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First Graders Explore Patriotic Symbols

First Graders Explore Patriotic Symbols
Posted on 07/06/2015
Patriotic symbolsThis spring, the History Department was awarded a Building Aligned Curriculum grant to pilot “From Sea to Shining Sea: Patriotic Songs and Symbols,” one of the model curriculum units developed by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Haggerty 1st grade teachers Kerri Favreau and Linda Yeh collaborated with history coach Julie Craven to implement the unit, which encourages students to explore the following essential questions:
  • What are patriotic symbols?
  • Why do we have them?
  • What can we learn about a nation through its patriotic symbols?
  • What are the stories of our patriotic symbols?
Each week students focused on a particular patriotic symbol: the Statue of Liberty, the American Flag, the White House, and the Bald Eagle. As Linda Yeh noted: The kids were super excited to learn about U.S. symbols and loved making connections to the symbols in their own lives. One...of my students got to visit the White House over spring break and excitedly brought in pictures of the White House, which we had just learned about.

By introducing the national ideals of liberty, democracy, and unity, the unit laid important foundations for future civic learning. Students also became skilled at an important writing goal for first graders, organizing information into appropriate categories. As a culminating project, students created books highlighting a particular symbol. Librarian Sarah Novogrodsky helped students to create VoiceThread recordings describing pictures of their symbols. Students then presented their books and recordings to parents at a recent breakfast.