National Symbols and the History of Our Country

General Description

Students will learn about the Declaration of Independence, the Boston Tea Party, and the Constitution in a developmentally appropriate manner. The purpose of this unit is to learn about our nation and to build a classroom community by using the ideas of our founding fathers.  For each symbol or document, the class will develop a related symbol or document.  Each activity will connect our country’s symbols to our class symbols. This helps the children to bond as classmates.


  • To teach concepts of the Declaration of Independence
  • To create a Declaration of Independence for first grade teachers
  • To learn about the Constitution
  • To create our Classroom Constitution
  • To explain the purposes of rules in various settings inside and outside of school.
  • To begin to explain the governments are and some of their functions.
  • To learn about how communities work to accomplish common tasks, establish responsibilities, and fulfill roles of authority.

  • Did the students respect the dignity of all team members?
  • Were all students actively engaged in the lesson?

  • When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia: What I Learned of Freedom, 1776 by Ann Warren Turner
  • We the Kids by David Catrow
  • The Constitution and Constitution Day: A Beginner's Guide by Colman Communications, on Discovery Education
  • Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation by Jacqueline Jules and Jef Czekaj

Materials and Documents

Videos and Media

  • Brush up on the Preamble to the Constitution with this patriotic picture book—and have a couple of good laughs while you're at it!

I am so pumped! I have so many ideas that I want to try. I love the idea of mock trials and making your classroom into a court
- Teacher
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