Preschool lesson plans that teach about our Nations symbols and Heroes.
As the Summer approaches, my family and I look forward to the Summer Holidays. One of the holidays coming up soon, is memorial day. For ease of planning and also for the ability to be used at other times during the year, I labeled this week Flag so you could use it for memorial day, labor day, or fourth of July. I have some more fun filled national ideas to share with you for the Fourth of July, so hopefully you can utilize this during memorial day or labor day.
I like to teach to the holidays that are in a month for a variety of reasons. Here are a few:
- Teaches about our traditions
- Reviews some of our history
- Looks at our society as a whole
- Reinforces the values share
- Easy to make home to school connections
- Proves to be an easy way to connect them to the world around them
In general, teaching using the holidays, just seems to spur more interest in the students. It makes it easier to find activities, outings, or speakers in the community, because they are already consumed by the holiday. For all of these reasons, I am writing this article. However, I also write this because I feel that kids need to learn more about their nations heritage so they can appreciate where they come from and the heroes that keep us safe.
Here are some FUN FILLED FLAG and All American Lesson Plans.
Cutting 13 Red and White Stripes to glue onto paper to make a flag. Another standard that is met with this project is patterning. Placing the stripes alternating red and white creates a pattern. Here is a video that talks about the patterning on the flag, by Mr. Mike’s House.
- Cookie cutters, white paint, and blue paper squares.
- I cut out some blue squares out of construction paper ahead of time. I make enough for the number of students I have.
- Next, I have the students come to my table and tell me what shape cookie cutter I have.
- Once I know they recognize the shape, I give them their blue square and a small cover or paper plate with white paint on it.
- Following that, I demonstrate the first star, by dipping the cookie cutter in the white paint and making a print on the blue paper usually in the corner so their stars are front and center.
- You will have those students who fit 24 stars all over lapping on their blue square, or you might also have those meticulous students who only fit 5 stars on. They don’t want the stars to over lap, so they don’t do any more.
Colors: Red, White, and Blue
Using these colors as your colors of the week, is perfect only because just about everything that is planned into this week uses these three colors. Keep referencing the colors red, white, and blue with every project, and every time you hold up a flag. Also keep asking them about the colors. Eventually, they will get so bored with telling you , they start to Scream it out Red, or white, or blue. They’ve even told me once, “we know these already, can we keep going Mrs. Gaulke. ” Of course I said, “yes,” and we kept going. It was just cool that they felt so confident about their understanding they just wanted to get to the project.
Need: pictures of various united states flags through out history.
Using the pictures of all the flags, we talk about how they are the same. They use the same colors. Then I point out that most of the flags use stars in some way. After we have found as many things the same as we can, we then look for differences. This is usually easier for them. I point out major things like the shape the stars take on the blue back ground. I also point out things like the number of stripes. Try keep the poster up all week so that they can explore the other flags, and for further discussion through out the week.
If you visit my TPT site, you can get the flag matching work sheet and other worksheets that coincide with this group of lessons.
Need: White star cut outs, blue background and number stickers or a marker.
I have a large piece of tag board with blue back grounds on it. Then I have a number above each blue back ground. This is a great time to work on our numbers 10-20. I use a star punch to cut out A LOT of white stars. I create way more than I need because they will get used up, lost, or bent. Just be prepared. Then I tell them they need to be Betsy Ross and place the number of stars required for each flag. I put this in the math center and try to work on it with at least two students per day during free play. I do this to be able to give each student some one to one attention.
If you want to change it up and use it for one to one correspondence, all I do is draw the number of dots on the blue back ground, and they have to put one star per dot.
This activity could easily be made into a worksheet with smaller numbers. I have found that they like to design things with the larger numbers. To be able to design their version of an American flag.
Need: 12×18 Blue construction paper cut in half to create 6×18″ Paper strips, White star cut outs, Red and white Crepe paper, glue, yarn or string, and a whole punch.
- First I have them Glue their stars on the blue portion of the paper.
- Next They glue the two ends of the blue construction paper together to create a ring.
- Then I have them Glue strips of red and white crepe paper to the bottom. This is a great time to encourage noticing the pattern red, white, red, white. This could even be done during math time, if you want to encourage their patterning skills.
- Finally I help them punch the holes in the top to put the yarn hangers on.
Once they have finished their windsocks, I take them outside to see how windy it is and which way the wind is coming from. We talk about how we can’t see the wind, but we know it’s there. You can use this to coincide with the bible lesson for the week also. See the Religion portion of this blog.
You may even want to have the kids come in and graph which way the wind was coming from, was it from the north, south, east, or west. You can take this opportunity to talk about directions on a map and in our world. It doesn’t matter if they completely understand, but you are exposing them to more real world Social studies
I try to get one of those orange cone like windsocks that they have at air ports and show the students it, so that they can see real life science at work. I talk about how knowing the wind direction can help pilots and the airport know if it is safe to fly, or maybe bad weather is coming.
Paper Air planes
Making paper airplanes may be difficult for little hands. However, they love to fly them. In my case I had a class of older kids help me make paper air planes. Then my preschoolers and I would go out side and test the wind. What happens if we fly against the wind? What happens if we fly with the wind? Hopefully, if you have a windy enough day, they will observe that the air planes don’t go as far if they go against the wind. This is when I like to have them draw in their science journals again, what their observations are.
Sid the Science Kid
If you need another activity I loved using Sid the Science Kid with my daughter Tori at home. She absolutely loved the show, and I thought that it followed the scientific method perfectly. It also helped her to know what type things she could write about in her science journal. There is an episode called, “The Wind did it.” It is season 01 episode 34. It’s about 22 minutes long. If you would like to use it here is the link to “The Wind Did It.”
This coincides with the science unit about wind, however, you can use their knowledge about directions in science further by showing them a map of the united states. I show them the compass on the map and point to the letters N,S,W,and E. Discuss that these letters mean something. They are showing us the directions on a map, just like we know directions when we are outside watching our windsocks.
Using the map you can also point out where you and your class are located. I point out that my kids and I are in Wisconsin. Then I asked are we on the north, south, east, or west side of the United States. It’s fun to point to different spots on the map and ask questions about where we are compare to people who live in ____________? California, for example, we would be East, but New Jersey we would be west. I try to make it pretty obvious so as not to confuse them.
I bring out our flag, and we examine it. How many stripes? 13 for the 13 colonies. Then I discuss what colonies are. They are places that were created by our ancestors when we first came to this country. Colonies eventually led to towns, cities, states, and then finally to the United States of America.
Next, I discuss with them that the 50 stars are for the 50 states that are now part of the United States. The white symbolizes purity and innocence, and the red, symbolizes the velour and hardiness. Finally, the blue symbolizes perseverance and justice.
We examine how flags have changed over the years. We do this in math class as well, when we compare and contrast the various flags. For an awesome you tube video on this visit the Storybook Nanny on you tube. She reads an awesome book about the history of the United States that is great for preschool age children, “The American Flag.”
Learn the National Anthem
If you haven’t done so already. Teaching them the National Anthem is a lot of fun. I love to use books to help teach the words to a song. Thankfully Scholastic has many wonderful books that do just that. They put favorite songs to book form. They have a book all about the National Anthem, They also have a great book about our nations symbols called, “Oh, Say can you see?”.
Pledge of Allegiance
I ask them if they know what the pledge of allegiance is. Then I say it is a way of stating what our country believes and stands for. It is also a way we say that we are going to stand by our country and defend our country and our freedoms. Then I read the story, “Pledge of Allegiance” to them, and we talk about the pictures and the meaning to us.
Special Visitor: An Armed Forces officer
Someone who has served in the military and have them explain where they served, what their job was, and why they do it. Have them explain what freedoms are. Discuss the importance of remembering those that serve and those that have lost their lives serving to protect those freedoms. Finally, I like to have them teach the students the proper way to take care of our flag, and the special way to fold it.
The Story of the 10 Lepers Luke 17:11-19
This is a story where Jesus was right outside Jerusalem when 10 Lepers came out and yelled to Jesus don’t come any closer we have Leprosy. Then they asked Jesus to heal them. They believe he could do it even from far away. Then Jesus told them to go to the temple priest and to show themselves, and they would be healed. The 10 ran off to see the priest, and as they ran they noticed that they were healed. Only one of the 10 lepers returned to thank Jesus for healing them. The object of this lesson is to remember to say thank you to everyone who helps us, but most importantly remember to say thank you to God.
Thank Yous and Gratitude
I have them color thank you cards that I have printed out before hand. It says Thank you on the front. On the Inside I print out the words, we just want to say thank you for protecting our freedoms, and for your service. We are praying for you. Then I have them sign their names. Finally, I take them to a VA and give them the cards to hand out to any one who might need a pick me up. I always put our school name on the back of the card. That they know who we are and that this is from a preschooler who is praying for him or her.
Branches of the Military
Have a member of the military come in and talk about things that they do in the military, and then I would have them demonstrate the proper way of folding a flag. The kids kind of enjoy helping or trying to fold the flag, and seeing a member of the military. The students were always so impressed
Writing Thank You’s
The Pledge of Allegiance Book
The Grand Old Flag Book
The Letter F for flag Sheets
The letter A for America Sheets
Miniature Boot Camp (obstacle course)
You’re a grand old flag
USA flag Song (tune: Itsy Bitsy Spider)
Created by: Abby Gaulke
It’s a Red, white, blue flag, It’s a me and you flag. It has 13 stripes and it has 50 stars. 13 Stripes for colonies. 50 Stars for states please. We all love our country and we wave it proudly. (chant:) left-right, left-right, way up high.
Red, White and Blue Rice
Need: Rice; Food coloring, Red and Blue; and Zip lock baggies.
- Put 1 1/2 Cups of Rice into each bag
- Then add 5 drops off food coloring, to each bag, except the white.
- Next zip each bag closed , and shake and rub until coloring is even.
- If you need brighter colors you could go up to 9 or 10 drops of food coloring.
- After the color is evenly distributed, lay the rice out in an even layer on a sheet pan to dry
- Finally, after about 24 hours it should be dry, I combine it into a sensory box or bin and add in measuring cups, clear plastic cups, and spoons to play with the rice.
Flag Graham Crackers
- 1 full sheet of graham crackers per student.
- Cream cheese and plastic knives to let kids spread on the cream cheese
- quartered strawberries to lay on for the stripes.
- Halved blueberries to lay on for the blue portion of the flag.
- Eat up the yummy snack!
Sliced Star Fruit
- Buy a Star fruit
- Slice it into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices
- Eat your stars.
Red White and Blue Cabobs
- Take a toothpick
- Put on a strawberry
- a slice of Banana
- and three blueberries.
Here are some of my suggestions to put into the dramatic play area.
- Red White and Blue hats Head bands etc.
- White beards to play uncle Sam
- Soldier gear
- Navy like gear maybe just a sailor hat
- My rule(NO guns)
- Red, white, and blue flowers. ( Like they put at the graves on memorial day.)
- Red white and blue bunting
- If you can find the fake
- Lots of little flags
Closing up this fun week I try to get some fake sparklers or glow sticks to use as “fireworks” or “sparklers”. This was always so much fun, and helping the kids get a better appreciation for the people who serve and out nations heritage is such a privilege and joy. I hope you enjoy this week as much as we did. If you have any more fun filled ideas to go with flag week I would love to hear about them, just comment and let me know. If you have tried some of my ideas I would love to hear if they worked for you or if there were complications. Every class is different, and different ideas are always appreciated. I would love to hear from all of you. Happy Memorial day/ Fourth of July/ Flag day!