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Tools for Educators

Dr. Cannon Goes to Washington: Utah statues in National Statuary Hall

Lesson Overview

Students will engage with primary source documents to explore the reasons behind memorializing people in public art. Students will craft written or oral statements to support an argument in favor of installing a statue of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon, Philo T. Farnsworth, or Brigham Young in National Statuary Hall. Students will learn about the historical significance of Dr. Cannon, and will create an invitation and write a speech for a mock installation ceremony for the Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon statue.

Recommended Instructional Time: 2 class periods

Key Utah Standards Addressed

Learning Objectives

Guiding Questions

  • How do statues send a message about what values are important to a community?
  • In what ways do the statues from the state of Utah in the National Statuary Hall Collection represent the people of Utah?
  • In what ways do they misrepresent the people of Utah? Whose stories are not represented at all?
  • What events and/or anniversaries in the past led to the creation of the statues Utah has donated/will donate to the National Statuary Hall Collection?
  • What was the historical significance of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon to Utah and to U.S. history?


Materials Needed

1. Informational Texts
2. PPT "National Statuary Hall Collection"
3. Primary Source Documents
4. Graphic Organizers

Note: When sharing link for fillable worksheets with students in Google Drive, each student will need their own copy of the worksheet. This can be accomplished by changing the last part of the url you share with students from “edit” to “copy”. This instructional video from Melissa Nikohl on You Tube (begin watching at the 4:45 minute mark) may be helpful with this process.

5. Link to Better Days Video about Martha Hughes Cannon

6. Brooke Smart illustration of Martha Hughes Cannon

Lesson Plan - Part 1

Lesson Plan - Part 2




Further Reading for Educators

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