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This is an excellent lesson on national symbols that are unique to our country

Subjects:

Art, Language Arts, Social Studies  

Grades:

1, 2  

Title – American Symbols
By – Natalie Gutierrez
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subjects – Art, Language Arts
Grade Level – 1-2 grades

Adapted and modified from Mrs. Jones, FSUS, K-2

Summary: Students will learn that a symbol is something that stands for, or represents, something else. They will learn about the national symbols that are unique to our country. They will complete artwork to depict the symbols and read non-fiction books to further their comprehension. Writing skills will be reinforced through various writing activities.

Sunshine State Standards:

      Time, Continuity, and Change

        Standard 1:

        The student understands historical chronology and the historical perspective. (SS.A.1.1)

        • understands that history tells the story of people and events of other times and places.

      People Places and Environment

        Standard 2:

        The student understands the interactions of people and the physical environment. (SS.B.2.1)

      Government and the Citizen

        Standard 1:

        The student understands the structure, functions, and purposes of government and how the principles and values of American democracy are reflected in American constitutional government. (SS.C.1.1)
        Standard 2:

      The student understands the role of the citizen in American democracy. (SS.C.2.1)

      • knows the qualities of a good citizen (e.g., honesty, courage, and patriotism).
      • knows that a responsibility is a duty to do something or not to do something.
      • knows the sources of responsibility, examples of situations involving responsibility, and some of the benefits of fulfilling responsibilities.
      • Knows that the right to privacy is a personal right guaranteed by the United States Constitution and knows when privacy is expected.

Content Area: Social Studies, Art, Writing

Symbols: Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty, ” The Star-Spangled Banner ,” American Flag, Bald Eagle, United States Capitol, White House, Mount Rushmore

TEACHER GUIDE

Objectives: To learn about the national symbols that are unique to our country and that a symbol is something that stands for, or represents, something else.

  • The students will be able to recall facts from readings
  • The students will be able to write five complete sentences for each symbol
  • The students will be able to complete artwork associated with each symbol
  • The students will be able to visually identify each symbol
  • The student will be able to identify the purpose or reasoning for each symbol

Prerequisite Skills: Reading, listening, cooperation, following instructions

STUDENT ACTIVITY

The Task: American Symbols Folder

Materials:

  • black construction paper (extra long)
  • American symbols sheet (colored and cutout)
  • crayons
  • scissors
  • glue

What to do:

      Ask students to define the word symbol. Clarify that a symbol is something that stands for, or represents, something else. A flag is a national symbol that each country has. Like flags, most national symbols are unique to one country. Ask students to name people, places, and things that they believe represent the United States of America and that are unique to the nation. After they have brainstormed various symbols, demonstrate and display all the symbols: Statue of Liberty, Liberty Bell, American Flag, American Bald Eagle, Mt. Rushmore, White House,

Star-Spangled Banner

      , and United States Capitol. Do not discuss much about each symbol, so as to keep the students intrigued about each symbol. Instruct the students they will be creating a folder now to put all of the American symbols that they create.
    Pass out the American symbols coloring sheet and have students color, then cutout the symbols. Once they have completed, paste onto the front of folded black piece of construction paper with “American Symbols” written as title in white crayon on front cover. Teacher should collect and keep where they can be readily available to the students.

The Task: THE AMERICAN FLAG

Day One:

Materials:

  • Red construction paper cut into strips (7 per student)
  • Blue construction paper cut into small rectangles (1 per student)
  • White construction paper (1 per student)
  • Cutout stars (50 per student)
  • Glue
  • Books about American Flag

What to Do:

      After reading book(s) on American Flag, have students generate facts and sentences they comprehended from the book. Teacher writes facts on chart paper magnetized to the board. Facts are left on board for the students to refer to and add to, as well.
      Sample Facts that can be taken from book reading and should be written on Chart Paper:

      • Should be raised up a flagpole quickly and lowered slowly
      • Should be flown from sunrise until sunset
      • Should never touch the ground
      • Completed its first trip around the world in 1790
      • First flew on the moon in 1969

    After you have shown an example of the American Flag the students will create and have given verbal instructions, pass out 1 white sheet of construction paper, 7 strips of red paper, and one blue paper rectangle. After the students have glued on the strips and the rectangle, pass out 50 cutout starts to each student to glue onto blue rectangle. Display around the room!!

Day Two:

    The students will review the facts written on the chart paper on the previous day and discuss any new facts that should be added. The students are then given writing paper and asked to pick 5 of the facts/sentences and write on paper. When the students have completed their sentences and have had it reviewed by the teacher, the paper will be stapled to the back of their flag. Place in their American Symbols Folder!

The Task: American Bald Eagle

Day One:

Materials:

  • Bald eagle coloring cutout sheet
  • Brown paper bag
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Books about American Bald Eagles

What to do:

      After reading book(s) on the United States Capitol, have students generate facts and sentences they comprehended from the book. Teacher writes facts on chart paper magnetized to the board. Facts are left on board for the students to refer to and add to, as well.
      Sample Facts that can be taken from book reading and should be written on Chart Paper:

      • Is found only in North America
      • Is not really bald
      • Returns to the same nest each year
      • Was once in danger of extinction
      • Is on the dollar bill

    After you have shown an example of the American Bald Eagle puppet the students will create and have given verbal instructions, pass out a bald eagle coloring cutout sheet to each student and a brown lunch bag. Have the students appropriately color the bald eagle, cut it out, and paste to bag to create a puppet. Display around the room!

Day Two:

    The students will review the facts written on the chart paper on the previous day and discuss any new facts that should be added. The students are then given writing paper and asked to pick 5 of the facts/sentences and write on paper. When the students have completed their sentences and have had it reviewed by the teacher, the paper will be folded up and stapled inside of their puppet. Place in their American Symbols Folder!

The Task: Liberty Bell

Day One:

Materials:

  • Liberty Bell handout
  • Brown/copper non-toxic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Various colored construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Books about the Liberty Bell

What to Do:

      After reading book(s) on the Liberty Bell, have students generate facts and sentences they comprehended from the book. Teacher writes facts on chart paper magnetized to the board. Facts are left on board for the students to refer to and add to, as well.
      Sample Facts that can be taken from book reading and should be written on Chart Paper:

      • Was originally made in England
      • Weights more than 2,000 pounds
      • Cracked the first time in it was rung
      • Was recast and remained crack free until 1835
      • Is no longer rung, but has been struck on special occasions

    After you have shown an example of the Liberty Bell the students will create and have given verbal instructions, pass out the Liberty Bell handout. Once every table is ready, distribute the brushes and the paint to each group. Once the paint has dried, have the students cutout their bell and paste it to a red, white, or blue piece of construction paper. Display around room!

Day Two:

    The students will review the facts written on the chart paper on the previous day and discuss any new facts that should be added. The students are then given writing paper and asked to pick 5 of the facts/sentences and write on paper. When the students have completed their sentences and have had it reviewed by the teacher, the paper will be stapled to the back of their Liberty. Place in their American Symbols Folder!

The Task: The Star-Spangled Banner

Day One:

Materials:

  • Recording of The Star-Spangled Banner
  • Handout of lyrics to The Star-Spangled Banner
  • (no other artwork listed)

What to Do:

      Have the students listen to the music of

Star-Spangled Banner

      .

      The students will listen to the teacher present information about

The Star-Spangled Banner

      using books found at the library.
      After reading book(s) on the Star-Spangled Banner and listening to the recording, have students generate facts and sentences they comprehended from the book. Teacher writes facts on chart paper magnetized to the board. Facts are left on board for the students to refer to and add to, as well.
      Sample Facts that can be taken from book reading and should be written on Chart Paper:

      • Was written in one day
      • Was first titled ” The Defense of Fort McHenry
      • Is the national anthem of the United States
      • Has been the national anthem since 1931
      • Is traditionally sung at the start of major sporting events

    ***Students will then complete an artwork***

Day Two:

    The students will review the facts written on the chart paper on the previous day and discuss any new facts that should be added. The students are then given writing paper and asked to pick 5 of the facts/sentences and write on paper. When the students have completed their sentences and have had it reviewed by the teacher, the paper will be stapled to the back of their artwork. Place in their American Symbols Folder!

The remaining symbols, Statue of Liberty, White House, Mt. Rushmore, and the United States Capitol , will have lessons that are all very similar to the ones listed above. Each lesson begins with a brief introduction of the symbol by display and then reading a book or books on the symbol. The teacher then has the students relay facts from the book and writes them on chart paper displayed on the board. The students then create a piece of artwork. The following day, students review the facts already learned, and then add on to the facts list or read another book. The students then have the task of picking five of the facts listed and writing 5 of them in complete sentences. Once the students have completed the unit, they are able to take their American Symbols folder home and share all that they have learned with their family and friends!

ESOL Modification:

    This lesson is a very good lesson that includes accommodations built into the lesson.

    • Listening while teacher reads encourages student to “pick-up” on grammar and pronunciation.
    • When writing sentences, copying sentences already created by class/teacher. Student is able to properly re-create sentences and grasp sentence writing skills.
    • Art is universal!

Assessment:

      Assessment is an ongoing through the process of learning. There is no formal test or culmination of knowledge at the very end.
    The teacher should be looking for:

    • Listening during group reading
    • Participation during culmination of facts from books
    • Working cooperatively with their group during art production
    • Creativity in art projects
    • Recognizes each symbol visually
    • Writes complete sentences
    • Eagerness during duration of unit

The students responded VERY well to the lesson and had fun the whole time. We were surprised to see how much they loved the books and the pictures contained in them. This was a very, very fun unit plan that we will both use in our classroom!

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