The Jefferson Memorial

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 12055

Can you name any of the presidents of the United States? Have you ever seen a two-dollar bill? You can see a 19-foot-tall president who helped create the United States when you visit Washington, D.C.!


United States, United States

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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That's a very big man standing in the middle of this dome!

  • Do you know who it is?

This statue represents a very big man in United States history!

Inside of the Jefferson Memorial stands a statue of Thomas Jefferson, who was the third president of the United States.

The beautiful memorial can be found in Washington, D.C., along with many other memorials dedicated to presidents and American heroes. In this lesson, you will learn about Thomas Jefferson and the Jefferson Memorial.

  • Are you ready to get started?


The Jefferson Memorial was designed by the architect John Russel Pope in 1925.

When choosing the style for this memorial, Pope kept one of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite styles in mind. He chose to create a neoclassical building. Neoclassical style focuses on designing buildings like those created in Rome and Greece.

The construction of the Jefferson Memorial did not begin until 1939.

The outside of the Jefferson Memorial building is made out of Vermont Imperial Danby Marble and the inside is made out of white Georgia marble. They chose to build the memorial out of two different types of marble — one type from a state in the north and the other type from a state in the south. This represents the differences in the land that is part of the United States.

The building was completed in 1943. Rudolph Evans, a sculptor, finished the nineteen-foot-tall statue of President Thomas Jefferson in 1947 and the statue was added to the center of the memorial.

Thomas Jefferson statue

The Jefferson Memorial was built in honor of the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson.

He was one of America’s Founding Fathers and was responsible for the creation of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was created to let other countries know that Americans were choosing to separate themselves from Great Britain.

The memorial stands for the freedom of the United States of America from Great Britain. (To read more about the Declaration of Independence, check out the Additional Resources in the right-hand sidebar.)

Jefferson Memorial

Every year, over three million people visit the Jefferson Memorial.

Here, tourists are able to see the nineteen-foot tall bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson. They are also able to see the twenty-six columns surrounding the entire memorial. These columns represent the twenty-six states that were part of the Union.

  • How would you describe the Jefferson Memorial?

Jefferson Memorial

  • Who was the Jefferson Memorial dedicated to? Thomas Jefferson.
  • What do you know about Thomas Jefferson?

Move on to the Got It? section to learn about Thomas Jefferson.

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