This is an abstract topic for preschoolers to grasp as they can
hardly think beyond their neighborhoods! However,
children build onto their base understanding each time they
learn something. If nothing else, this will prepare
them to learn and understand more next time. This theme is
built using patriotic songs, the pledge, chants and pictures
as an introduction to the idea of patriotism. I've listed all the activities we are hoping to do during
our Patriotic Celebration Week. There are purposely
more activities for each day than we probably have time for.
Mix and match them to your child's/children's interests,
offering a balanced mix throughout each day. For
instance, choose some active and some quiet activities each
day and be sure to read every day! Tailor each
activity to your child's specific interests and abilities.
Vocabulary Words: (Spanish and
- Each English word links to the word specific link for how
to sign that word. For the home page with links to
nearly any word in the
ASL browser, click here.):
symbol, America, patriotism / Patriot, pledge, "Old Glory",
flag, banner, allegiance, president (Lincoln, Washington),
penny, nickel, dime, quarter, red, white, blue, star
Benchmark Skills: 3.28 Shows pride in heritage and background
Old Glory: Introducing the American Flag and the
Pledge of Allegiance
Show the American Flag. Have the children describe it
to you and tell you what they think it stand for.
Write down what they say. Explain that it is a symbol
of America, the country where they live.
Lessons (one main lesson a day which can be broken
into parts as needed throughout the day):
I pledge allegiance to the flag of
the United States of America and to the Republic for which
it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty
and justice for all.
2.12 Preplans art project and then works with care
5.3 Expands vocabulary
3.12 Recognizes patterns and can repeat them
Pledge of Allegiance: Have the pledge
printed on poster paper to leave posted. Give children
copy of the pledge. After reading the
book, have your children add this pledge to the beginning of
each morning meeting. Through role-modeling and
consistency, they will learn it! Teach them to:
stand quietly (and remove hats, if worn)
place the right hand over the heart
face the flag
recite the pledge
Enjoy listening to/singing a patriotic
song after the pledge. There are so many of these, you
can change it up daily, once a week, or whatever!
Make a Flag Windsock / Kite: Find instructions here on how to make a patriotic windsock
from oatmeal, formula,
Ovaltine containers, etc. (Although I'm a big
breastfeeding, I like the formula and Ovaltine
containers for this project, because the container itself is
silver which gives a great background. I'm sure there
are others, as well.)
Print out your stars here.
Here are some patriotic pictures. (Print them on
sticker paper for instant stickers!)
Take the time to count out the stars and talk about the
/ white pattern of crepe paper as you glue them on.
This is a representation of the flag, not the flag itself,
so allow your child freedom to experiment with the mediums
provided to design his/her patriotic windsock, like where to
put the stars as you count. Once dry, go outside and
enjoy watching the windsocks fly!
Benchmark Skills: 2.6 Expresses through movement what is felt and heard in
various musical tempos and styles
4.12 Shows balance and coordination
3.27 Identifies self as a member of a specific family and
3.21 Uses words to describe characteristics of objects
2.10 Explores and manipulates art media
3.29 Shows awareness of the roles people play in society
3.14 Demonstrates the ability to order and sequence
Background Building - Show a
piggy bank. Ask the children what it is, why people
have one, etc. Empty a little money out to show what's
inside. Talk about the money. Do any of the children
know the names of the coins or the pictures of the men on
After a discussion of
give each child a penny of their own to examine and discuss. Tell
them that the man's name is Abraham Lincoln. Make
a rubbing. (This may work better if you glue/tape each
coin on an index card using two of each coin to show both
sides. Now, lay paper over the coin, rub a crayon or
pencil tip over the coin until you see the coin's image on
the paper. Save for later to glue on the
Print a copy of each coin,
front and back, for the children to color with
appropriate crayon and
assemble into a book.Write the name of the
on the pages and the value of the coin (1¢, 5¢,
Have the children put the pages in order from lowest
value to highest.
Piggy Bank(a fun take-home learning activity!): Use a cylinder chip container,
cover with red, white or blue construction paper, decorate
with pictures of coins and their values (1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢),
names and pictures of presidents, star stickers or
print some stars here.
Cut a slit in the top for a coin slot.Let the
children put their penny in and take it home.
A Patriotic Party: Have "Sam Adams" send invitations
to your students inviting them to attend a "Boston Tea Party". Activity
continues the discussion about this historical
event and how it relates to patriotism. "Tea Party" snack wraps things up.
Build Background: Both of
these stories (This Land is Your Land
America the Beautiful
) pull together all the symbols of America into
rhythmic verse. Read and let the children tell you
what they see, what's familiar to them. Ask if they
have been anywhere that looks like the pictures in the book.
Play a search and find to count how many flags are in the book(s).
Patriotic Symbols: Review
the patriotic symbols the children have learned to recognize
this week. Print the
Patriotic Symbols Cube for them to take home and share
American Parade: Sing
Yankee Doodle while playing the midi. Then, play some
patriotic music, let the children pick an instrument, and
have a patriotic parade around the classroom, school yard,
Checking for Student Understanding: Referring to our
Main Idea and Benchmarks, do the children...
recognize the American Flag?
recite the Pledge of Allegiance with reasonable accuracy?
associate red, white and blue with American symbolism?
express pride in their cultural heritage?
If the children show some of these traits, you can move on
knowing that the exposure has laid the groundwork for more
in-depth learning (of such an abstract subject) as they get
There are many benchmarks that
will be taught nearly every day, like "Demonstrates willingness to
try new things" or "Shows enjoyment of books and stories and
discussion of them". Throughout the range of activities
offered here, there will be a focus on one or two, although there
are usually many covered in one simple activity. Repetition is
the key with learning - especially in early childhood.
However, even though you may do the same basic activity, it can be
adapted to your child's level, interests, and theme.