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Lesson: American Symbols & Monuments by Julia Alderfer

I.

Lesson Topic Description/Plan Overview:


The focus of this lesson is the importance of Americas national symbols and
monuments. Understanding the value of the American flag, the Statue of Liberty, the
Bald Eagle, Liberty Bell, White House, Washington Monument, and other key
features of the nation aide in the understanding of the values and ideas Americans
hold close.
1. Expected Duration: 50 minutes
2. Social Sciences: civics & government
3. Concepts:
-The importance of American symbols & monuments
-We use symbols in everyday life to represent bigger ideas
4. Vocabulary:
Monument: a building or statue that helps people remember a person or event
Liberty: the power to do or choose what you want to; freedom
5. Skills:
-Reading
-Writing
-Drawing
-Oral language/discussion
-Reasoning
6. Broad Goals of Lesson:
-Learn about various American symbols and monuments
-Learn the importance of American symbols and monuments
-Learn why Americans value what they do

II.

Content Outline
A. American Symbols and Monuments
(https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/FreeDownload/American-Symbols-Power-Point)

1. The Flag
-The colors of the flag are red, white, and blue
-There are 50 stars to represent 50 states
-The 13 stripes represent the first 13 colonies
2. The Statue of Liberty
-She was a gift from France
-She stands in New York Harbor
-She is 151 feet tall
-She is a symbol of freedom and democracy
-She represented hope and freedom to the immigrants who came here from
other countries
3. The Bald Eagle

4.

5.

6.

7.
8.

III.

-The bald eagle was chosen as a symbol for our country because it symbolizes
courage, strength, and freedom
-The bald eagle can be seen in many places like the Presidents flag and on a
$1 bill
The Liberty Bell
-The liberty bell can be found in Philadelphia, PA
-It rang when congress signed the Declaration of Independence
-It weighs about 2000 pounds and in 1846 a crack appeared
Mount Rushmore
-Memorial in honor of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and
Lincoln
-60 foot high faces
-Created by Gutzon Borglum in the Black Hills of South Dakota
The White House
-It is the home of the President of the United States
-It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.
-George Washington is the only President who didnt live there
-The Presidents office is called the Oval Office
Uncle Sam
-Congress adopted Uncle Sam as an official symbol in 1961
-He is best known for his army recruiting posters, which said, I want you!
The Washington Monument
-It was built as a memorial to our first President, George Washington
-It weighs 90,854 tons
It stands nearly 556 feet tall
-Its image is mirrored in the reflecting pond

Standards
1. PDE-SAS
5: Civics and Government .1 Principals and Documents of Government 3rd Grade
F: Identify state symbols, national symbols, and national holidays.
5: Civics and Government .1 Principals and Documents of Government 3rd Grade
C: Define the principles and ideals shaping local government.
Liberty / Freedom
Democracy
Justice
Equality
2. NCSS Themes and Subthemes
X. Civic Ideals and Practices
-Understanding of civic ideals and practices
Lesson Objectives
-Students will write key terms about the importance of each American symbol.
-Students will participate in discussions about liberty and the book shared.
-Students will complete the American symbols booklet based off of the information
learned from the PowerPoint.

IV.

Teaching Procedures
A. Anticipatory Set/Introduction
1. Hand out a sheet of paper to each student and ask them to write the word
symbol on the top of the page. Have the students draw and write a few
sentences about a symbol that represents them.
2. Explain that symbols represent (stand for) things, just as each student drew a
symbol that represented themselves.
3. Show the first slide of the PowerPoint and have students name each
symbol/monument (if they are able). This will form the lesson as it serves to
interest the students to learn more about each symbol/monument.
B. Lesson Input
1. Go through the PowerPoint which gives information on the American flag,
Statue of Liberty, Bald Eagle, Liberty Bell, Mount Rushmore, White House,
Uncle Sam, and the Washington Monument.
2. After each slide, have the students write down a key word or draw a picture that
helps them to remember the concepts emphasized.
3. Discuss the word liberty, ask Based off of what you know, what do you think
liberty means? Write ideas on the board.
4. Hand out American Symbols booklet to each student.
5. Have students turn to the liberty page and fill out the pre-reading section
6. Read L is for Liberty by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
7. Have students fill out post-reading section. Share ideas with the class.
8. Have students work on other pages of the booklet for the remainder of the time.
C. Guided Practice
1. The class will discuss and write about the symbols, monuments, and
vocabulary presented in the lesson. They will use the information learned
from the PowerPoint and story to fill out their symbols booklet.
D. Independent Practice- None in this lesson.
E. Differentiation
-I will differentiate this lesson based on the specific learning and behavioral needs
of my students.
F. Closure
1. Students will choose their favorite page completed of their American Symbols
packet and write about it on a notecard. The teacher will collect the notecards
for assessment.

V.

Teacher and Student Resources and Evaluation of Resources


A. Student Reading Resources: American Symbols booklet (attached)
(https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/American-Symbols-Printable-Book-225044)
B. Teacher Resources for Lesson Design:
-Powerpoint (https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/FreeDownload/American-Symbols-PowerPoint)
-L is for Liberty by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

C. Evaluation of Teacher Resources Used for Lesson Planning Design:

Resource
Title
American
Symbols
PowerPoint

Influence

American
Symbols
Booklet

SI

L is for
Liberty

SI

Symbols
and
Monuments
Section from
Chp. 8
Houghton
Mifflin
Social
Studies

MI

SI

Characteristi
cs
-Explains
key
American
symbols and
monuments
-Includes
pictures of
each item
explained
-Text at an
appropriate
level
-Many pages
that expand
each
American
symbol
-Allows
students to
be creative
-Great for
discussion
-Book that
explains the
Liberty Bell
-Helps
students
understand
the meaning
of liberty
-Great
illustrations
-Chapter in
textbook
which
expands on
all forms of
the
American
government
-Includes a
variety of
activities to
engage
students
-Information
included at
student
reading level

Accessibility
-Need
teacherspayteache
rs account

Overall
Rating
4/5
-Some
excess
content

-Need
teacherspayteache
rs account

5/5
-Great
resource,
would
suggest use
to others

-Anyone can
purchase this book

5/5
-Great
resource,
allows
lesson to
have a focus
topic

-Textbook

3/5
-Good
resource,
but has
limited
details on
certain
aspects of
the
American
government,
and excess
information
on other
parts

VI.

Formative and Summative Assessment of Students


1. Teacher will formatively assess students by observation of their participation in
discussions, key words written, and ideas shared with the class.
2. The American symbols booklet and notecard at the end of the lesson will be
served as the summative assessment. Each of these should reflect the students
learning of the American symbols/monuments discussed in class.

VII.

Technology/Materials/Equipment
-Computer
-Projector
-Paper
-Pencils/Crayons/Markers
-American Symbols booklet for each student

VIII.

Reflection on Planning
Planning this lesson focused around the main American symbols and monuments
that are important for students to know and understand. Because the selection on
symbols and monuments in the textbook was weak, I added additional
information using a few outside sources. I included many interactive elements to
the lesson so that the students are able to use their creativity as they learn.
Learning about important U.S. symbols and monuments will aide in
understanding core American values.