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American Symbols

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Keywords: american, symbols, technology
Subject(s): Art, Video, Technology, Writing, Social Studies, History
Grades 1 through 2
School: Antioch Elementary School, Crestview, FL
Planned By: Nita Springle
Original Author: Nita Springle, Crestview
Day 1
The unit will begin with the students standing, saluting the flag, and saying the Pledge of Allegiance during the Morning Show. At the conclusion of the pledge, we will ask discuss why we say the pledge and what does it mean? We will chart student responses on chart paper.
Vocabulary words will be defined.
Students will create an American Flag puzzle, cut it apart, and then put it back together. After completing the puzzles and working with partners, the teacher will discuss the vocabulary words into greater detail.
Using the LCD projector, students will view a PowerPoint presentation, learning about the history of the flag, and what each color on the flag symbolizes. They will also learn how many stars and stripes are on the flag, as well as nicknames for the American Flag.
The students will construct their own American Flag using assorted materials.

Day 2
Students will review the facts from the previous day, American Flag.
Using the LCD projector, students will be shown various pictures that represent American History. Teacher will discuss the different pictures from the internet and their meaning. Reponses will be charted. The teacher will show the Statue of Liberty last and tell the children that this is another symbol of American Democracy.
Using the LCD projector, students will watch another part of the PowerPoint Presentation. After viewing the PowerPoint presentation, the students will design a map of the United States and show where the Statue of Liberty is located.
Students will write in their journals (or draw pictures) of why they think the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of democracy. Students will also draw the Statue of Liberty in their journals.

Day 3
Using the LCD projector, students will be shown various pictures of bells. They will choose which one they think is the Liberty Bell. The teacher will create a bar graph with some of the bells on it. The students will choose which one they think is the correct symbol of American History and graph the results.
Define vocabulary such as Liberty. The teacher will also develop student map skills by showing where the Liberty Bell is located.
Using the LCD projector, students will continue to watch the PowerPoint. Afterwards, the students will discuss what they learned about the Liberty Bell in a jigsaw presentation.
Students will use modeling clay to sculpt their own Liberty Bells.

Day 4
The teacher will read a story about the White House.
Using the LCD projector, students will watch the PowerPoint presentation. After viewing the presentation, students will complete a “White House” handout.
A picture of the White House will be drawn on chart paper and students will create facts to post on the chart.
Students will take a guided tour of the White House via the LCD projector and internet.

Day 5-6
Using the LCD projector and internet, we will do a “White House” web quest together as a class.
Students will have two activities to accomplish over the next five days. The first assignment is a “new” symbol. The class will be working in pairs. The students will work in pairs to create a "new" symbol of American Democracy, including elements of at least two of the symbols they studied. After completing their symbol, the students will voice record (with Audacity) their explanations of their symbol and why it is a symbol of American Democracy. The second assignment is a Kidspiration graphic organizer created by each student.

Day 7-11
Students will continue their symbol making activity and Kidspiration graphic organizer.

Day 12-15
Student will give presentations of new symbol and graphic organizer.
This project collaborates with the Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. Technology will be used in the classroom to actively engage students in the curriculum as well as a model for the school. This unit is focused on improving the academic performance of 18 students with different social and educational backgrounds. The use of technology integrated into academic activities will provide increased academic success and motivation for these students. Technology in the classroom closes the ‘digital gap’ for those students who don’t have the opportunity to connect with the digital age of learning.
The unit is designed to actively engage student learning and make use of various technological pieces. This grant will expand our technology capabilities and therefore create more project based learning.

Many schools have limited technology funds. An LCD projector, software, digital camera, and a Flip video camera are very costly. Grant writing is a way of funding my technology ideas. Education should come alive to the students and with the use of technology in the classroom a student thrives. Research shows that students are learning at a faster rate than ever before with the use of cell phones, IPods, computers, social networking, and various other avenues. It is my goal to reach the students at their level and to actively engage them in learning through the use of technology. The technology pieces mentioned would enhance student learning and allow them to reach their highest potential. The technology components of this lesson are a valuable piece to the students’ education and understanding of American history.

The use of technology will be evident in various activities during the 15 day unit. I will integrate technology in the classroom to enhance and motivate student learning. I will use an LCD projector each day during the lesson to upload a power point, United Streaming Videos, and American Symbol web quest. I will also use the Kidspiration software to improve student performance through visual concepts. The digital camera will be used by the students to take pictures of American symbols found around the community, clay figures, and/or drawn pictures. With the help of the teacher or parent volunteer, the student will upload the picture into their Kidspiration graphic organizer and class book page. The Flip Video camera will be used by the students to record their presentation of their ‘new’ American symbol. Once the students record their presentations, then they will use Audacity to voice record their ‘new’ symbol description and reasoning.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
A teacher could use this unit to teach map skills, technology skills, and math graphing skills.
Student will give presentations of their newly created symbol and Kidspiration graphic organizer.
Links: "Ben's Guide"
"White House for Kids"
"Kids in the House"
"Virtual Tour of the White House"
Materials: Flip Video, Hi-Def Camcorder, Point and Shoot, Portable, Digital Voice Recorders, Microphones, Camera Bags, Tripods, Batteries, Memory Cards, Power, Headsets, LCD Monitors, Literacy, Writing, Social Studies, Books, Word Processor, Inspiration, Integrating Technology