Focus Story: The Pledge of Allegiance by Francis Bellamy (Scholastic book version)
Companion Story: 
The Flag We Love by Pam Munoz Ryan
Companion Poem: 'The Flag' by M. Hubbard

Day 1

Prior Knowledge:

Bring in a variety of small flags for students to see (race flags, state flags, the flag of the United States, flags from other countries, a Girl Scout flag, a church flag, team flags, a school flag if you have one, etc.).  Ask students to point out the flags that they have seen before.  Where have they seen them?  Why do they think people fly certain flags? What do they stand for?  Draw students attention to the American flag. Explain that all this week we will be learning about our country's flag.

    Companion Story:

    Introduce the title, author and illustrator of The Flag We Love.  Ask students to look closely at the cover.  Where is the American flag being flown in this picture? Where else do we often see the American flag being flown? Read the story aloud to students, stressing where the flag is being displayed in each picture (funerals, explorations, parades, sporting events, etc.) (Historical information is shared at the bottom of each page of the book and gives greater depth to the pictures and words, but you may only want to share as much as your students are interested and capable.)

      Companion Poem: 

      Read aloud 'The Flag' to students. As the poem is being read, have students come up and point out the stars and the colors of the stripes on the actual flag.  Then, show students a smaller, paper flag. Ask students to share what they notice about the flag (colors, count the number ofstripes and stars, what it is attached to, etc.)  Use interactive writing to begin to label the parts and colors of the flag.

        The Flag
        (by M. Hubbard)

        Red stripes.
        White stripes.
        Stars on a sky of blue.
        The flag stands for freedom
        for me
        and for you!

        Take time to let students make their own flags today as well!


        Day 2

        Companion Story:

        Ask students to share some facts that they learned about the American flag from yesterday. Reread The Flag We Love.  Then return to the third and fourth pages and reread about the teacher raising the flag and the students reciting the pledge. Ask students if they know the words to the Pledge of Allegiance. Ask them where they have heard it or have recited it before.  What does it mean to them?

          Focus Story:

          Read aloud the Pledge of Allegiance in its entirety.  Then reread each page, having students echo the words after you.    Introduce the 'Pledge of Allegiance' word and picture pocket chart. Explain to students that, during the week, they will be making their own 'Pledge of Allegiance' booklet to take home with them.

          Pledge of Allegiance Picture Cards
          Color to use in the pocket chart or use for individual student booklets!

          Printable Pledge of Allegiance Booklet

          'pledge allegiance'
          Explain to students that when we 'pledge allegiance' it means we are making a promise. Ask students to share some promises that they have made to others. Explain that when we say the pledge, we are promising to be loyal as to a friend. Pass out the 'Pledge of Allegiance' booklets.  Model for students how to write an uppercase 'I' on the first page. Give students the first picture of a hand over the heart and let them glue it onto the second page of their 'Pledge of Allegiance' booklet. 

          'to the flag of the United States of America'
          Then, have students reread the first line of the chart with you in order to find out who/what they are promising to be loyal to?  If students say 'the flag', ask them which flag in particular. Point out the United states on either a map or a globe that has the outlines of each state.  Help students locate the state that they live in. Then stress that their state is just one state, out of 50, that is part of our country -- the United States.  The United States can be called America or be referred to by the initials U.S. or U.S.A.  Let students glue the picture of the American flag to the third page of their booklet and the United States to the fourth page.

          Have all of the students read the first few pages of their booklet together!

            Companion Poem:

            Choral read 'The Flag'.  Then, let students match words and phrases to the lines of the poem in the chart. 
            Review the interactive writing from yesterday and add any additional labeling information.


            Day 3

            Before beginning today's lesson, let students vote for which they would like to read first - The Pledge of Allegiance (Focus Story) or 'The Flag' (Companion Poem). Have students place a check mark on their ballot slip and place it in the voting box (a decorated shoebox).  Take out and read each vote, keeping track with either tally marks or with a chart that uses the flag as a symbol for 'The Flag'  and the hand over heart as a symbol for The Pledge of Allegiance.  Count the number of votes with the class to see which will be read first.

            Printable Flag Cards
            Printable Hand Over Heart Cards
            Printable Ballot Sheets

              Focus Story:

              Choral read The Pledge of Allegiance. 

              'and to the republic for which it stands'
              Explain to students that, just as they voted to choose what to read first today, in a republic, the people get to vote to choose.  Only when adults vote in the U.S., they are choosingleaders/people who will make decisions for everyone in the country. Pass out the student 'Pledge of Allegiance' booklets and have students glue the voting/choice chart to the fifth page .  Let students reread the completed pages in their booklets. Stress that when we say the pledge, we are promising to be loyal to the flag of our countryand what it stands for - being free to choose our leaders.  Explain that tomorrow we will learn more about what our flag stands for.

              Reread the 'Pledge of Allegiance' in the pocket chart. Then remove the pictures and have students sequence them to correspond with the phrases.

                Companion Poem:

                Divide the class in half , letting half of the class alternate reading the lines of 'The Flag'.  Have students listen and find words in the poem thatrhyme (blue, you), are the same (stripes, for), and/or color words (red, white, blue).


                  Day 4

                  Focus Story:

                  Reread the words of'Pledge of Allegiance' in the pocket chart. Ask students to share what they have learned about 'The Pledge of Allegiance'.

                  'one nation, under God, indivisible'
                  Show students a metal link chain.  Ask two volunteers to come in front of the class and try to divide it or break it apart.  When students realize that the chaincan not be split apart, have the students echo after you the phrase, 'one nation, under God, indivisible'.  Explain that the word indivisible means undivided, unbreakable, not able to be divided, similar to the chain.   All of the states and people are one and united together to help one another.  Have students glue the pictures of the country and the international 'not' symbol to the sixth and seventh pages of their take home booklet. Reread.

                    Companion Story:

                    Reread p. 2 of The Flag We Love.  Explain to students that the U.S. flag that we have today is slightly different from the very first flag made many years ago.  Share a book that tells about the makings of our country's first flag such as  A Flag For Our Country by Eve Spencer. After reading, review the interactive writing/labeling of our current flag.  Show studentsa paper sample of the Betsy Ross flag and begininteractive writing to label the Betsy Ross flag. Compare and to contrast the two flags.

                    The Betsy Ross Flag

                    13 white stars - 1 for each colony
                    13 red and white stripes - 1 for each colony
                    blue background for stars
                    5 pointed stars

                    Today's Flag

                    50 white stars - 1 for each state
                    13 stripes - 1 for each original colony
                    7 red stripes - bravery
                    6 white stripes - freedom/liberty
                    blue background - justice/fairness
                    5 pointed stars

                    Companion Poem:

                    Reread 'The Flag'. Which flag do students think the poem is referring to? Why?


                      Day 5

                      Companion Poem:

                      Reread 'The Flag', with a volunteer pointing to the words. Complete the interactive writing/labeling of the Betsy Ross flag from yesterday. Continue to refer back to the current flag and notice likes and differences between the two flags.

                        Focus Story:

                        Reread the words of the 'Pledge of Allegiance' in the pocket chart.

                         'with liberty'
                        Help students understand the term 'liberty' by comparing it to their daily free choice time. Ask students to share which activities they chose to do during their free choice time (blocks, art, etc.)  Did everyone have to do the same thing? Were they told they had to be in a certain area?  Students are free to choose which activities they would like to participate in. The U.S. flag stands for freedom - to be who we want, to become what we want, to choose.

                        'and justice'
                        Explain that liberty (freedom) and justice go hand in hand.  Justice means to be fair and to have the same rules/laws for everyone.   Ask students to share some of the rules that we have at school. Why do we have these rules?  Stress that rules are for our protection, similar to how our kindergarten classroom has rules so that everyone is safe and treated fairly.  In America, we are free to choose our leaders who then make rules and laws that everyone must follow.

                        'for all'

                        Work with students to complete the last two pages of their take home booklets. (On the last page, you may wish to adda small photo of your class!) Reread together, having students point to the words in their own booklets. Then studentscan take them home and share them with their family!


                        Possible Cross Curricular Connections


                        1. Create a simple paper flag

                        50 Stars Printable
                        13 Stars Printable

                        2. Construct a patriotic windsock to fly using white stars on a blue background and red and white streamers!
                        3. Use students' hand prints to create a large United States Flag!


                        1. Create AB, ABC, AAB, etc. patterns fromred, white, and blue strips
                        2. Sort stars by size, color, and/or number of points
                        3. Print out the various flags that the US has had as new states were added.  Have students count the number of stars on each flag and match the correct numeral to each flag. Later in the year, students could order the flags from least number of stars to the greatest number of stars.


                        1. Focus letter 'f'
                        2. Use cut outs of flags and hearts to make an ABC game in which students match pictures to theconsonant that each begins with.

                        Music/Movement: Sing patriotic songs! (Scroll down for samples.)

                        Cooking: Make and eat a Patriotic Sparkler (from the Kindergarten Mailbox June/July 2001)

                        Social Studies:

                        1. Learn about and practice flag etiquette.

                        2. Learn about your state flag!
                        3. Find out more about our U.S. holidays such as Memorial Day (fourth Monday in May), Veteran's Day (November 11), Presidents' Day (third Monday in February), Flag Day (June 14th), and Independence Day (July 4th)!
                        4. Explore the meaning and significance of other national symbols (Statue of Liberty, bald eagle, Liberty Bell, etc.)


                        Related Read Aloud Stories

                        Focus Story: The Pledge of Allegiance by Francis Bellamy (Scholastic book version)
                        Companion Story: 
                        The Flag We Love by Pam Munoz Ryan
                        Companion Poem: 'The Flag' by M. Hubbard

                        America Is.. by Lousie Borden
                        A Flag For Our Country by Eve Spencer
                        The Star Spangled Banner by Peter Spier
                        America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates (Scholastic book version)
                        O Beautiful for Spacious Skies by Katherine Lee Bates
                        I Pledge Allegiance by June Swanson
                        F Is for Flag by Wendy Lewison
                        Red, White and Blue: The Story of the American Flag by John Herman
                        The Bald Eagle (True Books, American Symbols) by Patricia Ryon Quinn
                        The Statue of Liberty (True Books, American Symbols) by Patricia Ryon Quinn
                        The American Flag (True Books, American Symbols) by Patricia Ryon Quinn
                        Betsy Ross by Alexandra Wallner
                        God Bless America by Irving Berlin and Lynn Munsinger
                        America: A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney
                        One Nation: America by the Numbers by Devin Scillian
                        A is for America by Devin Scillian
                        Hats Off for the Fourth of July by Harriet Ziefert
                        This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie and Kathy Jakobsen


                        Related Patriotic Songs (not in their entirety)

                        by Rev. Samuel F. Smith

                        My country, 'tis of Thee,
                        Sweet Land of Liberty
                        Of thee I sing;
                        Land where my fathers died,
                        Land of the pilgrims' pride,
                        From every mountain side
                        Let Freedom ring.


                        America The Beautiful
                        by Katharine Lee Bates

                        O beautiful for spacious skies, 
                        For amber waves of grain, 
                        For purple mountain majesties
                        Above the fruited plain! 
                        America! America! 
                        God shed his grace on thee
                        And crown thy good with brotherhood
                        From sea to shining sea!


                        The Star Spangled Banner
                        (Our National Anthem)

                        by Francis Scott Key

                        Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
                        What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
                        Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
                        O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
                        And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
                        Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
                        O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
                        O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?


                        God Bless America
                        by Irving Berlin

                        God Bless America, 
                        Land that I love. 
                        Stand beside her, and guide her
                        Thru the night with a light from above. 
                        From the mountains, to the prairies, 
                        To the oceans, white with foam
                        God bless America, My home sweet home.


                        You're a Grand Old Flag
                        by George M. Cohan

                        You're a grand old flag,
                        You're a high flying flag
                        And forever in peace may you wave.
                        You're the emblem of
                        The land I love.
                        The home of the free and the brave.
                        Ev'ry heart beats true
                        'neath the Red, White and Blue,
                        Where there's never a boast or brag.
                        Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
                        Keep your eye on the grand old flag.


                        Yankee Doodle
                        by Richard Shuckburgh

                        Yankee Doodle went to town
                        A-riding on a pony
                        Stuck a feather in his hat
                        And called it macaroni.

                        Yankee Doodle, keep it up
                        Yankee Doodle dandy
                        Mind the music and the step
                        And with the girls be handy.


                        This Land is Your Land
                        by Woody Guthrie

                        This land is your land, this land is my land
                        From California, to the New York Island
                        From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
                        This land was made for you and me


                        As I was walking a ribbon of highway
                        I saw above me an endless skyway
                        I saw below me a golden valley
                        This land was made for you and me

                        I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
                        To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
                        And all around me a voice was sounding
                        This land was made for you and me

                        The sun comes shining as I was strolling
                        The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
                        The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
                        This land was made for you and me

                        Related Resources

                        The Pledge of Allegiance Printables - For purchase at our Joyful Heart Learning store at Teachers Pay Teachers
                        United We Stand - from the Virtual Vine
                        The Flag of the United States - lots of information!
                        First United States Patriotic Theme - cute crafts from First School
                        USA Activities for Kids - printables from ABC Teach
                        US Patriotic Crafts - from Enchanted Learning
                        Pam Munoz - Author Website (The Flag We Love)
                        5 Pointed Star - how to fold and make with just one cut!
                        Pledge of Allegiance - printable sheets with pictures to accompany the text
                        Star Spangled Banner Flag House 
                        Statue of Liberty - facts
                        State Flags
                        Historical Flags of the U.S.
                        Flag Coloring Sheet - from teachervision
                        Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue - a printable coloring sheet by Jan Brett