ALEX Lesson Plan


Alabama Patriotic Symbols

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Jennifer Long
System: Pell City
School: Eden Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 11468


Alabama Patriotic Symbols


Alabama has many patriotic symbols that characterize the state. This lesson plan covers five state symbols associated with the State of Alabama. This lesson will help the students learn interesting facts about each of the symbols and explore more state symbols on the Internet.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Character Education
CE (1995)
Grade: K-12
2 ) Patriotism

Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
1 ) Use input and output devices of technology systems.

Examples: input—recording devices, keyboards, touchscreens

-  output—printers

•  Demonstrating ergonomics relative to technology systems
•  Demonstrating correct keyboarding techniques
•  Demonstrating safe removal of storage media
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
5 ) Practice safe use of technology systems and applications.

Examples: protecting personal information online, avoiding inappropriate sites, exiting inappropriate sites

Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
6 ) Describe social and ethical behaviors related to technology use.

Examples: social—developing positive attitudes for using technology collaboratively

-  ethical—citing sources of text and digital content, avoiding plagiarism, avoiding manipulation of others' work without permission

•  Describing the global nature of the Internet
•  Following local acceptable-use policies regarding technology
•  Identifying intrusive applications, including worms, viruses, spyware, and pop-up advertisements
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
8 ) Collect information from a variety of digital sources.

Examples: online libraries, multimedia dictionaries

•  Using technology tools to organize information
•  Demonstrating efficient Internet search strategies
Example: keyword search

•  Evaluating electronic resources for reliability based on publication date, bias, accuracy, and source credibility
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: K
Living and Working Together in Family and Community
11 ) Identify symbols, customs, famous individuals, and celebrations representative of our state and nation. (Alabama)

Examples: symbols—United States flag, Alabama flag, bald eagle (Alabama)

customs—pledging allegiance to the United States flag, singing "The Star-Spangled Banner"

individuals—George Washington; Abraham Lincoln; Squanto; Martin Luther King, Jr.

celebrations—Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Veterans Day

Insight Unpacked Content
Strand: History, Civics and Government
Course Title: Living and Working Together in Family and Community
Evidence of Student Attainment:
  • Recognize our country's important symbols and customs.
  • Identify famous national and state individuals.
  • Recognize the "Pledge of Allegiance" and "The Star Spangled Banner" and demonstrate appropriate etiquette for each.
  • Recognize the importance of various national and state holidays.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • symbol
  • custom
  • famous
  • celebrations
Students know:
  • Our state and nation has certain symbols that represent it and its people.
  • There are certain customs common to citizens of our state and nation.
  • There are celebrations common to the citizens of our state and nation.
  • There are certain individuals who are widely recognized as representatives of our state and nation.
  • Vocabulary: symbol, custom, celebrate, celebration, represent, representative, state, nation, Alabama, United States, pledge, allegiance
Students are able to:
  • Identify various symbols of our state and nation, including the American flag, Alabama flag, bald eagle, etc.
  • Identify various customs of our state and nation, including reciting the "Pledge of Allegiance," singing the "Star Spangled Banner," etc.
  • Identify various famous individuals of our state and nation, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., etc.
  • Identify various celebrations of our state and nation, including The Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, etc.
Students understand that:
  • There are certain symbols, customs, celebrations, and famous individuals recognized by most citizens of our state and nation.

Local/National Standards:

Co-authored by Jennifer Long and Nancy Kilgroe

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to identify the following Alabama state symbols: flag, seal, tree, bird, and flower.
Students will collect information from the Internet about Alabama's state symbols.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Vocabulary list, Y Is for Yellowhammer by Carol Crane and Ted Burn, pictures of all the state symbols, a small limb and cone from the pine tree, a real or artificial camellia, crayons, markers, colored pencils, pastels or other type of drawing/coloring instrument

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access


The students should have some knowledge of the state in which they reside. Also, students should have a idea of the location of the state of Alabama in relation to the border states, the national capitol, and any major bodies of water (major rivers, lakes, gulf, or ocean).

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.
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.

8.)Additional Websites:
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.


Assessment Strategies

Assessment for this lesson would require students to view the symbols then name and write a brief definition or fact about each symbol. The teacher should divide the students into groups while they are working on the flag design. The teacher should allow each group to view the symbols and then list the answers. The teacher may choose to have each student orally identify the symbol and tell a fact he/she learned. Also, have students share with the class one fact they learned from the Internet about Alabama symbols.


Students can right click on the image of the symbol on a Web page to save the image in order to create a class book of symbols. They can then use word processing skills to describe each symbol.



Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.