Follow the Flag

Summary

Students will describe ways to respect, preserve and protect the American Flag. Students will discover how communication has changed over time and create an email message.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America the Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

Students will describe ways to respect, preserve and protect the American Flag. Students will discover how communication has changed over time and create an email message.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts
  • Technology

Grades

  • K
  • 1st

Class Time

  • Sessions: Four
  • Session Length: 20-30 minutes
  • Total Length: 91-120 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Past and present
  • American symbols
  • Main idea and details
  • Letter writing

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument)
  • Conservation
  • Half-staff
  • Communication
  • Email

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector or other classroom technology (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or equivalent) of each of the following:
    • "Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) Quarter Reverse" page
    • "Fantastic Flag" worksheet
    • "Fantastic Flag Checklist"
    • "Let's Communicate!" worksheet
    • "Let's Communicate! Checklist"
  • Copies of the following:
    • "Fantastic Flag" worksheet
    • "Fantastic Flag Checklist"
    • "Let's Communicate!" worksheet
    • "Let's Communicate! Checklist"
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that gives information about the American flag.
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that gives information about communication and email.
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or equivalent) of each of the following:
    • "Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) Quarter" page
    • "Fantastic Flag" worksheet
    • "Fantastic Flag Checklist"
    • "Let's Communicate!" worksheet
    • "Let's Communicate! Checklist"
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • "Fantastic Flag" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "Fantastic Flag Checklist" (1 per student)
    • "Let's Communicate!" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "Let's Communicate! Checklist" (1 per student)
  • Locate a text that gives information about the American flag (see examples under "Materials").
  • Locate a text that gives information about communication and email (see examples under "Materials").
  • Locate an image of the Moultrie flag.
  • Create a KWL chart labeled "Our Flag" for Session 1.
  • Create a Venn diagram labeled "Communication, Past and Present" for Session 3.
  • Locate a sample email message.
  • Arrange to use the school computer lab.

Worksheets

Worksheets and files (PDF)

Lesson Steps

Session 1

  1. Display and examine the Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) Quarter reverse design. Locate this site on a class map. Note its position in relation to your school's location. As background information, explain to the students that the United States Mint began to issue the quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program in 2010. By the time the program ends in 2021, there will be a total of 56 designs on the back of the coin. Each design will focus on a different national site-one from each state, territory and the District of Columbia.
  2. Tell the students that the front of the coin is called the "obverse" and the back is called the "reverse". Ask the students to tell you about the image on the quarter's reverse. Tell the students, "A long time ago in America, people fought an important war for independence. George Washington led the American colonies in this war." Explain that the coin image depicts Sergeant Jasper, a soldier during the Revolutionary War, recovering the Regimental Flag. A British ship is in the background.
  3. Display an image of the Moultrie flag. Discuss with the students what they notice about the flag. Explain to the students that there are many different flags and that each one has its own special design. Display the KWL chart "Our Flag" and ask the students what they already know about the American flag.  Record responses on chart paper and ask the students what they would like to learn about the flag. Add responses to the KWL chart.
  4. Introduce the students to the selected text about the American flag. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate observations about what is occurring at different points in the text. Read the selected text or portions of the text to the class and attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary. Add any new information to the KWL chart.
  5. Ask the students if they know how to take care of and protect the American flag. Write the word "conservation" on the chart paper and tell the students conservation means to protect and take care of an object. Add the definition to the chart paper.
  6. Brainstorm with the students how to show respect for the American flag. For example:
    • The American flag should only be displayed outside during daylight hours unless a light is shining upon it at night.
    • The American flag should not touch the ground.
    • On special days the American flag may be flown at half-staff (half-way down the flag pole).
    • The American flag should be flown so the stars are at the top and the stripes hang down.
    • Place your right hand on your heart and face the flag when you see the American flag in a parade or when you are reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
    • If the American flag is worn out, it should be burned. Flag owners may contact the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) or the American Legion for assistance and further information.
  7. Tell the students in the next session they will create a mini book about what they have learned about the American flag.

Session 2

  1. Review the information from the previous session. Display the KWL chart "Our Flag" and review and add any new information.
  2. Display a copy of the "Fantastic Flag" worksheet. Tell the students they will use the words from the word bank to complete the sentences about the American flag. Model for the students how to cut out and assemble the pages into a mini book. Finally, tell the students they will illustrate the assembled mini book.
  3. Display the "Fantastic Flag Checklist" and review with the students. Distribute the "Fantastic Flag" worksheet to the students. Allow time for the students to complete the project.
  4. Have the students complete the "Fantastic Flag Checklist." Display the completed mini books in the classroom.

Sessions 3 and 4

  1. Review the information and charts from the previous session. Display the "Fort Moultrie National Monument Quarter Reverse" page and direct attention to the flag on the coin.
  2. Ask the students why it would be important for the soldiers to be able to see the Fort Moultrie flag. Explain to the students that flags can be used to communicate with one another. Write the word "communication" on the chart paper and tell the students communication is sharing your ideas with others.  Some ways to communicate are through talking or writing. Add the definition to the chart paper.
  3. Have the students talk with a partner about how communication has changed over time. Display the Venn diagram, "Communication, Past and Present" and allow each pair to share their ideas. Add acceptable responses to the chart paper.
  4. Introduce the students to the selected text about communication and email. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate observations about what is occurring at different points in the text. Read the selected text or portions of the text to the class and attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary. Add unfamiliar vocabulary and definitions to the chart paper. Add additional ideas to the Venn diagram.
  5. Tell the students they will work with a partner to use a modern day way of communicating to share one fact they have learned about the American flag with others. Display a sample of an email and discuss the different parts that make up an email message. Discuss the similarities and differences between a letter and an email message.

6. Display the "Let's Communicate!" worksheet and read the directions as a class.  Identify the different parts of an email message.  Model for the students how to cut out, glue in order, and compose the message part of the email.  Remind the students the message should be written in complete sentences.  Display the "Let's Communicate! Checklist" and review with the students.  Distribute the worksheet and allow time for the students to complete the project.

7. Allow time for students to share the email messages with the class.

8. Have the students use computers to write the email messages.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Have students use precut pages for the "Fantastic Flag" worksheet.
  • Have students use premade labels to complete the "Let's Communicate!" worksheet.
  • Have students use a scribe to complete the worksheets.
  • Have students use a premade computer email template to write the email message.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students learn more about symbols with the 2008 Oklahoma 50 State Quarters lesson plan for grades K and 1, "Symbols in My Eyes".
  • Have students learn about national anthems with the 2013 Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine lesson plan for grades K and 1, "This Coin Is Our Song".
  • Have students learn about famous Americans with the 2013 Mount Rushmore National Memorial lesson plan for grades K and 1, "My Personal Mount Rushmore".
  • Have students create class flags to communicate nonverbally, such as a "line up" flag, or a "recess time" flag.
  • Have students listen to and learn patriotic songs about the American flag.

Assess

Use the students' class participation, worksheets, and checklists to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.

Common Core Standards

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.K Writing
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.K.4. begins in grade 3.
  • W.K.5. With guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed.
  • W.K.6. With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.1 Writing
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.1.4. begins in grade 3.
  • W.1.5. With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.
  • W.1.6. With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.6 Writing
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.6.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.6.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 6.)
  • W.6.6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.

National Standards

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Time, Continuity, and Change
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners to understand that historical knowledge and the concept of time are socially influenced constructions that lead historians to be selective in the questions they seek to answer and the evidence they use
  • help learners apply key concepts such as time, chronology, causality, change, conflict, and complexity to explain, analyze, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity
  • enable learners to identify and describe significant historical periods and patterns of change within and across cultures, including but not limited to, the development of ancient cultures and civilizations, the emergence of religious belief systems, the rise of nation-states, and social, economic, and political revolutions
  • guide learners in using such processes of critical historical inquiry to reconstruct and interpret the past, such as using a variety of sources and checking their credibility, validating and weighing evidence for claims, searching for causality, and distinguishing between events and developments that are significant and those that are inconsequential
  • provide learners with opportunities to investigate, interpret, and analyze multiple historical and contemporary viewpoints within and across cultures related to important events, recurring dilemmas, and persistent issues, while employing empathy, skepticism, and critical judgment; and enable learners to apply ideas, theories, and modes of historical inquiry to analyze historical and contemporary developments, and to inform and evaluate actions concerning public policy issues.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Text
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Discipline: Technology
Domain: All Communication and Collaboration
Cluster: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media
  • Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using variety of media and formats
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems