• Ayela Khuhro

Design a Monument


In this three step activity you will learn what a monument is. Next, you will do a quick study of a featured monument, the Stone of Hope, a granite statue of Martin Luther King Jr. sculpted by Lei Yixin in Washington DC. Finally, you will design your own monument.

What is a monument?

A monument is a structure or an object built to remember or show respect for a person or group of people, or a special place or event. Monuments remind the public about stories from history that become a part of public identity.

Study of a monument?

Study the attached photo of the Stone of Hope at the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial in Washington DC and consider the following points to understand it's significance.

Who is it? Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist who had an enormous impact on race relations in the United States. Through speeches and activism, he played a role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the United States, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1964. He is remembered as one of the most influential and inspirational African-American leaders in history.

What is it made of? This 30 foot long sculpture in made of white granite by Chinese Master Artist Lei Yixin. In addition, 14 of King's notable quotes are engraved on a 450 foot crescent shaped wall, behind the sculpture.

Where is it?

Washington DC

When was it placed there?

It was dedicated in August 22, 2011 in a ceremony led by President Barrack Obama.

Why is it significant? It honors a great human rights activist and a leader of the African American Civil Rights movement. Martin Luther King believed in advancing civil rights in America through non-violent resistance and civil disobedience inspired by Mahatama Gandhi of India. He was arrested almost 30 times in his mission of non-violent protest and was the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The themes of the monument are, potential for freedom, equal opportunity and justice.

Now, take a challenge and design your own monument.

Choose a community member or historical figure who you think should be honored in your town.


A historical event that needs to be remembered.

What is the design?

What is the material?

Is it a statue, a plaque, a column or other?

Where in your city should the monument be placed?

Draw a sketch of your monument.

Please feel free to share your sketch with us. We would love to hear from you!

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