Stars and Stripes Forever

Unit: Patriotic Symbols

Subject: Social Studies+Math Integration

Grade Level: Kindergarten

Created by: Mandy Pratt

Objectives:

  1. Children will be able to produce a drawing of the flag representing their knowledge of its physical characteristics: 1) rectangle shape, 2) alternating red and white stripes, 2) blue rectangle with stars in the upper corner.
  2. Children will demonstrate their understanding of the symbolism of the colors and the stars of the flag.
  3. Children will use math skills to recognize the shapes incorporated in the US flag, to count the stars and stripes, and to recognize the alternating AB pattern of the stripes.

Materials Needed:

  1. U.S. Flag
  2. Flannel Flag Pieces (pattern as follows)

    Flannel Flag Dimensions:

    Black Rectangle:9 1/2" x 12" (Standard Sheet)

    Red Stripes: 1/2" x 12" (7 Stripes)

    White Stripes: 1/2" x 12" (6 Stripes)

    Blue Rectangles: 2 1/2" x 1" (10 Rectangles with 5 stars each &endash; I used stickers)

  3. Flannel Board
  4. Drawing Paper
  5. Crayons

Procedures

Anticipatory Set

  1. As the students are seated, pass out the flannel pieces and ask them to look at their pieces, then hold them in their laps or place them on their desks if seated. Tell the students these are pieces to a type of puzzle. Ask them what they think the puzzle might look like when it's all put together.
  2. Present the students with the flag. Ask if the students know what it is.
  3. Ask the students to think of some of the places they’ve seen an American flag. Share examples (at school, the post office, ball games, scouts, parades, etc.)

 

Establish Context

"We’ve been talking about the United States flag. The flag is a very important symbol of the United States, and we’re going to talk about it what it means today.

 

State Purpose or Objective

"You’ll be able to draw pictures of the flag and tell what the colors represent after we talk about it today. We’ll also be able to find how much math is hidden in the flag."

 

 

Mini-Lecture/Guided Learning

"A long, long time ago, before cars, or television, or computers, when this country was brand new, the people decided that they needed a flag to represent their country. They knew that whenever anyone looked at their flag, they would think of America. The people started with a shape. What shape do you think it is? (Have a child place black rectangle piece on flannel board.) Next, the people added stripes. What shape are the stripes? Let’s start with a red one and then white. What comes next? What kind of pattern is this? An AB pattern. Count how many stripes there are. ( Have students place stripes on the flag as it is appropriate.) Thirteen stripes. The red represents bravery. What does it mean to be brave? Why would bravery be important to America? (Discuss.) The white represents hope. What is hope? When America was brand new, the people had a lot of hope that it would be a great country. Do we still have hope that America will be a great country?
  • Now our flag looks almost exactly like the real one here. How is it different? We still need the blue rectangle with the stars. How many stars do you think there are on the flag? The stars are in groups of five on each piece of the square I handed out as the children were seated. Let’s count by fives while they put their pieces up here. (Have students place the appropriate pieces.) How many are there? There are 50 all together, for the 50 states in the US. Each star represents one of the states in the United States. One of these stars represents Utah. They look like the stars up in the blue sky don’t they? The blue represents truth. Is telling the truth important? Why? It was important to them too. Look at our flag. Does it look like the real flag that I showed you earlier?"
  •  

    Appropriate Practice/Feedback

    1. "Which color represents truth? bravery? hope? What does the blue rectangle represent? What do the red stripes represent? What about the white stripes?"
    2. "Who remembers how many stripes there are? What kind of pattern do they follow?"
    3. "How many stars are there? What do they represent?"

     

    Independent Practice

    In centers, have students draw their own flags.

    Evaluation

    1. Students’ flags will be accurate depictions of the actual flag.
    2. Understanding of the symbolism of the colors and of the stars will also be checked orally as teachers move among the students during centers.
    3. Understanding of the math concepts will be demonstrated during the group discussion.

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    For More Information, Check Out These Sites!

    The Betsy Ross Homepage

    A History of the United States Flag