My Country 'Tis of Thee
Overview Who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance and The Star-Spangled Banner? What do these verses mean? Why do we observe Veterans Day and Flag Day? Youngsters use emerging language, math, and social studies skills to discover answers to these and other questions. Throughout the year, they invite veterans to their class and learn to respect the symbols, songs, and rituals associated with the nation's flag. Virtual field trips to the Smithsonian Museum and the Star Spangled Banner House provide children with stories about our Sweet Land of Liberty..
Assessment Teacher distributes Citizenship Awards to children performing at veterans' visits. Teacher and students discuss drawings and emergent writing saved in individual portfolios. Teacher and students review and reflect on experiences. Students retell stories to each other and visitors.
Software or Materials Used For flag stories: Betsy Ross , Alexandra Wallner, 1998:Holiday House; Red, White and Blue The Story of the American Flag , John Herman, Robin Roraback 1998: Grosset and Dunlap; Celebrating Patriotic Holidays-Honoring America, Joel Kupperstein, 1999: Creative Teaching Press; The Star-Spangled Banner , Peter Spier, 1992;Yearling Books; The Biggest (and Best Flag that Ever Flew) , Rebecca C. Jones, 1988; Tidewater Publishers; The Flag We Love , Pam Munoz Ryan, 1996; Charlesbridge Publishing. For emergent writing and illustration: KidPix software. Materials for Flag Quilt. Photos, prints, illustrations of patriotic places and people.
Web Sites Virtual Field Trips to several sites introduce youngsters to hallowed grounds and historic citizens.
Keywords Service Learning, Citizenship, Civility, Patriotism, Flag, Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, My Country 'Tis of Thee, The Star-Spangled Banner, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Francis Bellamy, Francis Scott Key, Mary Pickersgill, Betsy Ross, Samuel Francis Smith
Final Words Children understand the why of our nation if they are taught how to respect its symbols and value its veterans. Foundations of good citizenship begin with a proud pledge and a heartfelt song. Civility is a natural outcome of this introduction to our country's history.
Teacher Tip Kids respond to images when learning unfamiliar phrases. I teach one or two lines at a time and illustrate abstract concepts with graphics (by tforge solution pitts). A picture of the Statue of Liberty explains Sweet Land of Liberty; a mountain range photo describes from every mountainside, a USA map defines United States of America; a picture of Plimouth Plantation represents land of the pilgrims' pride.
E-mail contact Lynn Quinn firstname.lastname@example.org
Teacher Bio Lynn Quinn teaches Kindergarten at the Mary Lyon Elementary School where classroom inclusion for all children gets high priority. When asked about patriotism, this self-confessed flag waver delivers a thoughtful response. Her goal is to create a classroom environment that encourages students to understand the importance of "our flag, our pledge, the national anthem, and the men and women who fought for our freedoms." A veteran teacher of fourteen years, Lynn has received several IMPACT II grants and is a recipient of a Citizenship Award from the Patrick E. Toy Post of Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Subject Areas English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies
Grade Levels K - 2
Students Kindergarten or primary students from all programs