1.)Begin the lesson by reviewing facts the students know about the state of Alabama.
After discussion introduce the vocabulary words: symbol and patriotic.
A symbol is something that stands for something else.
Patriotic means to show patriotism.
Patriotism means to love one's county or state.
Discuss the main symbols that will be taught during the lesson. The symbols are: the state flag, the state seal, the state tree, the state bird and the state flower. Let the students know that after the lesson they will have the opportunity to view other state symbols on the Internet. The teacher should use the Internet throughout the lesson to view the state symbols being discussed.
(ALABAMA EMBLEMS, SYMBOLS AND HONORS
)The Alabama Department of Archives and History has many different symbols and facts students will enjoy learning about on its website.
2.)After the teacher gives the definition for symbol he/she should show the students a picture of the state flag. Describe the flag and give facts about the flag which would include when it was adopted, the flags design, meaning of colors. The flag has a white background with a red St. Andrew's cross running across the middle. The legs of the cross extend to either side of the flag and the strips of the cross must be six inches in width. The flag was adopted in 1895 after the Civil War. The flag flies at schools, government office buildings, and athletic arenas. It is also printed on maps, textbooks, and pamphlets.
3.) Show the students a picture of the state seal. Have the student describe the seal. Ask open-ended questions of the students to find out what they have learned about the state seal. Also, give the informational facts concerning the state seal. Alabama's state seal has the state in the center with the river systems outlined, with all the states that border it on the edges. The words around it read, "Alabama State Seal". The seal was adopted in 1939, but was used as early as 1819. The state seal is an official sign of the State of Alabama.
4.)Next, show the students a picture of the state tree. Bring in a sample of the state tree. Have the students touch, smell, and dissect the tree sample with their hands. Give the students informational facts about the state tree. Ask open-ended questions concerning the tree. The state tree is the long leaf pine. The long leaf pine is found primarily in lower south Alabama. The needles are 15 inches long and the height is 100 feet or higher. The trunk is up to 3 feet around. The sticky substance coming from the pine tree is sap. This substance is used to make turpentine and resin. Turpentine is used for making cleaning supplies, especially to remove paint and oil. Resin is used by some sports to make hands grip objects better. The wood from the tree is used to make pencils, lumber, paper and furniture. The lumber industry is very important to the State of Alabama.
5.)Then, show the students a picture of the state bird. Give informational facts about the state bird. Ask the students to describe the bird. Ask the students if they have ever seen the state bird in nature or in a zoo. The state bird is the Yellowhammer woodpecker. The state bird was adopted in 1927. The bird was chosen because of its gray and yellow feathers. The gray and gold was a symbol of the confederacy.
6.)Finally, show the students a picture of the state flower. Bring a sample of the state flower, if the flower is in bloom. Have students touch, smell, and describe the flower. Give informational facts about the flower. The state flower is the camellia. This flower was adopted in 1959. The camellia flower is found on a bush. The camellia is an evergreen plant. The camellia stays green year round and blooms in later winter to early spring depending on the location of the plant in the state's planting regions. * On February 18, 1893, Alabama adopted the goldenrod as the official flower ---of the United States. On September 6, 1927, it was adopted as Alabama's state flower. The yellowhammer was adopted as the state bird on the same day. The Ladies' Southern Memorial Association of Montgomery wrote, "The goldenrod as the Confederate colors, gray, and yellows." Residents of the small town of Greenville, Alabama were not happy with the goldenrod being the state flower. Greenville called itself the "Camellia City". The Men's Camellia Club promoted a bill to adopt the camellia as Alabama's state flower.* Alabama's state flower is the only symbol not native to Alabama. It is from Asia. Camellias are named for G. J. Kamel, a Jesuit priest, who traveled in Asia in the seventeenth century.
7.)Close the lesson by reading the story, Y is for Yellowhammer and have students design their own flag. This flag would be a reflection about what they learned about the state symbols of Alabama. While students are working on creating their own flag, let pairs of students visit the Internet to learn about more state symbols.
Optional: Students may choose to use MS Paint, or another drawing program to design their flag.
)This site lists different facts about Alabama. It also lists many of the state symbols.
)This site contains lots of information about Alabama, including many fun facts.