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Instructional Design



Lesson Plan – Lindsay Lewkowski


You’re a Grand Old Flag!


·         In this lesson, students will learn about the history of the American flag. They will also be using the Inquiry process in order to elicit higher order thinking.



Students will be able to understand:

·         The history of the American flag

·         Some uses for the American flag

·         Some etiquette to respect when using the flag


  • Students can define the reason for each star and stripe
  • Students can identify who the first alleged seamstress of the flag is
  • Students can identify differences in the American flag from long ago vs. the one we pledge allegiance to today
  • Students can share situations when the flag is appropriately used
  • Students can explain appropriate actions when the flag is present (etiquette)
  • Students can share about some of the events in which the flag is part of our national tradition

Investigative Question

  • What makes the American Flag such a source of pride and respect?
  • What actions may be considered disrespectful when the flag is present?
  • How has the flag changed over the years?
  • What is the reasoning behind these changes?


 Time Required 

  • This lesson should take approximately 7 days, approximately 42 minute class periods.


Recommended Grade Range 

  • Middle school - aged students


 Subject / Sub-Subject

  • Social Studies


  • History: 16.A.2c 16.A.2a



  • Lindsay Lewkowski



 Materials Used

    When Using "You're a Grand Old Flag" power point, use the download arrow.  Please do not use the power point icon.

  • Double KWL chart
  • Investigation Worksheet
  • Imagine That Worksheet
  • Wordle Rubric
  • Post it notes
  • You're a Grand Old Flag power point

Resources Used

Library of Congress

The United States of America Flag

The American Journey textbook

Classic Books at The LOC



 Description of Procedure

  1. To introduce this lesson, give each student a “double kwl chart” (worksheet attached). Only preface by saying that we are going to be learning about the history and etiquette of our American flag.
  2. Encourage the students to take the time to fill out the chart with integrity, no rushing!
  3. After they are complete (give maybe 5-10 minutes depending on your grouping) have them find a partner (I use clock partners in this activity) and talk about their chart. After or during their discussion with someone else the students should be encouraged to fill out the second portion of their kwl chart. This part is for them to reflect on their conversation with their partner and jot down anything they found to be intriguing during their discussion. (give 5-10 minute)
  4. After this process pull students back into the whole group, and reflect about the ideas they came up with. If applicable, make a large kwl chart on chart paper and leave up to continuously refer back to.
  5. Begin the power point “You’re a Grand Old Flag”, keeping slide 2 up for students to make observations…students may politely shout out ideas
  6. Move to slide 3 and ask students to wonder about the 3 topics given. Have them write these ideas down on a scratch sheet of paper. This could be used as an exit slip or quick formative assessment. This should be the end of day 1( proceed onto subsequent steps if time permits)
  7. On day 2 the students will spend some time wondering about some pictures displayed via power point. This activity is a quiet activity and should be done alone until sharing time is given.
  8. Give students 5-10 minutes per slide, working on slides 4-6 to answer the questions on each slide. Remind students to answer questions in detail, as they will be sharing with others.
  9. Allow time for the remainder of the class, to talk about what type of feelings each picture brought to mind. Have them compare and contrast how their feelings might have been different with the pictures from the days of old, to now. Wonder together why that might be. This should be the end of day 2
  10. On day three, start the lesson by giving each student an “investigation” worksheet. Ask them to get with a partner ( I use clock partners) and fill in what they know about the uses for the flag. Have them jot down any ideas that they would like to further explore when it comes to uses for the flag.
  11. Move to slide 7 and talk about the evolution of the flag. Talk about the flag act and have the students use their text book (ours is called The American Journey) to investigate the flag act and some of the reasons behind the evolution of the flag. Have students put these ideas on a post it note (one idea per note) and have the students place these ideas on tree (drawn on the board) as “leaves".
  12. Reflect as a group about some of the ideas that were found, leaving out the duplicates.  This should be the end of day 3
  13. Begin day 4 with slide # 8 talking about some “fun facts” about the flag. (3-5 minutes) Move to the next 2 slides which incorporate the flag and the national anthem. Ask the students to connect their previous knowledge and the knowledge of the past few days to wonder why this tradition came about. Give only 1 hint at a time from the power point. (if a computer lab is available, you may want to have the students searching for this on the web while slide #9 is on the screen. Maybe put a time limit of only a few minutes on this to produce excitement!)Then show slide #10 and discuss this tradition with the students.(5-15 minutes)
  14. Ask the students to reflect on the uses of the flag investigation from the day prior. Have them connect their ideas with slide #11. These ideas are very general, but challenge the students to categorize which uses go with each use. Encourage any debate amongst students, requiring them to use facts! (construct) Have the students reflect aloud about their ideas.(20-25 minutes) This should be the conclusion of day 4
  15. To conduct day 5 you’ll need slides #12-17 which references flag etiquette. These slides should take a majority of the period, if not all.
  16. With each slide, explain the etiquette and have the students try to make the connection to an  appropriate event (for example some students slap the flag as they walk past it, or own a folded up flag from a deceased veteran…etc.) Other than the reflecting and expressing of ideas from the slides, there is no other activity to include on this day.
  17. On day 6 the students will be first deciding if the facts given on slides 18-22 are true or false. Give each slide a few minutes (5-10) so that students can draw inferences from the pictures they are seeing along with the detail within the picture.
  18. Have the students FIRST make a true and false card. On one side of white paper have the students write a large T and on the other side a large F. They will use this when they decide in the large group setting if the statement on the slides is true or false.
  19. Run through these slides, giving the correct answer and an explanation of the given picture.
  20. After this give each student a copy of “imagine that” worksheet. Have the students complete one worksheet for each of the slides #4,5,6. You can choose to give each student a copy of the prints, or just give ample time for the students to observe from each slide.  (construct)
  21. Have the students even go as far as to construct an idea of what could happen next in the picture.  This would be the conclusion of day 6
  22. On day 7, the students should visit the computer lab. Here they will visit the wordle.com website where they will create their own word puzzle containing ideas or feelings that encompass the entire lesson. Use the wordle rubric to evaluate.

Another really  fantastic activity can be found on The LOC at the read.gov page. Here the students can select to view the book "Our Flag," by Sarah E. Champion. This is a historical, digitized rendition of our flag's history. Perhaps students could each take a page to read, becoming an "expert" then sharing their knowledge in chronological order (verbally, by constructing a picture of the information, or maybe even making a pictoral timeline). This book is displayed in such a neat way. For students to fully appreciate this book, each student should have their own computer if possible.


  • Students could write a journal entry about what the flag may have meant to someone back in the times of its creation vs. today. How have the times changed peoples views, opinions, and respect level for the flag?
  • Students could create a flag that represents  themselves. Their design could include personality traits, cultural traits, favorites, views, and beliefs.
  • Students could research other events in which the flag was or is important. Some examples may include but are not limited to; the first independence day,  wars, returns home from war, presidential campaigns…etc.



15. Evaluation

The learning will be gauged by the following items:

  • Double KWL chart – We will reference this sheet over the course of the unit. We will refer back to our class KWL chart to make sure that we have made progress, and are learning what we said we wanted to learn.
  • Investigation Worksheet – This worksheet will check for understanding on the uses of the flag.
  • Imagine That Worksheet – A check of the students inquiry process.
  • Wordle Rubric – A formative assessment where the students prove their knowledge by using important words or feelings in order to make a word display.





Lindsay Kline,
Jun 13, 2012, 6:03 AM
Lindsay Kline,
Jun 13, 2012, 6:04 AM
Lindsay Kline,
Jun 13, 2012, 6:05 AM
Lindsay Kline,
Jun 13, 2012, 5:56 AM
Lindsay Kline,
Jun 13, 2012, 6:06 AM
Lindsay Kline,
Jun 14, 2012, 10:24 AM