This is a lesson plan provided by the National Library of Israel.

How does one, in the course of 24 hours, go from mourning a loved one – a fallen soldier or victim of terrorism – to rejoicing on Israel’s Independence Day?  The juxtaposition of these two events and the abrupt transition from tragedy to joy can be emotionally jarring and has long been subject to public debate. What is the message of these two back-to-back events?  Is the psychological leap from one day to the next necessary?  Through analysis of  Michael Elkayam’s 2008 Yom Hazikaron Poster students grapple with the emotions and history that are embedded in Yom Hazikaron and its immediate segue into Yom Haatzmaut.  This resource engages learners in connecting with the emotions experienced on Yom Hazikaron through learning one of the songs traditionally played on that day and creating a video presentation to accompany it.  In addition, students will design and create their  own Yom Hazikaron posters.

The learner will:


  1. understand the emotional and psychological complexities that come with juxtaposing Israel’s saddest day of the year with its happiest day
  2. know the different ways that people choose to commemorate Yom Hazikaron
  3. be able to create their own artistic representations of the emotions and history tied to Yom Hazikaron through graphic design
About the National Library and its educational materials:

The mission of the National Library of Israel is to provide a home for items of national, historic or cultural significance. Each of these primary sources serve as unique entry points into the collective memory of the people of Israel as well as the Jewish people worldwide.

The education department at the library curates the collection of primary sources and uses them as windows into the past; to foster a deeper understanding of Jewish history, and to enable learners to personalize and connect to earlier events.


When you click on the National Library of Israel resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:


  1. A group activity to open the lesson and engage the learners.
  2. Discussion ideas and/or questions that are designed to get the learners thinking more deeply about the content.
  3. A creative activity that gives students the opportunity to go beyond learning and analyzing, to crafting something new, that personalizes how they relate to the  primary sources featured in the resource.
  4. The primary sources in this resource have individual links (listed in Expand your horizons below) that provide expanded information. In addition there are nuanced discussion questions that will enable students in small groups to engage independently and effectively in the process of  observing, interpreting, and connecting to the primary sources.

    Link to the lesson plan:
    Analyzing A Memorial Day Poster 2008

Student Handouts, computer, projector, arts and crafts materials, poster paper

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