Maya Lin: Designed the Vietnam War Memorial & More

Designing Monuments for the Vietnam War, and species lost to climate change: Artist/Architect Maya Lin

This learning block represents one week’s work. Aim to watch at least one video and choose at least one activity or project to complete.

There are two videos to choose from about Maya Lin. The first one is better for younger kids, the second one will appeal to older kids. Feel free to watch one, or both!

Now choose an Activity

Build an Architectural Structure

Maya Lin is both an artist and an architect. She combines her skills to create important public structures. In this project, you will combine your art skills and your building skills to create a structure made from cardboard from your recycling bin!

You will need:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Cardboard pieces
  • Markers or paint to decorate!

Don’t forget to snap a photo for your portfolio!

Contribute to Maya Lin’s Final Memorial

Maya Lin’s last memorial project is called What Is Missing? She is creating a memorial to species that have gone extinct and species that will go extinct in our lifetime.

Ask your parent or caregiver, a grandparent, or another adult about the changes they have seen in the environment over their lifetimes. What has been lost? What has been restored?

The video above gives you a peek into Lin’s What Is Missing? project. With a grown-up’s permission, you can visit the What Is Missing? website and contribute to the project by sharing a memory about something you, your parent/caregiver or your grandparents have seen disappearing from the natural world, or share a story about the environment recovering.

Want to Learn More?

Learn more about art, architecture and the stories of Asian Americans changing the world.

With Omnis Education learning is FUN!

Learn About Discrimination

In this video, Maya Lin describes how she was treated as a young woman of Asian descent working in architecture. She experienced two types of discrimination: SEXISM and RACISM.

SEXISM is when a person or a system discriminates against someone based on their sex or gender.

RACISM is when a person or system discriminates against someone based on their race.

As you watch the video, think about the experience of being treated worse by others because of who you are. Has this happened to you?

If you have never been treated badly because of your identity, take a few moments to imagine how it felt for Maya Lin. She had made an amazing achievement – being chosen to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, USA! But even as she experienced this wonderful success, some people treated her as though she did not deserve it. How do you imagine she felt in those moments? How would you feel if something similar happened to you?

Maybe you have had times when people treated you badly because of who you are. You didn’t deserve that! If this has happened to you, think about the people in your life. Which of them is a safe person who might understand your experience? You may find it helpful to talk with them about it.

Books About Maya Lin

Click on a book to buy it from Amazon. Or, you can ask for them at your local library. 

Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines Read Aloud

NOw Let’s Have some fun!

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