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American Flag/Washington DC Flag Lesson, One or Two Part

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Social Studies +4 Age Levels Primary (5 to 8 years old), Elementary (9 to 12 years old)

With this collection, students will use a version of the Zoom In thinking routine to analyze several flags with an eye toward creating their own flag at the end of the lesson.

The Guiding Questions used in this lesson are:

-How did the United States flag change over time?

-Why do countries feel that it's important to have a single flag?

The Big Idea for this lesson is:

Simple symbols, like the those presented on flags, can represent a lot about a country's past and what makes that country unique.  

In this lesson, students will begin by exploring the collection and answering, using the quiz tool,  the questions embedded about the two early versions of the American flag.  The questions push students to analyze each flag, consider how versions of the American flag changed, and think critically about how symbolism can be used in a flag to represent unique and/or historical aspects of a country. 

Once students have completed the quiz questions, the teacher will call them together to discuss  the evolution of the American flag and what the elements of the flag's current and former designs represent.  The teacher will then turn the class's attention to the Washington DC flag and reiterate that its design was taken from George Washington's English ancestry.  Using this as another example of a flag drawing upon elements of history, the teacher will  make the point that the DC flag hasn't changed in appearance in over 80 years.  

The class will brainstorm what they feel are the most important and/or interesting aspects of DC history based on what they have studied.  They will then brainstorm symbols that could be used to abstractly represent elements of DC's unique past, status, and culture.  

Once a number of good ideas have been generated, each student will have the chance to create their own version of the DC flag, either modifying the exiting version of creating a completely new design.  On the draft sheets will be a checklist that focus's students attention on the  most important aspects of any flag, namely its symbolism and its connection to the history of the place it represents.  

If the teacher wishes to make this a longer activity featuring multiple drafts, he or she can consider looping in the art teacher to discuss concepts of sketching and design.  

#LearnwithTR



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