In conjunction with the Ohio Social Studies Strands, this resource unit will teach students the historical aspect of our nation’s beliefs through the concept of symbolism. The third grade class at C.F. Holiday will spend an entire week focusing on the various patriotic symbols that represent the beliefs and achievements of the United States. Incorporating a variety of activities and teaching techniques, students will be given the chance to creatively explore the true meaning behind our national monuments and icons.
After the tragedy of September 11th, many Americans have awakened to a new ideal of patriotism, but with great confusion, many American children have been faced with the obstacle of comprehending the complexity of such a horrific act. However, this unit provides a great opportunity for such questions to be answered while introducing the spirit of true patriotism.
On the first day, the patriotic symbols unit will be introduced by giving an overview on the term patriotism and the symbols that represent our country’s beliefs will be discussed. Students will be given a journal to compile all of their assignments within the unit.
On the second day, students will learn about the American Flag and the meaning behind the colors, stars, and stripes. Each child will create an imaginary flag for a make-believe country with an explanation of the colors and symbols used.
American Bald Eagle
On the third day, the students will participate in a class discussion on the bald eagle as our nation’s bird. The class will take a field trip to the zoo to see a bald eagle. As an extension activity, students will record their thoughts about the bald eagle in their personal journals.
On the fourth day, the students will view an educational video on the White House. Afterwards, the teacher will lead a class discussion on the basic history of the White House and in response, each student will write a letter to the President.
5) The National Anthem
On the fifth day, the class will begin their day by listening to the “Star Spangled Banner” and participate in a brainstorming activity about what the national anthem means to them. In small groups, students will write their own national anthem for their make-believe countries.
Explain what the colors red, white, and blue represent.
Know how many stars are on the American Flag.
Explain what the Stars and Stripes represent.
Give the address to the White House
Name the author of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Recite the words to the National Anthem.
Understand the concept of symbolism.
Recognize at least five national symbols.
Explain the history behind the Statue of Liberty.
Name the President of the United States.
Know the characteristics and traits of the Bald Eagle.
Explain the responsibilities of patriotism.
Day 1: Patriotism
The teacher will introduce the unit by leading the class in the Pledge of Allegiance and asking students why they recite the pledge at the beginning of every school day. The teacher will also distribute a personal journal to each child, which will later be used to compile assignments and project ideas.
The students are introduced to the unit. In the process, they will learn the term patriotism and the part they play by reciting the pledge every morning.
Very few resources are needed and the classroom will need no prior preparation. The teacher will ask the class why they recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning and students will participate in a large group discussion on patriotism. A Venn Diagram will be used to record the students’ ideas.
Day 2: American Flag
The teacher will begin the activity with a read aloud of by . The book will open the door to a discussion on symbolism and why red, white, and blue appropriately represent our nation’s beliefs. After the large group discussion, each student will be given the necessary materials to create their own flag for an imaginary country.
Students will learn the history of the American Flag and get to explore the concept of symbolism through the creation of their own flag.
The teacher will ask the students questions after reading the book. Such questions will be: “How many Stars and Stripes are on the flag?” and “What do the colors red, white and blue stand for?” Students will be paired with a partner and asked to brainstorm ideas for a make believe country. Groups will then be given class time to create a flag to represent their country using construction paper, markers, scissors, and glue.
Day 3: The Bald Eagle
The teacher will ask students to prepare questions they would like answered about the Bald Eagle. The class will then visit the city zoo to see a bald eagle.
The students will be given the chance to observe a rare animal and learn about the characteristics and traits of the nation’s bird.
The teacher will explain to students why they are visiting the zoo. The class will be asked to come up with questions they would like to ask at the field trip. Each group will share their questions with the class and write a response as a journal entry.
Day 4: White House
The teacher will begin the activity with a class discussion about the President and where he lives. The class will then view a video about the White House and get a chance to write a letter to the President.
The students will learn the history and daily activities of the White House.
The teacher will ask the students where the President lives and how many Presidents have lived in the White House. The class will watch a National Geographic special called, “In the White House.” Afterwards, each student will write a letter to the President of the United States asking questions or commenting on things they learned about the White House.
Day 5: The National Anthem
The activity will start by listening to the “Star Spangled Banner” and the class will try to interpret the meaning behind the song. Each student will be given a copy of the national anthem’s lyrics.
Students will learn the words to the National Anthem and understand the true meaning of the song.
The teacher will capture students’ attention by playing the National Anthem on the CD player as they walk in the classroom. The students will be asked if they recognize the song and if they know the words. The class will then read through the lyrics and learn about the history of the song in their textbook. Students will then be asked to create a National Anthem for their make believe country by changing the lyrics to the “Star Spangled Banner.”
This book contains several activities and games about patriotism and American history.
Symbols of a Great Nation. Teaching Guide. Instructional Fair, 1998.
Dozens of background readings and short exercises designed to help students define symbols, monuments, and landmarks.
America becomes a Nation. Teaching Kit. Educational Impressions, 1999.
This teaching kit encourages critical thinking skills and simulates learning with 90 multi-disciplinary activities. Students will sharpen research and writing skills.
Light Up Your Mind through Social Studies. Activity Book. Scholastic, 2001.
These activities can serve as quick lessons or fun to do homework assignments.
The American Flag: True Book. Picture Book. Children’s Press, 1998.
An easy to read large print picture book that explores the origin and meaning behind the American flag.
America the Beautiful. Picture Book. Scholastic, 2001.
This book contains words to the song, “America the Beautiful.” These words are set to a collection of photographs that depict the various settings of our country.
A Young Patriot. Paperback. Clarion, 1998.
Illustrated with more than 40 archival black and white prints, the vivid account of the life of a Connecticut farm boy who fought seven years in the Revolutionary war blends history with narrative storytelling.
The Bald Eagle: True Books. Picture Book. Children’s Press, 1998.
This easy to read picture book explains the origin and meaning behind the Bald Eagle as a national symbol.
This comprehensive paperback is a colorful visual supplement to the easy-to-read narratives. The simple language and detailed explanations provide students with an ideal introduction to this national symbol.
The Statue of Liberty. Picture Book. Children’s Press, 2000.
This picture book uses easy to read text and colorful illustrations to explain this national symbol in detail.
The National Anthem. Picture Book. Children’s Press, 2000.
This book is easy to read and introduces the concept and meaning of the national anthem in simple, but complete prose.
Washington DC Activity Book. Scholastic, 2001.
Each folder contains an illustrated background article, kid friendly Internet sites with related activities, worksheets, and recommended books.
Woodrow, the White House Mouse. Hardback. VSP Books, 1996.
Follow the adventures of Woodrow and his family at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Their work and play mirror the day to day activities of the country’s other chief executive and first family.
Woodrow for President. Hardback. VSP Books, 1998.
From the state of Mousourri, Woodrow Wahingtail runs for President on the mouse ticket. He campaigns for the primaries and works hard to beat his opponent, Senator Rufus C. Tuftmouse.
What is a Flag? Videocassette. New Castle Communications, 1994.
This video is a tour of a flag factory. Your class will get to view the process of constructing our nation’s flag.
The Story of the National Anthem. Videocassette. New Castle Communications,
Francis Scott Key writes the “Star Spangled Banner” and Katherine Lee Bates pens “America the Beautiful.”
School House Rocks: America Rock. Videocassette. Scholastic, 1980.
With wacky cartoons and good music, students will learn about American symbols and history while having fun.
The Dream. Poster. Child Graphics, 1999.
Capturing America’s spirit and diversity, this poster displays familiar images over the bars of our nation’s flag.
The Star Spangled Banner. Poster. Teacher’s Discovery, 2001.
With the capital and Statue of Liberty in the forefront, this poster displays the flag illuminated by bursts of light and color.
The Liberty Bell. Poster. Teacher’s Discovery, 2001.
An enduring symbol of our nation’s freedom, the Liberty Bell is superimposed over the Declaration of Independence and a portion of the American Flag.
4) Lincoln Memorial. Poster. Teacher’s Discovery, 1996.
Photograph of the head and shoulder of the Lincoln Memorial. Glossy poster stock.
Bulletin Board Kits
Statue of Liberty. Bulletin Board Set. Scholastic, 1998.
Four large punch out pieces join to form this impressive 52” x 23” Statue of Liberty.
Famous Documents. Audiocassette. Media Material, 2000.
This activity package introduces students to some of the significant documents that helped shape the American way of life.