Grades: 4 and 5
Subjects: Social Studies, Language Arts
Author(s): B. Rosenberg, Lincoln Elementary
School, Madison, WI. (with the help of Marc Kornblatt)
Estimated time for the activity:
3-4 class periods and homeworks (3-4 hours)
- US flags and World Flags - compare flags, locate states on map
with flag picture or miniature
- READ newspaper article, outlining 5 vexillology standards for
rating flags (WI
Capital Times article, to be scanned or reproduced)
- Development of personal flags, according to Vexillology guidelines,
outlined in newspaper article, along with teacher created form (essays
optional, presentation important)
- Share history of Indian flag (world
example) and pictures of US
flag changes, with short discussions
How are people and places represented in different parts of the world,
pictorally? This is one activity that allows kids to look critically
at representation, of a group and of the individual, through flags.
To start out the year, it's nice to think about
how students would represent themselves if they could fly a flag
to tell others about them. This activity looks at how flags are developed,
what makes a "good" flag
good, and encourages creative design. A great activity to start the
Background information for Teachers:
Read and familiarize yourself with the WI Capital Times article and
look through the website about the history of the US and the Indian
Indian and US Flags: websites to consult:
- Students will apply vexillology guidelines to individual flag
design, rank and judge flags (both individual flags designed by students
and ones that represent US states and countries).
- Students will present their designs and written descriptions orally
to the class.
- Students will classify, analyze and compare
flags using the vexillology rubric and will learn the criteria
of a “good” flag design
(by examples chosen by teacher or 6
US states provided, and world
Capital Times article about vexillology , (class may develop
their own simple, rubric based on 5 guidelines or use one attached),
- Pictures and short historical write-ups, from websites, about
US and Indian flags (see websites listed above)
- Teacher example of individual flag or use example
from B. Rosenberg,
with essay/explanation as written
Use Vexillology guidelines to construct a class rubric to judge individual
flags. Then they should go back and use that same rubric to judge various
US and World flags.
5 criteria used: simplicity, colors, design, symbolism, representation
The rubric our class created had an assessment area for the kids
to self assess, for their parent/guardian, for a peer and a teacher.
- orally communicate information, opinions, and ideas effectively
to different audiences for a variety of purposes related to flag
design and history.
- identify and examine various sources of information that are used
for constructing an understanding of the past, such as artifacts,
documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, paintings,
architecture, oral presentations, graphs, and charts
- give examples of group and institutional influences such as laws,
rules, and peer pressure on people, events, and culture
- identify connections between the local community and other places
in Wisconsin , the United States , and the world
- write clearly and effectively to share information and knowledge,
to influence and persuade, to create and entertain.
Performance Standards (WI)
C.4.1 Orally communicate information, opinions, and ideas effectively
to different audiences for a variety of purposes.
B.4.1 Create or produce writing to communicate with
different audiences for a variety of purposes. Write expressive pieces
in response to reading, viewing, and life experiences (narratives,
reflections, and letters) employing descriptive detail and a personal
B.4.1 Identify and examine various sources of information that are
used for constructing an understanding of the past, such as artifacts,
documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, paintings, architecture,
oral presentations, graphs, and charts
E.4.6 Give examples of group and institutional influences such as
laws, rules, and peer pressure on people, events, and culture
A.4.7 Identify connections between the local community and other
places in Wisconsin , the United States , and the world
If our class was a country, or a group looking to make one flag,
what would our design be? This might be a nice activity for a whole
school, with each class preparing flags (and our class visiting each
class and sharing a short 5-10 minute presentation with guidelines
and summary of what they learned. Perhaps at a school assembly each
class could present their flags and they, in turn, could hang class
flags outside the classroom, for the year.
Look at other country or state flags of interest. Research or inquire
into history, changes over time, and add to class bulletin board.
Go on a scavenger hunt through your city. When going through town,
what flags are flown, by whom? Record this data and share with classmates.