Objectives/Overview: This is a fun and quick follow-up lesson to check comprehension of facts learned about the American flag, where students create a trading card inspired by facts and thoughts about this national symbol. The same assignment can be done with other important American symbols and historical items, so that a class deck of cards can be created and used later.
Time Needed: one 60-minute class session.
Writing skills (traits) to stress while teaching this lesson:
- Word Choice (using precise nouns to assist the reader's understanding; incorporating interesting adjectives into the writing; and using strong verbs to keep the sentences interesting)
- Conventions (spelling skills)
Setting the Stage:
Ask students: "Have you ever collected trading cards?" (Pass out several cards of different types or show the samples from Barry Lane's book) "Notice what facts and statistics can be found on each card. Today we will create a trading card for the American Flag."
Review history curriculum from your classroom textbook on the flag, highlighting vocabulary words. Cluster new and previously learned knowledge on chart paper with simple leading questions of who, where, when, and why.
Pass out trading card examples. Observe facts found on different types of cards.
Make a list of interesting facts one might find on a trading card about someone or something from history. Brainstorm leading questions to elaborate and expand ideas. Ask, "What questions would you like to ask someone you admire from history?"
- When were you born?
- When did you die?
- Did you have a nickname?
- Did you have a favorite saying?
- Was there ever a controversy about you?
- Did you have any defining life moments?
- What's your favorite song?
- Did you have a pet peeve?
- Did you have any famous last words?
- Did you have a favorite color?
- What was your greatest achievement?
- What was your most embarassing moment?
- What was the biggest event in your life?
- Who were your friends?
- Did you have any enemies?
Have students choose 8 statistics/questions from the list they would like to include on a trading card for the American Flag they will design.
Students create rough drafts of the writing that will appear on the back of the card. Students revise and edit the short pieces of information in small groups.
Students will write final draft on card stock and illustrate reverse.
- Repeat this assignment as you student other historical figures and symbols, so you can create a classroom deck of trading cards by selecting your top few cards with each topic.
Statue of Liberty
Born: France, July 4, 1884
Nickname: Lady Liberty
Favorite Saying: July IV MDCCLXXVI
Favorite Color: Copper
Most Embarrassing Moment: When I turned green
Greatest Achievement: Reassembling 214 cases and becoming whole again
Most Proud: Statuesque figure of 151 feet tall and weighing only 450,000 lbs.
Greatest Enemy: Salt water mist
The American Flag
Nickname: Old Glory
Favorite Saying: Oh Say, Can You See
Biggest Controversy: Betsy Ross vs. Frances Hopkinson
Defining Life Event: When I changed from union jack to stars and stripes
Favorite Song: Star Spangled Banner by Frances Scott Key
Pet Peeve: People not respecting my code as law
Famous last words: In God we trust added to the pledge of allegiance