National Symbols and the History of Our Country

General Description

Topic:
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.

Objectives:

  • 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.

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

Materials:
  • 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!

Quote
Overall, I want to thank everyone who presented at this workshop. It’s one of the most valuable I’ve attended in my career. It featured content, materials, and ideas that could be used immediately in the classroom.
- Jonathan L’Ecuyer, Pinkerton Academy
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