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Great States' Best Traits


Students learn what makes states special as they create pennants to promote important state facts and features.

Familiarize students with the great U.S. of A. by asking each student -- or pair of students -- to choose a state, research that state, and then design a pennant that promotes a handful of the state's most important facts or features.

Alternative: Assign each student or pair of students a country in the world. Rename the bulletin board "A World of Great Countries."


As you instruct students about the task at hand, you might begin by talking about your students' own state.

  • Brainstorm a list of things for which your state is known. Those things might include events, items created or grown, famous people or places, and so on. At the conclusion of your brainstorming session, the list might extend to 10, 20, or more points.
  • When you have a list, ask students to help identify what they believe to be the most important things strangers should know about their state; draw a star next to each of those points. Did this help you narrow down your monster list to ten or fewer?
  • Then look at the starred entries and decide what symbols might be used to represent each of those important elements of your state.

    Introduce to students a pennant template. (You might enlarge this pennant template for student use so it fits onto a sheet of drawing or construction paper roughly 12 x 18 inches in size.

    Draw, or find online, images that represent at least a handful of "your state's great traits" and use them to design a pennant that represent your state.

    When you have finished your state's pennant, assign each student a state to learn about and design a pennant. When students' pennants are completed, ask them to share their pennants with their classmates. Perhaps students can take turns identifying facts and features of importance by interpreting the symbols used on the pennant. Finally, display the pennants on a "Great States' Best Traits" bulletin board.


    Find more bulletin board ideas in our Bulletin Boards That Teach Archive.

    See these articles about bulletin boards:

  • From "Pretty" to Practical: Using Bulletin Boards to Teach
  • Your Search for Bulletin Board Ideas Is Over

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