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The Wall

Last updated Monday, February 24, 2020

Author: Eve Bunting
Illustrator: Ronald Himler
Date of Publication: 1990
ISBN: 0395515882
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Aug. 2004

Synopsis: A boy and his father have come to the Vietnam War Memorial to look for the boy's grandfather's name among those who were killed in the war. They find his name surrounded, but far from lost, in the rows of print that "march side by side, like rows of soldiers."

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you heard of the Vietnam War Memorial? What is it? What does a memorial do? Do you know of other memorials?
•  Do memorials have to be big?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  In the story, the teacher said that the Wall was for all of us. What does that mean?
•  Why do you think the Dad rubbed the name onto the paper?
•  What do you like about the design of the Vietnam War Memorial? What don?t you like?

Craft ideas:
•  What's the difference between a memorial and an award? Design an award to honor someone you know, and write a letter of appreciation.
•  Write a letter to your ancestors/ great grandparents/ etc., telling them about you and your family now.

Special activities:
•  Share the letters or awards with the rest of the group.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!