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The Bald Eagle
Or the Turkey?

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Subjects

Arts & Humanities
--Language Arts
Social Studies
--Civics
--Government
--History
----U.S. History

Grade

3-5
6-8

Brief Description

Students learn about the Great Seal of the United States and explore some symbols of the United States.

Objectives

Students will

  • explore symbols in the Great Seal of the United States;
  • learn about the meaning of some U.S. symbols;
  • research the turkey and bald eagle;
  • vote on the most appropriate national bird.

Keywords

Great Seal of the United States, turkey, bald eagle, symbolism, Ben Franklin

Materials Needed

  • Internet access
  • access to Google images and the Web sites The Great Seal

Lesson Plan

Invite students to explore Google images of the Great Seal of the United States. Discuss with them the symbolism found on the Great Seal.

Encourage students to read what Benjamin Franklin had to say about the image of the bald eagle on the Great Seal in The Eagle, Ben Franklin, and the Turkey. Discuss as a group Franklin's statements about the turkey vs. the bald eagle as a symbol of the United States. Ask students to vote on whether they think the bald eagle or the turkey should be on the Great Seal.

Arrange students into two groups; assign one group to research the bald eagle and the other group to research the turkey. Have each group choose a representative to report to the class on what they learned. Ask students to vote again on whether they think the bald eagle or the turkey should be on the Great Seal. Did their research change their votes?

Extension Activities: Older students might stage a debate on the relative merits of the turkey and the bald eagle as a symbol of the United States. Younger students might design a new Great Seal -- using symbols they think are most appropriate today. Students can read more about the Great Seal at The Great Seal of the United States.

Assessment

Assess students based on their participation in the activity.

Lesson Plan Source

EducationWorld.com

Submitted By

Linda Starr

National Standards

LANGUAGE ARTS: English
GRADES K - 12
NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.5 Communication Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge
NL-ENG.K-12.7 Evaluating Data
NL-ENG.K-12.8 Developing Research Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

SOCIAL SCIENCES: Civics
GRADES K - 4
NSS-C.K-4.1 What Is Government?
NSS-C.K-4.2 Values and Principles of Democracy
NSS-C.K-4.3 Principles of Democracy
NSS-C.K-4.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
NSS-C.K-4.5 Roles of the Citizen

GRADES 5 - 8
NSS-C.5-8.1 Civic Life, Politics, and Government
NSS-C.5-8.2 Foundations of the American Political System
NSS-C.5-8.3 Principles of Democracy
NSS-C.5-8.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
NSS-C.5-8.5 Roles of the Citizen

SOCIAL SCIENCES: U.S. History
GRADES K - 4
NSS-USH.K-4.3 The History of the United States: Democratic Principles and Values and the People from Many Cultures Who Contributed to Its Cultural, Economic, and Political Heritage
GRADES 5 - 12
NSS-USH.5-12.3 Era 3: Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820s)

More Lesson Ideas

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  • Lesson Planning/Language Arts Archive
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    08/30/2010



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