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Second Grade Historical Landmarks, Celebrations and Symbols

Students will analyze the different types of historical landmarks and monuments around the nation, and evaluate the importance of national holidays and symbols.

113.13. Social Studies, Grade 2, Beginning with School Year 2011-2012. (b) Knowledge and skills. (1) History. The student understands the historical significance of landmarks and celebrations in the community, state, and nation. The student is expected to: (A) explain the significance of various community, state, and national celebrations such as Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving; and (B) identify and explain the significance of various community, state, and national landmarks such as monuments and government buildings.
(14) Citizenship. The student identifies customs, symbols, and celebrations that represent American beliefs and principles that contribute to our national identity. The student is expected to: (C) identify selected symbols such as state and national birds and flowers and patriotic symbols such as the U.S. and Texas flags

Construction paper, marker/pencil/pens/crayons/map pencils, pictures of monuments/ holidays/symbols, chocolate and vanilla cake, red, white and blue frosting, items to spread and create picture on cake, journals, plates and forks, videos, computer/projector, children's book and the school and playground

On the first day of the week, teacher will introduce the students to a new word, monument. The teacher will present the students with different pictures of monuments. The teacher will also take a virtual tour of these monuments, to expand the student's knowledge of how the monuments look, and how much detail is present in each of the monuments. The teachers teachers will define the significance of the monuments and evaluate why the monuments are important. The teacher will go over the Washington monument, the Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial and the National World War II Memorial. Each monument will be discussed in depth to grasp the understanding of why the monument was built and when it was built. At the beginning of each discussion of the monument, the students will write in their journal about how much they already know about the monument. The thoughts before the discussion will be shared, and after the discussion, the student will write what they have learned. On the second day of the week, the teacher will have vanilla cake and a chocolate cake baked , which will be decorated as the United States flag and the other will be decorated as the Texas flag to help the student visualize on how the U.S and Texas flags look. The student will watch a video of the changes that the U.S flag

went through to be the present day United States flag. The teacher will have different pictures of how July 4th , Labor Day, Columbus day and Veteran's Day is celebrated. The teacher will evaluate on the pictures about why these holidays are celebrated, and explain the significance of the holidays. The teacher will show a SchoolHouse Rock video over the the American Revolution to show the significance of why Independence Day is celebrated. On the third of the week, the teacher will introduce the national symbols. The teacher will introduce the vocabulary word and before the lesson, ask the student to create a picture about what they think symbol means or is. The teacher will show a BrainPop video over the American symbols and as a class the students will take the quiz at the end for a daily, participation grade. The teacher will read a children's book over the different national symbols, to clearly evaluate and analyze what the symbols truly symbolize. Together the students will create a symbol for their classroom.

On the fourth day of the week, the students will pick a national holiday they celebrate and write how they celebrated that holiday. The students will include how these holidays affect their everyday life, and how they will celebrate the holiday differently after they have learned the history of the national holiday. The students will share these ideas with the class. In their story, they will have the details of how they viewed the holiday as and the importance the national holiday had before and will have after the lesson. By doing this activity the students will analyze and evaluate the national holidays. On the fifth day of the week, the students will go on a scavenger hunt to find different symbols around the school that will correspond to the meaning for what each of the American symbols stand for. The students will pair up to do this activity and as a class, they will walk around the school and playground to complete this activity. In this activity, the students will analyze and evaluate the American symbols by creating their own symbols but at the same time, they will be evaluating the American symbols and their importance. Also, on their scavenger hunt, they will try to find shapes that correspond to the shapes of the national monuments. By doing so, the students will analyze the monuments more thoroughly. The scavenger hunt will take about an hour to an hour and 30 minutes to be completed. As the students go around the school they will learn how the school works as a small country, with its national symbols and monuments. These assignments will help the children learn more about their country and the symbols that describe it.

The students will work on creating either their own monument or national symbol that represents a national holiday. They will have about a week to turn in the project getting about 45 minutes to an hour in class each day throughout the week. The project will include a visual of their monument that will be graded on upon how much work was put into it, creativity level, neatness and it should relate to one of the of national celebrations. The day that the presentation is due, the students will give a presentation explaining what their monument/national symbol is about, why they chose to create what they created and how their project relates to one of the national holidays.