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Lesson Plan

American Flag History by NNWP


English Language Arts (NYS P-12 Common Core)

Grade Levels

Elementary, Intermediate, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade

Writing skills (traits) to stress while teaching this lesson

  • Word Choice - using precise nouns to assist the reader's understanding; incorporating interesting adjectives into the writing; and using strong verbs to keep the sentences interesting.
  • Conventions - spelling, grammar and punctuation skills.


one 60-minute class session


This is a fun and quick follow-up lesson to check comprehension of facts learned about the American flag, where students create a trading card inspired by facts and thoughts about this national symbol. The same assignment can be done with other important American symbols and historical items, so that a class deck of cards can be created and used later.


American Flag History


This writing across the curriculum lesson was created by Nevada teacher Paula Larson.


  • America : A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney (F page) [can be purchased here]
  • 51 Wacky We-Search Reports: Face the Facts With Fun by Barry Lane (Wacky trading card pages) [can be purchased here]
  • Artistic Pictures and Photographs of the American Flag
  • Unit of study on the flag from textbook, notes, or other source

Background Information

Ask students: "Have you ever collected trading cards?" (Pass out several cards of different types or show the samples from Barry Lane's book) "Notice what facts and statistics can be found on each card. Today we will create a trading card for the American Flag."

Step-by-Step Procedure

  • Review history curriculum from your classroom textbook on the flag, highlighting vocabulary words. Cluster new and previously learned knowledge on chart paper with simple leading questions of who, where, when, and why.

  • Pass out trading card examples. Observe facts found on different types of cards.

  • Make a list of interesting facts one might find on a trading card about someone or something from history. Brainstorm leading questions to elaborate and expand ideas. Ask, "What questions would you like to ask someone you admire from history?"

    • When were you born?
    • When did you die?
    • Did you have a nickname?
    • Did you have a favorite saying?
    • Was there ever a controversy about you?
    • Did you have any defining life moments?
    • What's your favorite song?
    • Did you have a pet peeve?
    • Did you have any famous last words?
    • Did you have a favorite color?
    • What was your greatest achievement?
    • What was your most embarrassing moment?
    • What was the biggest event in your life?
    • Who were your friends?
    • Did you have any enemies?
  • Have students choose 8 statistics/questions from the list they would like to include on a trading card they will design for the American Flag.

  • Students create rough drafts of the writing that will appear on the back of the card. Students revise and edit the short pieces of information in small groups.

  • Students will write final draft on card stock and illustrate reverse.

  • Repeat this assignment as you study other historical figures and symbols, so you can create a classroom deck of trading cards by selecting your top few cards with each topic.

Content Provider

The Northern Nevada Writing Project: WritingFix

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