Grade Level: Grades 4 – 8
Objective: To introduce students to the ABC the USA database while encouraging them to explore and understand the iconography of state flags and seals.
Duration: 1 – 2 hours
Materials: Flags and Seals instructions, individual access to ABC the USA for all participating students, craft materials
Instructions: Using ABC the USA, explore two states that interest you and predict what images their flags and seals might contain. Then compare your predictions against the actual flags and seals and use what you’ve learned to create a flag or seal that represents you.
Assignment 1: Decide on your states.
- Look at the US map on the home page of ABC the USA. Choose two states that interest you.
- Learn more about the states you have chosen by reading the State Overview and other modules on ABC The USA. Avoid looking at the Flag and Seal module at this time.
Assignment 2: Predict the iconography.
- Based on what you learned from your reading, what kinds of images might you expect to see on each state’s flag and seal? Consider which images are directly representative of things meaningful or relevant to the state, such as wheat on a Midwestern state’s flag, and which are purely symbolic, such as an eagle to represent freedom. List the images you think might appear on each state’s flag and seal.
Assignment 3: Check your predictions.
- Review the Flag and Seal module for your chosen states.
- Make a list of the different images that appear on each state’s flag and seal. How do they compare with your predictions? What new information can you learn about each state by looking at the images on its flag and seal?
Assignment 4: Make your own flag or seal.
- Make a list of items you feel are associated with you as a person. Examples might include a musical instrument if you play one, or a smiley face if you are usually in a good mood.
- Use craft supplies to create your own personal flag (or seal), incorporating the items from your list. Now go ahead and wave it proudly
Article written for World Trade Press by Jenny Fretland VanVoorst.
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