For the many new subscribers in the past month, this post is one in a series that each feature a photo from FCIT’s ClipPix ETC website. Each month I select one photo and provide various classroom connections, discussion questions, or related content.

I took this photo in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2009. The view of the memorial is from across the Tidal Basin.

The ClipPix ETC website also includes about three dozen addition photos of the memorial from the same visit:


Find the Jefferson Memorial on a modern paper or digital map. Compare it to the following three maps from the Maps ETC website.

    • Was the city built according to the original plan?
    • What areas of the Potomac were filed in?
    • Can you discover the purpose of the Tidal Basin?
    • Did building the memorial on fill land lead to any problems?

Plan of the City of Washington, March 1792

The city was laid out by Peter Charles L’Enfant, who published his plan projected in pursuance of an Act of Congress, passed 16th July, 1790.

Washington D.C., 1883

A map from 1883 of Washington D.C. and vicinity, showing roads, railways, the Potomac and bridges, and major landmarks.

Washington D.C., 1921

This map from 1921 shows how the Potomac River had been partially filled in creating the Tidal Basin.


The architectural style of the Jefferson Memorial is called “Neoclassical.” It is particularly fitting as this style was admired by Thomas Jefferson himself. The Neoclassical style borrows elements from the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. View the image of the home Jefferson designed for himself, as well as the galleries of Roman and Greek architecture.

    • What are the similarities between Jefferson’s home and his memorial?
    • What elements are common to the Jefferson Memorial and the ancient Greek and Roman examples?
    • What building in Rome looks most like the Jefferson Memorial?
    • What other buildings in Washington, D.C. are built in this style?
    • There are three main “orders” of columns in classical architecture. Which order was used on the Jefferson Memorial?
    • What is that triangular space above the portico called?


The home Thomas Jefferson designed near Charlottesville, Virginia.

Ancient Greek Architecture

Gallery of over 200 examples of architecture from Ancient Greece.

Ancient Roman Architecture

Over 200 illustrations of architecture from Ancient Rome.

Roy Winkelman is a 40+ year veteran teacher of students from every level kindergarten through graduate school. As the former Director of FCIT, he began the Center's focus on providing students with rich content collections from which to build their understanding. When not glued to his keyboard, Dr. Winkelman can usually be found puttering around his tomato garden in Pittsburgh. Questions about this post or suggestions for a future topic? Email me at To ensure that your email is not blocked, please do not change the subject line. Thank you!

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