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Seeing Stars



flag day graphic




  • Arts & Humanities
    Language Arts, Visual Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
    Civics, U.S. History


3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

Students follow directions to make five-point stars like the ones on the American flag.



  • follow oral or written directions as they fold and cut a five-point star like the one that appears on the American flag.
  • perform one of the writing exercises in the Lesson Plan section below.


flag, star, Betsy Ross, following directions, America

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

  • white paper cut to 8 1/2 inches by 10 inches
  • scissors

Lesson Plan

According to some historical accounts, George Washington presented Betsy Ross with a sketch of a flag that he and others wanted to represent the United States. That sketch included 13 six-point stars, one for each of the original 13 colonies. When Betsy Ross saw the sketch, legend has it, she suggested a five-point star in place of the six-point star. Invite students to read, or read aloud to students, a brief description of that legend on the 5-Pointed Star in One Snip page of the Betsy Ross Homepage.

On that same page, you will find instructions for cutting a five-point star. Use those instructions to help students make five-point stars. (Be sure to practice ahead of time!) This will be a real test of your students' abilities to follow directions.

When students have successfully cut out their stars, instruct them to complete one of these language activities:

  • Think of as many adjectives as you can to describe the United States and explain what living here is like. Write those adjectives on your star.
  • Name some places of historic significance in the United States, such as the White House. Write the names of those places on your star.
  • Write on your star the names of ten people who have made this country great.
  • Write on your star a response to the question "What does it mean to be an American?"

Extension Activities

  • Instead of asking students to complete one of the language activities above, assign each student a state or states. Have students research their assigned states and write on their stars five facts about each state. Encourage students to include an illustration or two. Alternative: Ask all students to write on their stars the same basic facts about each state, such as the state's population, capital, motto, and flower).
  • The stars that students make can be placed on a giant flag of the United States. See another Education World lesson, This Is America! Flag Collage, for ideas about making a flag to welcome visitors to your school.


Students write in their journals a brief response to the question "What did you learn about the United States from this activity?

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts

  • GRADES K - 4
    NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
  • GRADES 5 - 8
    NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
  • GRADES 9 - 12
    NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines


MATHEMATICS: Connections


  • GRADES Pre-K - 12
    NM-CONN.PK-12.3 Recognize and Apply Mathematics in Contexts Outside of Mathematics

Return to the Flag Day lesson plan page.

See additional Flag Day lessons in the Education World articles A Salute to Flag Day and Celebrate the Stars and Stripes.


Originally published 05/24/2002
Last updated 11/11/2014