Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I pledge allegiance

I pledge allegiance by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson, illustrated by Chris Raschka has been around for ten years and just this week a colleague had never seen it.  I love this book for two reasons; the torn paper collage is one of my favorite mediums and the visual explanation with the written text brings depth and understanding to a big document that represents our country.   The reader will come across many definitions.  The reader will find out why our flag isn't green or pink.  The reader will get guidance on how to act while reciting the pledge and some facts/history.  Depending on your grade level you can pick and choose all the addtional information you would want to share with your students or read different bits with each reread.

I usually wait to add the Pledge of Allegiance as a routine to our day.  We have so much to figure out when school starts and I want to discuss the meaning with thought and time on our side.  Our new social studies standards in Ohio state, "Nations are represented by symbols and practices.  Symbols and practices of the United States include the American Flag, Pledge of Allegiance, and the National Anthem."  As I read this, I didn't feel confident enough to know what is expected.  I went to the Model Curriculum for further understanding under content elaborations.  I discovered the American Flag is a symbol and the practice is reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the National Anthem.  Then I looked at the Instructional Strategies only to be disappointed.  They suggest playing an identification or matching game with the symbols.  Am I suppose to teach more symbols than the American Flag?  How about understanding the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance?  If something is worth reciting daily isn't it worthy of our time to investigate and understand?  I'm not big on reciting anything without understanding.  I know my students are young but I think we can begin understanding some really big thinking.


  1. I imagine you could have someone from the American Legion come to talk with your class about these symbols. And they might bring you a flag & some pamphlets. Your reasoning is very wise. We do not want students to blindly follow anyone, including us! Thanks for the good questions, Mandy!

  2. I've never heard of this book either. I will be checking it out soon. I love that you don't settle for rote memorization, I think that can translate to many other parts of Common Core. I have a lot to learn from you :)