The Wall: Literature Guide for Teachers

by Eve Bunting

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The Wall

This Reading Rainbow book tells the tale of a father and his young son who come to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, to find the name of the grandfather the boy never knew. The story is told from a young child's point of view. Ronald Himler's watercolors capture the enormity of the wall of names as well as the reactions of the people who visit there. This is an excellent book to discuss around Veterans Day or Memorial Day

Enrichment Activities
Internet Resources
Books by Eve Bunting

Enrichment Activities

    Armed Forces Survey
  • Have your students talk to someone that has been in the Armed Forces. Use the Armed Forces Survey worksheet to complete the activity.

    Fifty Stars and Thirteen Stripes
  • Your students have all seen the United States flag, but do they know what the colors mean? Have students complete the Fifty Stars and Thirteen Stripes worksheet to find out.

    Flag Facts
  • Teach your students about the appropriate etiquette for the American flag. Use Flag Facts as your reference guide.

    Gravestone Rubbings
  • Begin with a discussion on rubbing and why people choose to do it when visiting the Vietnam Wall. Allow your students a chance to practice rubbing with a black crayon on a piece of white paper. Then take them on a field trip to a local historical graveyard.

    Guest Speaker
  • Ask a veteran or someone who is currently in the Armed Forces to be a guest speaker. Before he or she arrives, have your class create a list of questions. These questions might include: "Why did you join the Army?" or "How does it make you feel to help protect a whole country?"

    Locate Vietnam
  • Have students find Vietnam on a world map. Explain to them that the country is split into two parts – the North and the South. Ask them questions such as, "What is the capital of Vietnam?", "What do you think the weather is like in Vietnam?", and "What bodies of water border Vietnam?"

    Symbols of the United States
  • Discuss with students the significance of the symbols of our country. Then have students draw several of them using the Symbols of the United States worksheet.

Internet Resources

Maya Lin – Architect of The Wall
Grade Levels: Primary, Intermediate
Learn about Maya Lin, the designer of the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Vietnam Information
Grade Levels: Primary, Intermediate
General information about Vietnam, including a map of the country and a picture of the flag.

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