Beacon Lesson Plan Library

You're a Grand Ol' Flag

Deirdre Kaufman


Students learn about the American flag and its symbols, and create an original flag that represents what they see in their own lives.


The student knows the history of American symbols (e.g., the eagle, the Liberty Bell, George Washington as the `father of our country,` and the American flag).

The student knows how various symbols are used to depict Americans' shared values, principles, and beliefs.


-Pictures or posters of the American flag at different stages in history
-Pictures or samples of flags from other countries
-Software with drawing and word processing
-"You're a Grand Ol' Flag" song lyrics displayed on a chart or handout (see Associated File)


1. Gather pictures and or posters of flags, including the American flag.

2. Become familiar with software programs equipped with drawing tools. Practice creating your own flag before you share it with the class.

3. Print the words to the song, -The Grand Ol' Flag- either on a chart or as a handout.


1. Open the activity by singing the song, "You're A Grand Ol' Flag."

2. Ask the students, "What are the symbols of our country?" Discuss American symbols such as the Liberty Bell, the eagle, and the American flag. Display the American flag, and introduce it as a symbol of our country. Ask the class what they notice about the flag. As a class, discuss the attributes, patterns, and what the symbols on the flag represent to our country (eg. 50 stars=50 states, 13 stripes for the original 13 colonies, etc.).

Explain how the flag has changed over the course of history due to events that took place. Highlight those events.

At this point, you may wish to show flags from other countries, pointing out that each flag is unique to its country and has symbols that represent certain aspects of that particular country.

Allow the class to verbalize their observations.

3. Realizing that symbols on a flag have meaning, children can design a flag to represent their school or home life. Model this process by creating your own personal flag on the computer to tell about how you have changed over time. -Think out loud- so students can see how you arrived at symbols to represent things about you. Then model writing to explain the flag you created and what the symbols represent. Compare your flag to the American flag. In a brief oral explanation, tell about the history of one of the American flags and how it compares to your flag and its symbols.

Brainstorm ideas for symbols so students have a bank of ideas to work from. Have a few students share their ideas for their flags with the class before students begin to work on their own flags individually or in small groups.

Students can create their own flag or group flag by possibly using the drawing tools on the computer. (They can also design a flag that represents the state they live in, depending on your avenue of instruction!)

4. After students have created their own flags, they must write to explain what the symbols mean.

5. In an interview, students share how their flag compares to one of the American flags in our history and its symbols.


Formatively assess each student creating or sharing his/her project using the following criteria:

Student answers correctly:
-What do the stars on the American flag represent?
-Can you think of another symbol that reminds you of our country (e.g. Liberty Bell, eagle,)?
-What does the flag represent?
-How does your personal flag compare to one of the American flags in our history?

Interview students individually to assess and provide feedback as well as remediation that is immediate.

Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.


-Map Skills and mapping
-Patterning and classifying
-Multicultural studies

Web Links

Web supplement for You're a Grand Ol' Flag
The White House

Attached Files

The words to the song, "You're a Grand Ol' Flag."     File Extension: pdf

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