Arlington National Cemetery Launches Education Program

By TIMOTHY JAMES LAWSON on 7/28/2020

tree blooms in section 27

Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) is proud to announce its new Education Program, developed for virtual and in-person learning. Audiences of all ages may now discover the diverse history of the United States through the unique lens of ANC.

Arlington National Cemetery is the resting place of nearly 400,000 individuals, including service members and their families from every American military conflict. With so many fascinating stories to tell, the cemetery is a microcosm of the American experience. Our Education Program offers unique opportunities to engage with the cemetery’s rich history and the experiences of people from the past.

Who Is the ANC Education Program For? 

Our mission is to provide educational materials for five key audiences: elementary school, middle school and high school students and teachers, including homeschool families; people visiting the cemetery, including families with children; and lifelong learners—anyone curious to learn more about the cemetery and its history. The materials, created by a team of educators, historians and instructional designers, will bring the rich history and cultural significance of ANC to as many people as we can reach.

What Kind of Materials Are Provided?

Our program is organized around “modules,” which are instructional units on a particular theme or topic. Each module includes multiple lesson plans, walking tours and readings that explore the theme from different angles. Over the next five years, a total of 27 modules will be developed and released. The first three modules, available now, are:

•  The African American Experience at Arlington National Cemetery

•  The Spanish-American War

•  Exploring Arlington National Cemetery

A module on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will be released this fall. Future modules will examine every major U.S. military conflict and the contributions of American service members in the arts, medicine, science and technology, politics and more.

Where Can I Find the Materials?

Go to https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/education to explore and download the materials. We will be uploading new lessons and modules throughout the year, so please check back often.

How Do I Use the Materials?

Browse through our Education page and, based on the brief topic descriptions, see what interests you. Then, click on the links in the right-hand column of the page to download the materials (all are PDF files).

► Lesson Plans: Lesson plans include background information on the topic, teacher instructions, printable worksheets and handouts, and presentation slides. All lesson plans align with national social studies standards and state content standards. Each lesson provides 15 to 120 minutes of instruction in a classroom setting, and can easily be adapted to meet teachers’ and students’ needs.

► Lifelong Learner Materials: Historical photos and excerpts from historical primary sources offer firsthand glimpses into the history of Arlington National Cemetery and the people memorialized here.

► Walking Tours: While Arlington National Cemetery remains temporarily closed to visitors, our walking tours allow you to experience these hallowed grounds virtually. Each stop highlights the life of an individual interred at ANC, introduces a monument or memorial in the cemetery, discusses a historical topic, or invites you to think about history in a new way.

Share Your Thoughts With Us

We want to know how you are using the materials and to hear your suggestions for continued improvement! On social media, share your photos of lesson projects using #ANCeducation, or email our education team with your feedback.