Happy (almost) birthday to the American flag! On June 14 every year in the United States, we celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag for our country. Flag Day is a great opportunity to teach your students about the symbolism behind flags and the various themes they may represent.
On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed its resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Then, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson officially designated this date as Flag Day.
Below are two activities designed for students in Grades K–5.
Activity: Our Class Flag (Grades K–1)
The children will discuss the symbolism of the American flag as they create a U.S. flag collage.
What You Need
- A large piece of posterboard, paper, or oaktag
- Crayons, markers, or colored pencils
What to Do
- Pick a theme that allows all of the students in your class to participate in this activity—this may be along the lines of "favorite places to travel" or "things we love," or a broader topic such as "words that describe me."
- Have children search through magazines or newspapers to find pictures (or draw their own pictures) that demonstrate the theme. Each student gets to add one image to the flag.
- Help them write Our Flag at the top of the paper and add any other design elements you want (e.g., a border, a list of student names, colors, etc.).
- Have children arrange their pictures on the paper the way they want them to appear, then glue the pictures on the paper.
- Discuss what the flag stands for. Why were specific colors chosen? Why is having a flag important in general? What does the flag reveal about your class as a whole?