Lesson plan

Symbols, Symbols All Around!

Where can we find United States symbols? In this lesson, students will not only learn about the familiar United States symbols, but also create a flag full of symbols that represents who they are and what they enjoy.
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Do you know what the American flag stands for? Check out symbols and flags that are important in the United States with the lesson Symbols, Symbols All Around! Students will learn that symbols are pictures that represent other objects or ideas and look at examples of famous symbols. They’ll explore topics including the Statue of Liberty and the bald eagle. Finally, students will take the time to create symbols that represent themselves and share a personal flag with the class. Perfect for first graders, this reading and writing activity asks students to interact with informational writing about social studies topics.

The students will be able to identify various United States symbols and describe their meanings.

(5 minutes)
The American Flag and EagleMake Your Own FlagStatue of Liberty
  • Draw several symbols on the board and ask students to describe the objects that the symbols represent.
  • Explain that a SymbolIs a simple picture that represents something else. The symbol could represent an actual object or it could be an idea.
  • Tell the students that they will be learning more about the symbols of our nation and that they will also be creating symbols that represent who they are.
(5 minutes)
  • Display the Statue of Liberty sheet.
  • Conduct a think-aloud, identifying what you notice about the Statue of Liberty and what is represented by the different components of the Statue of Liberty.
(10 minutes)
  • Display The American Flag and Eagle sheet.
  • Read aloud both sections on the page and ask students to help identify what the symbols of the flag and the eagle represent.
  • Highlight or underline key words as the students name them.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell the students that now that they have seen some examples of American symbols, their job is to create their own symbols that represent who they are.
  • Tell the students that the symbols could represent anything that makes them special or unique.
  • Distribute flag worksheet, pencils, and crayons for the students to begin making a plan for their flag.
  • Once students have developed a plan for their flag, distribute a piece of construction paper for students to make the actual flag.
  • Enrichment:Invite advanced students to elaborate on the meaning of the symbols they chose and write several sentences about their flag.
  • Support:Partner up struggling students and allow them to work together in creating “group” flags. Give them the opportunity to search for various pictures or visuals that represent who they are. Use these visuals as a starter for creating the symbols.

An interactive whiteboard could be used to create a large, digital class flag.

(5 minutes)
  • Circulate around the room and talk to each student about the flag they created.
  • Ask students to identify what is important to them and how each symbol represents their personality or something they like.
(10 minutes)
  • Invite the students to participate in a discussion about their individual flags.
  • Use the questions on the bottom of the flag planning page for students as a guide.
  • Ask the students to share their flags and tell why they chose certain colors or symbols.

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