Abstract: This thematic unit is designed for first grade students to learn what the symbols of the United States are and what they stand for. The lessons will include research, mathematics, and language arts activities.
Grade level: First Grade
Time required: 2 weeks -30-45 minute class periods (Depending on availability of computers)
Objective:The students will gain an understanding of the symbols of the United States by using various sources of information from picture books to websites.The students will work in groups to complete their research. Information on each symbol will be presented to the class from each "expert" group. Each student will write an expository paragraph about one symbol from the information that they've learned. Math skills will also be integrated into the unit. (i.e. counting patterns, place value, addition, measurement.).
- computers and projection device
- leveled books on each symbol
- copies of worksheets needed
The introductory lessons on the Statue of Liberty will explain what a symbol is and model how to use the resources available to complete their student fact books. The children will then work in pairs to research their symbol. "Expert" groups will be formed by students who have researched the same symbol. This "expert" group will present their findings to the class. A presentation rubric will be used for assessment. All students will complete a fact page for each symbol from the presentations. A culminating activity will be the writing of an expository essay on the symbol of their choice.
Introductory lessons: (One lesson for each of 5 days, 30-45 minute class periods)
Lesson 1 - What is a symbol? Begin with pictures of symbols the children are familiar with. After viewing and exploring the meanings of these symbols create a definition for the term "symbol." Explain that every country in the world has symbols that are special to its people. Show pictures of the symbols of our country. See if the children can name them. Explain how the children will be learning and sharing information about these symbols during this unit. Complete the Front Cover of the "Fact Book." The children will write the created definition inthe center and glue the symbols around the outside of the page.t will contain the definition of a symbol and pictures of the symbols of our country
Lesson 2 -How to complete the "Fact Page" using provided resources
This lesson will model the use of the student resource page to complete the fact page. The web sites for the Statue of Liberty will be used. Fact Page
Lesson 3- Statue of Liberty
The children will practice math facts that make 10 and place value skills as they figure out how many boxes it took to ship the Statue of Liberty to American on the Isere. (Worksheet)
Lesson 4-How tall?
The children will practice their counting by 5's and 10's as they work on a maze that will help them figure out the height of the Statue from the her sandals to the top of her torch. (Worksheet)
Lesson 5-How big?
The children will practice their measurement skills as they use data about the Statue of LIberty's pieces. They will create a model using manipulatives so they can visualize the size of the parts. (Data found at: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/history/us/monuments/sol/ )
Illinois Learning Standards
Language Arts Standards
1.A.1a Apply word analysis skills (e.g., phonics, word patterns) to recognize new words.
1.A.1b Comprehend unfamiliar words using context clues and prior knowledge; verify meanings with resource materials.
1.B.1a Establish purposes for reading, make predictions, connect important ideas, and link text to previous experiences and knowledge.
1.B.1c Continuously check and clarify for understanding (e.g., reread, read ahead, use visual and context clues, ask questions, retell, use meaningful substitutions).
1.C.1c Make comparisons across reading selections.
1.C.1d Summarize content of reading material using text organization (e.g., story, sequence).
3.A.1 Construct complete sentences which demondemonstrate subject/verb agreement; appropriate capitalization and punctuation; correct spelling of appropriate, high-frequency words; and appropriate use of the eight parts of speech.
3.B.1a Use prewriting strategies to generate and organize ideas (e.g., focus on one topic; organize writing to include a beginning, middle and end; use descriptive words when writing about people, places, things, events).
3.B.1b Demonstrate focus, organization, elaboration and integration in written compositions (e.g., short stories, letters, essays, reports).
4.A.1c Follow oral instructions accurately.
4.A.1d Use visually oriented and auditorily based media.
6.A.1a Identify whole numbers and compare them using the symbols <, >, or = and the words “less than”, “greater than”, or “equal to”, applying counting, grouping and place value concepts.
7.A.1a Measure length, volume and weight/mass using rulers, scales and other appropriate measuring instruments in the customary and metric systems.
NETS Performance Indicators K-2
1. Use input devices (e.g., mouse, keyboard, remote control) and output devices (e.g., monitor, printer) to successfully operate computers, VCRs, audiotapes, and other technologies. (1)
2.Use a variety of media and technology resources for directed and independent learning activities. (1, 3)
3. Communicate about technology using developmentally appropriate and accurate terminology. (1)
5. Work cooperatively and collaboratively with peers, family members, and others when using technology in the classroom. (2)
6.Demonstrate positive social and ethical behaviors when using technology. (2)
7. Practice responsible use of technology systems and software. (2) .