In this unit, students will learn what a symbol is. Furthermore, students will identify the flag of the United States as an important symbol in our everyday lives. They also will learn about other symbols of our country, such as, the President, White House, The Liberty Bell, The American Flag, American Bald Eagle, and The Statue of Liberty. Students will also learn the meaning of The Pledge of Allegiance and The Star-Spangled Banner. They will be engaged in many individual and cooperative group lessons. Students will be reflective and contribute to class discussions about the symbols of America. Furthermore, they will investigate their symbolic contributions to the United States and the rest of the world based on family, ethnic and cultural traditions and diversity.
1.1.3Identify American songs and symbols and discuss their origins.
1.1.4Identify local people from the past who have shown honesty, courage and responsibility. (Individuals, Society and Culture)
Symbols are used to represent a country and its people.
Symbols have meaning in our everyday lives.
How does a symbol represent a country’s people?
Why is it important for a country to have its own symbols?
Why can a country’s symbols evoke emotions?
Explain how symbols relate to objects and actions.
Why do flags look different from one another?
What is a symbol?
What do the colors of the flag mean?
What do the 13 stripes on the flag stand for?
Symbols have no meaning.
Not all countries have flags.
The history of the flag and the meaning and purpose of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Students will know…
Students will be able to…
Key terms and definitions related to symbols of the United States of American
Symbol, United States, North America, 13 original colonies, American, citizen, citizenship, map, city, state, locate, President, White House, Washington D.C., Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Mount Rushmore, bald eagle, The Pledge of Allegiance, The Star-Spangled Banner, The Liberty Bell, monument, diversity, family, community, allegiance, honesty, courage, responsibility, culture, Web Quest, Power Point, leader, past, present, change, loyalty, purity, peace, hope, freedom, justice, truth,
Factual information of symbols of the United States of America
Read, respond to, and discuss a variety of work such as content-area reading
Set purpose for reading
Respond to written and oral presentations as a reader, listener, and an articulate speaker
Use organizational features of electronic information
Technology skills—navigate a Web Quest
Generate questions about the symbol beyond facts
Assessment Evidence (Stage 2)
Performance Task Description
The goal is teach a kindergarten class about American symbols.
You are the teacher. You will define and display pictures of the symbol on a visual display board and give specific facts and information about the symbol’s history, how the symbol represents a country’s people, why it is important, and how it relates to objects and actions.
Teacher, kindergarten class
Students are going to work in groups to create a visual display of their assigned symbol connected to 5 facts about their symbol. Kindergarten groups will rotate around each symbol station to learn about the symbols.
Students will design a visual display board to help teach 5 important facts about their symbol, such as, the history of the symbol, the symbol’s location and/or origin, and what it means to the country and its people. Kindergarten student’s understanding will be assessed through closure activity and discussion. First grade student’s understanding will be assessed using a rubric along with a culminating lesson by creating a flag that represents themselves.
Indiana Academic Standards
1.1 Historical Knowledge
1.1.3 Identify American songs and symbols and discuss their origins.
1.1.4 Identify local people from the past who have shown honesty, courage and responsibility. (Individuals, Society and Culture)
Type of Evidence
Description of the Assessment Activity
Which Facet of Understanding is Emphasize
Primary Performance Assessment (PBA)
Your first grade class has been asked to help a kindergarten class understand American symbols. Design a visual display and plan for a five minute oral presentation.
Non-fiction writing piece at the end of the unit with the RAN chart
American Symbols Journal
Five fact sentences about symbols
Small projects/skill demonstrations/supporting performances
Informal assessment about students working together and independently throughout the unit.
American flag quiz
Symbols fact and vocabulary quiz
Oral explanations using age appropriate speaking and listening skills to explain group symbol activity.
Participation during culmination of facts from the books
Informal observation through anecdotal notes
Learning Plan (Stage 3)
Where are your students headed? Where have they been? How will you make sure the students know where they are going?
Students will learn the importance of a symbol. Students will use their background knowledge about community, citizenship, and families to understand their symbolic contributions to the United States and the rest of the world.
How will you hook students at the beginning of the unit?
Begin the unit with a RAN (Reading and Analyzing Non-fiction) chart. Students will be shown important symbols of the United States on a slideshow.
Each day, lessons will begin with an amazing fact about the symbol for the day without naming the symbol. This will be followed by a Word Splash for the symbol.
What events will help students experience and explore the big idea and questions in the unit? How will you equip them with needed skills and knowledge?
Students will participate and contribute to a cumulative interactive bulletin board (large map of the United States with a timeline illustrating the location and /or origin of each symbol in the unit)with new learning and visual representations throughout posted throughout the unit. The key terms, definitions, and unit concepts will be displayed along with the unit EU and EQ’s. Students will participate in daily non-fiction read alouds about each symbol, where they will gather facts on chart paper. They will choose five facts from this list to create five fact sentences to accompany their symbol to be placed in their symbols folder. Throughout the unit, they will also locate the symbols on the map on the interactive bulletin board and place a picture of the symbol in the correct location. They will have daily reflective writing open ended responses that correlate with EQ’s in their American Symbols Journal. They will be engaged in multiple learning experiences where student understanding of the symbol will be evidenced by the creation of a symbol’s product.
How will you tailor and otherwise personalize the learning plan to optimize the engagement and effectiveness of ALL students, without compromising the goals of the unit?
Students will be given multiple learning experiences that engage them in different learning styles to meet the needs of all learners.
How will you organize and sequence the learning activities to optimize the engagement and achievement of ALL students?
The unit will be organized around the implementation of the interactive bulletin board. The unit will follow the outlined scope and sequence, making adjustments as needed as based on student need (example: Working one on one or assigning a partner).
Welcome Book Series on American Symbols—Nonfiction Texts
Nystrom Social Studies Curriculum (Primary)
Recording of The Star-Spangled Banner
Lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner
Large map of the United States
Paper, crayons, scissors, slideshow with symbols of the United States, chart paper, pictures of symbols, interview outline, trade books, big books, map of the United States, globe, RAN chart, pictures of presidents, rubrics, large mural paper
From: Wiggins, Grant and J. McTighe. (1998). Understanding by Design, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development