Child in Front of American Flag

American Values and Beliefs

Teacher Background

The purpose of this week is to tie the celebrations and symbols of the United States to the underlying core values that they represent.

Vocabulary

  • Allegiance: being loyal
  • Patriotism: a feeling of love for your country
  • Pledge: a promise
  • Pledge of Allegiance: a promise we make to be loyal to our country

Think Deeply

National symbols can help citizens feel patriotism. Using the word, “America,” write an acrostic poem about your favorite national symbol. Include phrases and words to describe the ways that it helps you feel patriotic.

Well-Being

  • Draw a picture to represent what patriotism means to you.
  • In groups of three, describe a time when you felt patriotic.
  • What does it feel like when you are patriotic?

Let’s Write

Write a story about a new U.S. citizen who is seeing one of our national symbols for the first time.

Lesson Plan

  1. Read the article, “American Values and Beliefs”
  2. Play the national anthem for the students. Invite them to stand and listen to the words. Have students follow along with a copy of the words.
    1. Have you ever wondered where this song came from?
    2. What words stood out?
    3. What questions do you have about the song?
  3. Show students the video “U.S. National Anthem.” Find it through your account at Studies Weekly Online, or at the Studies Weekly Youtube Channel.
  4. Write on the board the phrase: “Land of the free and the home of the brave.”
    1. What does this phrase mean?
    2. Define the word ‘brave.”
    3. Define the word “free.”
    4. How does this phrase affect your daily life?
  5. Put students into pairs, and give each pair a blank piece of paper.
  6. Ask students to design a poster that represents our country and uses the phrase: “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.”
  7. Allow time for the students to complete their posters. (You could possibly display posters for a gallery walk.)
  8. Extension: Invite students to learn more about the story behind the National Anthem.
  9. Choose one of the well-being prompts and have the students answer the question in their interactive notebooks. Give students the opportunity to share what they wrote with others in the class or make arrangements to visit other classes and share what patriotism means to them.

Materials Used:

Blank pieces of paper (one per group)

Related Media:

Video U.S. National Anthem Intro
A recording of “The Star-Spangled Banner” found on the internet

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