Pose the question to students, “How are our lives represented by symbols?”
To start the discussion about symbols, ask students what symbols are. Working with a partner, students will use the ABC Brainstorm Strategy to list types of symbols they know.
ABC Brainstorm Activity- Students brainstorm a word or idea that begins with each letter of the alphabet and is related to a key topic or text.
Students will discuss the question “How do American national symbols represent our beliefs?” Students will turn and talk to their side partners and discuss this question together and then as a whole group. Students will take a teacher made survey using Google Forms for what they believe the mascot for a new school should be. As a group, we will discuss questions that individuals have to ask themselves before deciding on a national symbol. The teacher will narrow down their survey list to about six different mascot choices and then students will compare and contrast the mascots to determine which one best fits the values and beliefs of a new school.
Example of What Should Our School Mascot Be? Google Form Link- https://goo.gl/forms/t2jmUxyw7DmTh8C92
Pre-Lesson Activity- Research
Students can read about symbols on their iPads through an app named Epic. This is a digital library for kids where they can explore their interest. Some of the books on Epic on symbols include The Liberty Bell, The Star-Spangled Banner, The Bald Eagle, What’s Inside The Lincoln Memorial, The Statue of Liberty, and The American Flag. These books also have videos linked to them. The teacher will assign one symbol to a pair of students to research. The students will look up books, using Epic, on their chosen symbol. The students should be able to answer these questions after they have done their research.
1. What does my symbol represent?
2. When was my symbol chosen to be an emblem of the USA?
3. What characteristics does my symbol have and why was it chosen to be a symbol of the USA?
4. Does my symbol represent values that every citizen in the United States should have for their country?
Students will find a picture on Epic of their symbol and post it to their Seesaw journal. They will record themselves discussing what they have learned about their symbol and answer the questions listed above.
Students will create 3-5 slides using Google Slides. They must include the answers to the questions above as part of the information on the presentation. They will present their findings to the whole class so that the students can have a chance to learn about many different symbols in the United States.
Students will watch this video about Symbols in the USA. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUd0aVXrn6g
Lesson 2 - Digital Story
Ask students the following question: “What symbols were chosen to represent the United States of America's values and beliefs?” Discuss this question in pairs and then as a whole class. Ask the students which symbol of the United States is their favorite and why. After students have done their research in Learning Activity #1, students will choose a symbol they have researched and will create a digital story explaining how the symbol symbolizes the United States of America’s values and beliefs.
Before creating their digital story, students must first create a storyboard/script that contains all of the information about their selected national symbol. They will work with a partner to create their storyboard and follow the storyboard rubric to complete this writing assignment. Students will record their digital story using Screencast. Students’ storyboards will be added to their Seesaw journal.
Storyboard Rubric https://bit.ly/2raGwgG
https://www.screencast.com/t/CZwyT6gtav Screencast of the Bald Eagle
http://www.berry.edu/eaglecam/ Link to Eagle’s Nest at Berry College
Revisit the question: How are our lives represented by symbols? Allow the students to share their responses.
Once students’ storyboards are added to their Seesaw journal, students’ Seesaw journals can be shared with their parents and other students. Students will make positive comments about their peers’ storyboards and discuss things they enjoyed about their storyboard/digital recordings.