and the four presidents he carved in the South Dakota mountain, Mt. Rushmore. Groups create a Rock 'n' Roll President brochure.
Sculpture: Statues, Monuments, and More
Students explore some of the components of sculpture through a variety of artists and their artwork. The six lessons of this unit utilize the sculptures experienced when students were studying American history and the Native Americans.