The Pledge of Allegiance and the American Flag
- American flag
- Teacher-selected story about the Pledge of Allegiance
- Words of the Pledge of Allegiance neatly posted
- One blank cassette tape
- One tape recorder
- Computers loaded with painting software (or, if computers are not available, a painting station prepared for the children with white paper and red and blue paint)
- Read the teacher-selected story about the Pledge of Allegiance. Ask students if they recall saying the Pledge of Allegiance each day. How do they stand when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance? Where are their hands and eyes?
- Divide the class into groups of 4-5 students each. Using the tape recorder, record the groups, one group at a time, as they recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Have students who are not presently being recorded work in the computer/painting stations. Each student should create an illustration of himself/herself reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Direct students to include the flag in their drawing.
- Ask children to name the colors of the American flag. Explain that the colors are usually read in a specific order: “Red, white, and blue.” Tell students that each color has a special meaning. In the American flag, red stands for courage, white stands for purity, and blue stands for justice. Put these terms into words the students can understand using examples. For example, courage means being brave; purity means being clean; and justice means fairness.
- Explain that the symbols on the flag are also significant. The American flag has fifty stars, one for each state in the United States. The thirteen stripes stand for the original thirteen colonies. For more information see the following Web sites:
• “History of the Flag of the United States.” <http://www.usemb.se/usflag>
• “The Original Pledge of Allegiance.” <http://www.usflag.org/pledgeofallegiance.html>
- Tell students that next they will create their own personal or class flag. Conduct a brainstorming session in which students identify things that are special to them. Discuss the meanings of the colors commonly used on flags, so that students can choose colors for their designs:
• blue = fairness, faithfulness, sincerity
• black = grief, feeling very bad
• green = hope
• orange = strength, being strong
• purple = high rank (like a president, king, or queen)
• red = courage, not being afraid, braveness
• red-purple = sacrifice
• silver or white = faith, purity
• yellow or gold = honor, loyalty