The Topic:
Walls Around the World

This 42eXplore project contains links to website resources for twenty-eight separate 'talking walls' introduced in the books of Margy Burns Knight and Anne Sibley O'Brien.
Easier - Walls are structures that divide, surround, or protect an area. Do walls talk? If they could, what might they tell us?
'Talking walls' is an idea or theme that was added to literature by writer Margy Burns Knight and illustrator Anne Sibley O'Brien. In their books, they introduce different cultures of the world by examining walls, the people who built them, and their impact on the community.
Harder - Walls do tell a story about the history, politics, and culture of their community. They explain something about the people who built them. They also give a sense of the times in which they were built. The people and community where they are located are divided or unified by them.
Margy Burns Knight and Anne Sibley O'Brien have authored Talking Walls (1992) and Talking Walls: The Stories Continue (1996) plus a Talking Walls Teacher's Guide.(1992).
Talking Walls at Edmark
Investigate walls that have been constructed and created by man; their historical, cultural, and political significance.
Talking Walls
This links site connects to several websites related to 'talking walls.'
Similar Links-site:
2) Famous Walls
Talking Walls Gallery
Here you find a collection of the paintings by Anne Sibley O’Brien.
Related Website:
2) Biography of Margy Burns Knight and Anne Sibley O'Brien
Talking Walls Project (Grade 5) from Cape Elizabeth, Maine
This school project site explores the idea that communities of all sizes and styles have a need to share ideas and information via 'talking walls.'
After visiting several of the 'talking walls' websites, complete one or more of these projects:
Complete A 'Talking Walls' WebQuest. Follow or adapt the procedures found at one of the following webQuest sites:
1) Aboriginal Art by L. Warring (Grade 6)
2) And They Came to the Streets That Were Paved With Gold: Chinese Immigration to
California, 1850-1882 by K.K. Lee (Grade 4)
3) 'Cause They Don't Look Like You': A Study of Intolerance in America (Grades 4-5) by H. Lynch
4) Immigration: Angel Island vs. Ellis Island
5) Public Art by V. Rosales
6) Street Art: Murals Through the Ages by A. Lublin
Analyze the 'Talking Walls'. Evaluate the talking walls sites. Which is your favorite? Explain why you chose it. Which walls should be torn down? Use spreadsheet or Inspiration software to show what you already knew and what new insights you gained form the 'Talking Walls' books and/or the websites.
Add A Missing 'Talking Wall'. There are other talking walls. What other wall would you add? Make a presentation that informs and convinces others of the importance of your wall.
Visit the Wall. Maybe you can't visit one of these famous walls, but can you take a virtual visit? Many of the websites below contain virtual visits through video, audio, and animation. Pretend you are someone visiting the wall. Create a character and write about why they might be visiting this particular wall and what they plan to do on their visit.
Compare Walls. Learn about one of these famous walls. Compare your wall with others. How are they alike and different? How does your wall reflect the social, political, or cultural aspects of the place it is located?
Create a Wall Poem. Create a poem that describes the feelings you have after learning about one of the walls. Write a paragraph that describes the wall and how you got your ideas for the poem. Post it on a class poem wall or create a poem wall web page.
Identify the Walls in Your Community. Examine your neighborhood to find the existing walls. Remember, talking walls are political, cultural, and historical. Some walls are relatively short-lived, others last for hundreds or even thousands of years. Look all the walls in your community. Should any of the walls be eliminated? Create a multimedia presentation about your community's walls and their impact.
Create a "Talking Walls' Poster. Inform others of your favorite wall by creating a poster about it. Display your completed work.
Have You Built Any Walls? Write in your journal about walls that you have helped to build. Remember walls can be actual physical constructions of stone, wood, metal, and concrete - - or they can be walls in our minds. Write about the walls that you have built.
For more ideas, check out the Talking Walls Teacher's Guide by Margy Burns Knight and Thomas V. Chan.
Websites By Kids For Kids
Cave of Lascaux by K. Crylen and M. Stedt
This website is a history project on the discovery of the ancient cave and its paintings.
Deltaworks, Ever Lasting Battle Against the Sea (1998 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This site presents the Deltaworks--a system involving locks, sluices, channels, and other control methods to prevent flooding. Many people in the Netherlands believe it is the eighth wonder of the world. The site provides the background of this project and explains how it was started because of a catastrophic flood on January 31, 1953.
First Grade Walls
The walls built by Pilgrims.
Great Wall of China (2000 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This site provides an overview of the physics, science, and architectural construction involved in the construction of the Wall.
Wall of Inspiration (Grades K-5) from Aurora School, Oakland, CA
This multiage student project created a visual and written work of art that teaches others about the lives of people who have inspired us and in various ways connected us with the greater human conscience.
More Websites for Walls
Aborigine of Australia from Alaska Native Knowledge Network
This site houses a collection of web-links for Aborigine history and culture.
Related Websites on Aboriginal Art:
2) Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre at Alice Springs
3) Aboriginal Art Online
4) Aboriginal Fine Arts Gallery
5) Aboriginal Magic In The Land Of The Quinkans
6) Aborigine Spirit Paintings by R. Scheer
7) Wall Painting in Australia
Angel Island
In 1905, construction of an Immigration Station began in China Cove. Surrounded by public controversy from its inception, the station was finally put into operation in 1910. Anticipated as the 'Ellis Island of the West', it was designed to handle a flood of European immigrants who were expected to begin arriving in California once the Panama Canal was opened.
Related Websites:
2) Angel Island
3) Angel Island: 'Guardian of the Western Gate' from National Archives and Records
4) Angel Island Immigration Station
5) Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation
6) Angel Island: Journeys Remembered by Chinese Houstonians from Houston Chronicle
7) Angel Island Poems
8) Immigration Station, Angel Island, CA (panoramic photograph)
9) Immigration Station at Angel Island Home Page
10)Interrogations of Chinese Immigrants at Angel Island
11)Poem from Angel Island from Houghton Mifflin Company
12)Welcome to Chinatown from Riverdeep (download video)
Berlin Wall Online
This comprehensive website on the history of the Berlin Wall contains photographs and texts.
Other Berlin Wall Websites:
2) Berlin Wall
3) Berlin Wall
4) Berlin Wall by B. Kirste
5) Berlin Wall Interactive from Discovery Communications, Inc.
6) Chris DeWitt's Berlin Wall Website
7) Fall of the Berlin Wall 1989
8) Newseum: The Berlin Wall
9) Vanishing Wall
10)Wall: 1958-1963 from CNN's Cold War
Bonampak is a Classic Period Maya site, located in the modern state of Chiapas, along the Usumacinta River. It is most notable for the magnificent murals.
Related Websites:
2) Bonampak
3) Bonampak, Chiapas, Mexico
4) Forever Blue: Why Ancient Mayan . . . from Popular Science
5) Maya from National Geographic
6) (Section of wall mural from Bonampak, Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City)
7) Silenced Hands by L. Dye, ABC News
Canadian Museum of Civilization
The new home for the Museum opened on June 29, 1989, on a 9.6- hectare (24-acre) site on the Quebec bank of the Ottawa River. The building is approximately 100,000 square meters (1,076,430 sq. ft.) and comprises two distinct structures.
Related Websites:
2) Canadian Museum of Civilization
3) Celebrate Cardinal
4) Douglas Cardinal - Architect
4) Modern Architecture from Archivision
5) Soaring Like An eagle: Douglas Cardinal by D. Hum
Cave of Lascaux
On 12 September 1940, four teenagers in the Dordogne region of southwest France were out looking for their dog. As they searched through the undergrowth, they stumbled across the Lascaux Cave adorned with some of the most extraordinary prehistoric paintings ever discovered.
Related Websites:
2) Cave Paintings at Lascaux (audio lecture)
3) Chauvet Cave (Another nearby cave art location) from National Geographic
4) Grotte de Lascaux
5) Hidden Treasure of Lascaux Cave by J.M. Deem
6) La grotte Chauvet
7) Lascaux Cave
8) Lascaux Cave
9) Lascaux Cave Paintings and Location
City Out of Time: Fez, Morocco from National Geographic
Fez is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, dating back to the early ninth century.
Other Websites for Old Fez:
2) Fez
3) Fez Reveals Morocco's Soul by M. Simons
4) Hip Guide to Fez, Morocco
5) Morroco, Fez
6) Morocco - The Silence of the High Plateaus
Cuzco, Peru by S. Underwood
Explore the city of Cuzco, which in the 15th century became the powerful capital of an expanding Inca empire.
Related Websites:
2) Cusco, Cuzco, Peru
3) Cuzco - Capital of the Incas & Machuu Pichuu
4) Cusco History
Diego Rivera from City College of San Francisco
Diego Rivera (1886-1957) was one of Mexico's most important painters and a major artist of the twentieth century.
Other Websites for Diego Rivera and Work:
2) Artist Diego Rivera from PBS's Online NewsHour
3) Diego Rivera
4) Diego Rivera from PBS's American Masters
5) Diego Rivera on the Internet from Artcyclopedia
6) Diego Rivera Web Museum
7) La Pinata in the Hospital Infantil de Mexico (Spanish)
8) Museo Mural Diego Rivera
9) Visual Biography of Diego Rivera by M.T. Zacarías
Diwali: The Festival of Light
Learn about this November Hindu celebration.
Related Websites:
2) Build-up to Diwali
3) Diwali
4) Diwali (Divali, Dewali)
5) Wall Painting
Great Wall of China Links
Here you find a huge links collection to online resources on the Great Wall of China.
Related Websites for the Great Wall:
2) All About the Great Wall of China from Enchanted Learning
3) Great Wall
4) Great Wall: A Virtual Tour
5) Great Wall of China
6) Great Wall of China
7) Secrets of the Great Wall from Discovery Online
Great Zimbabwe
The city of Great Zimbabwe is located in the present day country of Zimbabwe, east of the Kalahari desert between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers.
Related Websites:
2) Great Zimbabwe by G.P. Landow
3) Great Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe National Park from GORP
4) Mystery of Great Zimbabwe by P. Tyson from PBS NOVA Online
5) Ruins of Great Zimbabwe
6) Slide Show (Zimbadwe) from Maricopa Community College District
Hadrian's Wall
The Wall was built by order of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, probably given during his visit to Britain in AD 122. Over the next six years professional soldiers, legionaries, built a wall 80 Roman miles long (117 km or 73 modern miles).
Related Websites:
2) Hadrian's Wall
3) Hadrian's Wall
4) Hadrian's Wall
5) Hadrian's Wall from
6) Hadrian's Wall and the Romans
7) Hadrian's Wall Education Website
8) Hadrian's Wall Gallery from BBC History
9) Management Plan for the Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site
Holy Mosque in Makkah
The Holy Mosque in Makkah (Mecca) is the most revered place of worship for Muslims around the world. At the center of the Mosque is the Ka'aba, which literally means 'cube' in Arabic. All Muslims are required to face in the direction of the Ka'aba five times every day when offering their prayers.
Related Websites:
2) Islam for Children
3) Islamic Pictures
4) Ka'aba
5) Ka’aba: The House Of Allah
Mahabalipuram (India; Arjuna's penance)
Here you can see photographs of the magnificent bas relief carvings found at the site of an ancient Indian seaport.
Related Websites:
2) Mahabalipuram: A Symphony On Stones
3) Mahabalipuram: Architecture of India
4) Mahabalipuram City Guide
5) What A Relief
Metaphors and Meanings of House: African Painted House Traditions by R. Barris
Today the art of decorating houses is known throughout Africa. Some think that in early periods, house decorations did exist. But for a period of time, this practice was not tenable and the art of decoration may have been preserved but practiced in some other form--not on houses but perhaps on pottery, until conditions again favored the decoration of houses.
Related Websites:
2) Commodification of Art: Women in the Stream of Change by A. Hoard
3) Ndebele Cultural Village in Botshabelo, South Africa
4) Ndebele Family Compound (photograph)
5) Role of Decoration in Ndebele Society
6) South Africa, Ndebele Wall Paintings
Mural Arts Program (Philadelphia, Jane Golden - Artistic Director)
Established in 1984 as part of the Anti-Graffiti Network and incorporated in 1996 as part of the Philadelphia Department of Recreation, MAP sees its role as a "public service," bringing art and art education at no charge to communities.
Related Websites:
2) 21st Century Lives: Jane Golden by P. Jennings, ABC News
3) Art of Change
4) Big Picture by M.E. O'Connor from WHYY
5) Celebrating Mural Arts Month in University City: MAP of Community Treasures
6) Mural Arts Program
7) Mural Arts Video Tour
8) Mural of Philadelphia by J. Tremblay
9) Philadelphia Murals
10)Tour of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
New Deal for Ireland from Time for Kids,6277,90769,00.html
Violence has divided Northern Ireland for years. Towns are split into sections. Painted lines, brick walls and barbed wire separate people of Protestant religions from their Irish Catholic enemies.
Related Websites:
2) Ardoyne Stories: Peace Lines and Division from BBC News
3) Armed Vigilantes Patrol 'Peace Lines' from Guardian Unlimited,2763,473542,00.html
4) Counting the Cost Against the Children from BBC News
5) Directory of Murals in Northern Ireland by J. McCormick
6) Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Turmoil by S. McConnell
7) Peace Eludes Children of Fear reprinted from Chicago Sun Times
8) Twelve Depressing Weeks form BBC News
9) Walls That Divide Belfast from CBS News,1597,309407-412,00.shtml
Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)
Here you find a biography of the Chilean poet, diplomat, and Marxist, winner of the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Related Websites:
2) Invisible Hand and Iron Fist by A. Ruess at Third World Traveler
3) Pablo Neruda from The Academy of American Poets
4) Pablo Neruda's Isla Negra by M. Filsnoël
5) Pablo Neruda, Life and Times
6) Poet's Places: The homes of Pablo Neruda (Chile) by C. Welsch from Star Tribune
7) Views of Pablo Neruda's House at Isla Negra, Chile
Photos from Jewish Kazimierz
This website provides photographs and a summary of Jewish history in Kazimierz, Krakow, Poland.
Related Websites:
2) Cracow from Virtual Jewish History
3) Holocaust - A Return to My Mother's Home by M. Dubiner
4) Holocaust Memorial near Kazimierz Dolny, Poland (photograph)
5) Jewish History in Poland During the Years 1939-1945 by M. Rosenzweig
6) Poland Revisited by M. Rosenzweig
7) Places of Interest in Poland
8) Rema Synagogue
9) United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Here you can find two biographies of the South African civil rights leader.
Related Websites:
2) Long Walk of Nelson Mandela from PBS Frontline
3) Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela from Time, Inc.
4) Nelson Mandela (Links-Site)
5) Nelson Mandela by A. Brink from Time 100: Leaders & Revolutionaries
6) Nelson Mandela Biography
7) Nelson Mandela from Nobel Prize Internet Archive
Deltaworks, Ever Lasting Battle Against the Sea (1998 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This site presents the Deltaworks--a system involving locks, sluices, channels, and other control methods to prevent flooding. Many people in the Netherlands believe it is the eighth wonder of the world. The site provides the background of this project and explains how it was started because of a catastrophic flood on January 31, 1953.
Other Sites Related to the Netherland Dikes:
2) Haarlem and the Netherlands
3) Polders and Dykes of the Netherlands from
4) Special Dike with Doors . . . from Horizon Solutions
Prayer Wheels: Tibetan Spiratual Technology
Tibetan prayer wheels (called Mani wheels by the Tibetans) are devices for spreading spiritual blessings and well being. Rolls of thin paper, imprinted with many, many copies of the mantra (prayer) Om Mani Padme Hum, printed in an ancient Indian script or in Tibetan script, are wound around an axle in a protective container, and spun around and around.
Related Website:
2) Dalai Lama: My Dream for Tibet's Freedom
3) Tibetan Buddhism Archives
4) Tibetan Government in Exile
5) Tibetan Prayer Wheel (Virtual prayer wheel)
Story of Hachiko by C. Sicard
Loyalty, faithfulness and unconditional love are qualities that have earned dogs the title of 'man's best friend'. One particular Akita dog took these qualities to the extreme; he earned a place in the hearts of all Japanese people and has kept that place for over sixty years!
Related Websites:
2) Big in Japan: Hachiko by T. Young from Tokyo Classified
3) Hachiko
4) Hachiko at Find A Grave
5) Hachiko: The Faithful Dog
Taos, New Mexico
The Pueblo at Taos is one of New Mexico's authentic examples of the survival of Pueblo Indian life, relatively unchanged since 1540 when Coronado saw buildings and customs closely resembling those which can be seen today.
Related Websites:
2) Taos Indians
3) Taos Pueblo
4) Taos Pueblo, New Mexico
5) Taos Pueblo
6) Taos Pueblo
7) Taos Pueblo
8) Pueblos: Masonry and Adobe Communal Housing
Wall: National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
This gallery contains pictures and stories of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Related Websites:
2) Experience the Wall from Virtual Wall
3) Maya Lin: Notes, Pictures, Online Resources
4) Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall
5) Wall
Wat Po
Wat Phra Chetupon, more popularly known as Wat Po, dates from long before Bangkok became the capital, having been founded in the 16th century.
Related Websites:
Reclining Buddha at Wat Po (photograph)
3) Wat Pho at Thailand Guidebook
4) Wat Po (panoramic view)
5) Wat Po (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
6) Wat Po
Western Wall Camera from Aish HaTorah
The Western Wall is a surviving remnant of the Temple in Jerusalem. Here you find a picture from a live camera and information about the location.
Related Websites:
2) Jerusalem - The Western Wall and its Tunnels from State of Israel
3) Western Wall
4) Western Wall
5) Western Wall from History Channel
Websites For Teachers
Aboriginal Bark Painting (Grade 5) by T.S. Mason
Students will compare the characteristics of artworks in various eras and cultures, specifically the primitive cave art of 15,000 b.c. and aboriginal art of Australia.
Bonampak Maya Murals from Milwaukee Public Schools
The Bonampak murals are in a delicate condition. After reading the excerpt from Talking Walls on the murals visit the website created on the Bonampak Murals. What can be done to save these murals and others that are in delicate condition?
Lesson Plans from Diego Rivera Mural Project
Find lessons and materials showing how teachers in art, history, science, technology and other areas can use the mural.
Linking People With Talking Walls
This website provides a sample unit plan for integrating the 'talking walls' concept into the classroom.
Talking Over the Wall: A Lesson about Conflict Resolution from New York Times
(Grades 6-12) by R. McClain and J. Khan
In this lesson, students will explore how conflict resolution techniques can be used to resolve differences of opinion, both on a global and local scale.
Talking Walls (Grades 5-6)
by R. Furumoto, L. Gamarra, J. Iguina, I. Reyes-Saldana, A. Rubalacva, and P. Scadron
This lesson can be taught while the class reads the book Talking Walls by Margy Burns Knight. The lesson is designed as a vehicle for students to make a personal connection to the issue of how we build walls to divide us from others or how walls can bring us together.
Talking Walls: Countries Around the World (Grades 3-4) by J. Anderson
This lesson focuses on studying countries around the world in conjunction with using the book Talking Walls.
Talking Walls Project
Here you find a plan for creating a 'talking wall' unit or project in your school.
'They are not like us!': Teaching about Biases Against Immigration from Teacher Talk
This exercise helps students understand that xenophobic attitudes have existed throughout United States history and that our culture has survived and been enriched by each new wave of immigrants.
Understanding Primary Sources: The Chinese Experience at Angel Island
from Houghton Mifflin
Students read and analyze a poem written on the wall of the Angel Island Immigration Station in California by an unknown Chinese immigrant, then research to learn more about the place where the poem was written.
'talking walls'
walled city
Great Wall
cultural diversity
Berlin Wall
historical issue
cave paintings
stone wall
bas relief
cultural issue
Margy Burns Knight
political issue
Anne Sibley O'Brien
brick wall
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 12/01. Updated 6/02.