Author Archive for LindsayW

Patriotic Symbols

 America the Beautiful: Patriotic Symbols

Introduction

This blog post provides several book reviews, websites that students can access, and additional teacher resources. The material that is found within the links provided can be used with grades ranging from kindergarten to third grade. The various stories and websites cover the material and concepts related to the Virginia standards of learning (VA SOL K.8, K.9, 1.11). Through these links students will generate an understanding of what a symbol is and be able to recognize symbols that are important to the United States of America. Students will also analyze the Pledge of Allegiance and understand why we recite it every morning in school.

Literature

The Bald Eagle (American Symbols)

The Bald Eagle

By: Norman Pearl and Illustrated by: Matthew Skeens

The bald eagle is one of the strongest symbols of freedom and strength of our nation. This book tells the story of how the eagle became an American symbol over 200 years ago. Children are invited to take a journey with Bill the bird keeper as he shows them how the bird lives and how it became a patriotic symbol of the United States.

L is for Libery

By: Wendy Cheyette Lewison and Illustrated by: Laura Freeman Hines

In this book, children will learn about a symbol that stands in the New York harbor. They will learn how the Statue of Liberty has welcomed people from near and far for centuries. This is a great book to read with younger children as it uses simple language and bold illustrations. Children will learn about the history and the freedom the Statue of Liberty stands for and how they can celebrate it.

Red, White, and Blue: The Story of the American Flag

By: John Herman and Illustrated by: Robin Roraback

This story traces children’s minds back to the very beginings of the American flag. Children will learn about who created the flag and how it came into being. Children will also be able to learn and observe the many changes that the flag has gone through over the years. Lastly, children will gain an understanding of the American flag and its importance as a symbol for our country.

The Pledge of Allegiance

By: Scholastic Inc.

This book illustrates the text of the Pledge of Allegiance through bold pictures of American landscapes, monuments, and flags. Children are educated on the meaning of the pledge, its history, and additional information about the American flag. Children will be able to gain a better understanding of the words they pledge every morning. At the end of the book, children are asked to reflect back on what they have learned and think about the question, “What do you feel when you say the Pledge of Allegiance?”

The Washington Monument

By: Kristin L. Nelson

This book introduces children to one of the most remarkable patriotic landmarks in our nation: the Washington Monument. Children will learn basic facts about the monument such as: how long it took to build, who was behind the planning of the monument, and what troubles the workers faced. Through fun text and captivating pictures, children are able to become consumed in the book after page 1. They will aslo find answers to other interesting questions such as: why the monument was built to honor George Washington, what the 50 flags that circle the monument stand for, and why the monument was built with two different colors of marble.

Web Sites for KIDS

Printable Symbols of the United States

This site provides children with a variety of different pictures of patriotic symbols of the United States. Children can pick from a wide range of pictures from the bald eagle to the Washington Monument. After clicking on the picture they wish to color, an enlarged picture will appear on the screen. The children use an interactice crayon where they are able to use a variety of colors to complete their picture. This site can be a great way for the students to test their knowledge of the American flag and its colors. After finishing their picture, if the students have access to a printer they will be able to print it out once they have finished.

America in Pictures Webquest

This webquest has been designed for first grade level students. The students are instructed that they will be making a four page picture book about American symbols. On each picture page there must be a picture and one sentence telling what the symbol is. Students are provided with various links to websites where they will discover more information about the Statue of Liberty, the American flag, Uncle Sam, and the Bald Eagle. After going to each of the websites, the students will have enough information to create their picture book. This webquest provides step by step instructions and examples of what they need to do along the way.

The American Bald Eagle

This site provides children with several other facts they may not have come across yet in learning about the bald eagle. The site introduces the students to the concept of endangered species. Children can also explore the topic of the bald eagle even more as they learn about where it gets its name, what the old English word means, where you can find bald eagles, and the general appearance of the bird. At the bottom of the page, children are presented with various printout pictures of bald eagles that they can color.

The Flag that inspired the National Anthem

At this site, children are exposed to brief summaries of information pertaining to the war, the flag, and the anthem. After each brief summary, the child will be prompted to answer a question about the information they just read. The child will answer a series of questions and will recieve a star for each correct answer. Their goal is to collect as many stars as they can.

US Army Corps of Engineers

Children can visit this site daily to check for live images of bald eagles. The company that runs the site has a live video camera that is placed in an area where eagles are constantly spotted. Live pictures are posted to the website, and many times people can see an eagle in the picture.

Teacher Resources

Construction Paper Flag

This link provides a first grade lesson plan that correlates with the VA SOL 1.11. During this lesson, students will learn vocabulary that is inidicative of American symbols. Students will learn the tradition of the Pledge of Allegiance and how to be patriotic by showing respect. Students will create the United States flag and generate a better understanding of the what stars and stripes stand for.

U.S. Symbols Unit Test (VA SOL 1.11)

This website provides a complete unit test for VA SOL 1.11. The test is 15 questions and in the style of multiple choice. Students will be tested on the various symbols pertaining to United States and the meaning behind each symbol along with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Pledge of Allegiance Decoded

This site interprets the language in the Pledge of Allegiance. Some younger students may have trouble understanding words such as allegiance, indivisible, republic, nation, and justice. By going through the pledge word for word, the students will be able to do more than just recite the pledge; they will undrstanding the meaning of why they do.

Patriotic Symbols

This site provides teachers with information and pictures covering all of the patriotic symbols. Teachers can click on a certain symbol and they will be presented with pictures and facts pertaining to that symbol. After clicking on the symbol, there are also links provided at the bottom of the page for a quiz on the symbol, coloring sheets, or more related links.

Camouflage

This blog provides links to books, interactive kids’ websites, and teaching resources that would be useful in covering the topic of Camouflage in the classroom. The links provided would be appropriate to use with grades ranging from kindergarten to third grade. Many of the sites provided include audio, so if the children are still working on learning to read, they will still understand what to do. Both the books and the websites provide excellent realistic imagery to give the students a clear visual of what camouflage is. Detailed lesson plans can be found in the teacher resources section of the blog. The information provided on this topic covers parts of the following VA Science SOLS: (1.5, 2.7, 3.4)

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Literature

Where in the Wild?: Camouflaged Creatures Concealed…and Revealed, By: David Schwartz and Yael Schy, Illustrated by: Dwight Kuhn

where in the wild

From kindergarten age children to parents and teachers, this book is guaranteed to intrigue the reader from page one. Through creative shape-poetry and captivating photography, the reader is challenged to unmask the hidden creatures in the images. This book provides very realistic images, giving the reader a clear representation of what camouflage really looks like. Additionally, the book also includes facts about the animals that are hidden in the pictures. With these facts, the poetry, and the photography, readers are equipped with several tools to help them reveal the hidden creatures.

 Winnie the Witch, By: Valerie Thomas and Illustrated by: Korky Paul

winnie

This fun Halloween story is about a witch named Winnie and her black cat, Wilbur. Everything in Winnie’s house is black,including Wilbur. Problems begin when Wilbur closes his green eyes to take a nap and Winnie can not see him at all. Winnie ends up tripping over and stepping on Wilbur several times. In an effort to help both herself and her cat, Winnie changes Wilbur into various colors other than black in order to see him better. However, each color seems to create more problems for Winnie and Wilbur. The colorful Wilbur attempts to escape and hide in the top of a tree from Winnie. In the end, Winnie’s love for her cat leads her to change him back to black.

Animals in Camouflage, Written and Illustrated by: Phyllis Limbacher Tildes

animals in camo

The pages of this non-fiction book are filled with seven different animals. These animals are hidden from their predators in large colorful pictures. Children are encouraged to use both the pictures and the written clues to determine where the animal is located. At first, the reader tries to guess where the animals is. Once they turn the page, the reader will discover what animal is hidden within the page. This book provides a colorful representation of camouflage, blending, color change, disguise, and pattern. Additionally, more facts are included at the end of the book about the animals that were discovered.

3-D Close up: Animal Camouflage, By: Daniel Gilpin

3d

This book is filled with mesmerizing close-up photography, artwork, and engaging text. This book also includes four 3-D pop-up cross sections that portray animals with and without their disguises. The reader will learn why some animals need to hide and some do not and how they manage to do it. Some of the camouflaged animals the reader will learn about are zebras, cuttle fish, and clouded leopards.

The Mixed-Up Chameleon, By: Eric Carle

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This book by Eric Carle, tells the story of a Chameleon who is not satisfied with blending into his surroundings. After noticing a zoo, he sees all the wonderful animals and begins to wish for various characteristics of all the animals. (“I wish I was tall like a giraffe.”) After receiving all of his wishes, the chameleon ends up being a combination of several different animals that does not really work well all together. The chameleon realizes this when he tries to eat a fly but can not reach it. Upon realizing this, the chameleon wishes to return back to himself again.

Interactive Kids Websites

Camouflage Field Book

At this website, children are given the opportunity to navigate through four different habitats: Coral Reef, Rain Forest, African Grassland, and Arctic Meadow. After choosing and clicking on a habitat, the child is able to participate in a hidden animal search. Each of the habitats represents various species using camouflage in different ways.

If You Can’t Run, You’ve Got To Hide!

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The first activity on this website the children can take part in is a “Where is Waldo” game. They are given two pictures where the character Waldo is hidden. They must “test their predator skills” and try to find Waldo in both pictures. Further down on the page there are three pictures of real animals using camouflage in their habitats. The child is challenged to try and find the animal in the picture. Lastly, the child is given a representation of comparing and contrasting the habitat that would be safest for a hare. They are given two pictures with a hare, one in the white snow and one in the forest.

Walking With Beasts

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This is a great interactive site for kids to play around with different forms of camouflage on both predators and their prey. At this site, kids choose between either a predator or prey. Then, they are instructed to choose a background for their animal: jungle, plains, or tundra. After this, they can choose different fur colors (white, tawny, or dark), shadings (under or counter), and patterns (spots or stripes) to best fit their animal in that habitat.The child can reset the screen and start over at anytime and experiment with different habitats and animals.

Brain POP Jr. – Camouflage

This interactive site gives children several different activities to experiment with. The first activity is a short cartoon movie where kids watch and learn about Annie and Moby’s quest to learn more about camouflage. The child will learn with Annie and Moby about how both predators and their prey use camouflage, why what animals change color, why some animals change colors in different seasons, and how animals confuse other animals. Another activity the children can access from this site is drawing an animal camouflaged in its habitat. They can use crayons of different colors and erasers located on the site. Kids can make up an imaginary animal that uses camouflage. The are instructed to name their animal and describe how they use camouflage to survive in their environment. Kids can also fill out a KWL chart about camouflage in the “talk about it” section on the site. Additionally, kids can play with the word wall that provides interactive index cards that have a word on one side and definition on the other. Another activity is the hidden animals game. Kids are given four different habitats and are challenged to find three hidden animals in each. Everything on this site is read aloud to the child. All the child needs to do is roll the mouse over the text and the computer will read off the directions.

Hidden Animals Game

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 This is another great site where kids have the opportunity to play a game where they have to spot the animal that is hidden by camouflage. Once the child thinks they have found the animal, they click on it and after clicking on the correct animal they are given a quick fact about the animal. They can do this activity with several different animals including: lizards, bears, rabbits, snakes, foxes, turtles, owls, amphibians and more!

Additional Teacher Resources

Hunting Like a Hawk

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This site provides four different activities to implement into a camouflage lesson plan. One great activity to do with students is the “Hunting Like a Hawk” game. This game portrays the idea that sometimes, even camouflage can fail with sudden movements from the prey. Other activities at this site include: Hiding in the habitat and Hide and Seek. These games are a great way for the students to have a hands-on experience of camouflage. This site also provides teaching advice on: blending, pattern, disguise, and mimicry.

Why Are Polar Bears White?

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This site provides a lesson plan teaching students how color can help animals in the wild. In the activity in the lesson plan, students go outside and try to find as many toothpicks that the teacher scattered around as possible. When they come back inside they discuss why some colors were found more than others (ex: green).  Students will also create a polar bear painting on white paper to depict how its fur helps it blend in with its environment.

Camouflage Lesson Plan

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This lesson plan could be used with students ranging from grades K-3. In the activity, students will observe the important characteristics of camouflaged animals. One of the activities requires the students to create paintings of an animal in a certain habitat that they choose. Once they have finished they cut them out and take them outside where the teacher will prop them up according to a certain distance. The students will observe their paintings at different ranges from both sides: the painted side and the white/blank side.

Camouflage Animal Print Outs

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This site provides several print outs of animals that use camouflage. After clicking on an animal, a description of the animal appears alongside the image. There is also a key that goes along with the image of the animal so the students know what to color each part of the animal.