An activity of cultural heritage and teamwork
At first, the students go sightseeing in Velká Bystřice, visiting the monuments they’d like to present as tour guides and show them to visitors and tourists. The tour follows this route: the monument to the victims of World War I; the chateau; the sculptural group of Saints Florian and John of Nepomuk; town hall; house No. 382 at 8th May street with the commemorative plaque to Miroslav Tyrš; the Church of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist; T. G. Masaryk memorial in front of the school. The students make notes for each monument.
Homework is set where pairs of students are asked to draw a simple city plan on A3 piece of paper and locate the monuments (draw them or glue pictures of them). Using the Internet, copies of the chapter from the book, their own notes, and based on discussion with their parents/grandparents, the students should prepare as much information as possible about the monuments.
In the next unit, the students share information gained, add their own views, and jointly try to write a text that could be a basis for their guided tours.
How this resource relates to Shaping Characters objectives
- Attitudes and attributes
- Education techniques
- Partnership working
Educational objective: Being able to realise the importance of respect for cultural heritage; careful treatment; expressing one’s contribution for the protection of the monuments; being able to oppose vandalism
Qualities in focus: Joint responsibility, respect, careful treatment
Target group, age of the students: 12–14 years of age
Suitable for: Citizenship Education
Book Velká Bystřice. Pohledy do dějin (Velká Bystřice. A Look at the History) – copies of the chapter “Velkobystřické památky” (Monuments of Velká Bystřice), pp 179–190; Internet
2 x 45 minute session
What could have been done differently or is planned for future repeats?
The activity was unconventional, but the students had a good grasp of it, participating enthusiastically. Each of them wanted to include information they acquired in the final wording, which was not easy at all. The most interesting part was the history of the municipal coat of arms of Velká Bystřice, and three unveilings of the T. G. Masaryk memorial. I had to answer numerous thought-provoking questions (Why? What would happen if…?).
The lively debate touched upon cultural barbarism, destruction of monuments, vandalism, graffiti. The students unanimously agreed that monuments need protection, that it is necessary to treat them carefully and not be afraid to draw the attention to those who destroy them.