Thank you for thinking about students’ emotional learning in the time of the pandemic and in its aftermath. As part of this recognition of America’s loss, two American University School of Education faculty developed lessons and educational materials for teachers, school counselors, and other school personnel to use, inspired by the In America: Remember exhibit, aimed at recognizing America’s grief and loss as a result of the pandemic. Artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg created an art exhibition of white flags, one to commemorate each American who lost their lives due to COVID-19, which was on display in Washington, DC’s National Mall in late 2021. Learn more about In America: Remember.
The goals of the lessons are:
- to support students’ social and emotional development,
- to strengthen their connection to U.S. history, and
- to promote the use of art to participate in our communities.
Links to all materials, resources, and alignment to Common Core State Standards are included.
Lessons are 30-minute instructional plans and resources for students to discuss the impacts of the pandemic while learning about and engaging with the art exhibition, In America: Remember.
Mini-Units provide teachers with an extended 90-minute lesson plan and extensive resources to discuss the pandemic’s impact, art’s ability to amplify emotion and social issues, and the art exhibition, In America: Remember.
Additional Educational Resources
Loss and Grief
U.S. History of Pandemics
- Organization of American Historians: History of Pandemics (videos)
- TIME for Kids: History of Pandemics
Lesson Plan Creators
Jody Hagen-Smith is a former classroom teacher and current instructor in the School of Education at American University. Her teaching interest is the integration of learning science principles with early literacy instruction.
Dr. Lauren M. Shea works with teacher candidates as an education professorial lecturer at American University in Washington, D.C. Her current research and practice center on integrating language and literacy strategies in STEM.
Special thanks to Lynne Brenner Ganek who provided financial support and guidance during the development of these educational materials.