Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Eagle/Great Seal Lesson Plan

1)  Today we started with a discussion of the first political cartoon in America:
It was drawn by Benjamin Franklin to encourage the colonies to unite.  It was based on a legend that a snake that was cut apart would come back to life if all the pieces were joined back together before sundown. 

2)  Next, we watched the video "Ride the High Places."  It's about 10 minutes and is beautiful, awe-inspiring footage of bald eagles.  The narration is about the inspirational qualities of these magnificent beasts and how one should apply those qualities to themselves.

3)  Then we reviewed the things we learned from the video and came up with a list of admirable qualities of bald eagles, ideas of why the founding fathers chose it as our national bird, and what it could be symbolic of. 

4)  We looked at a picture of the Great Seal of the United States and discussed what all of the elements of it are symbolic of. 

5)  We talked about the motto, "E Pluribus Unum."  It means "Out of many, one."  We made connections between this and the Join or Die sentiment.

6)  The girls cut-and-pasted together this grid-map puzzle that was in my National Symbols workbook.

7) Finally, I gave the girls this worksheet where they had to draw a picture of each symbol and define what it stands for. 
This is what Primus wrote:
Eagle: Freedum
Olive Branch: Pec (peace)
Arrows: Wor (war)
13 Stars: 13 callnes (colonies)
E Pluribus Unum: be united

Here's a couple good resources that my father found for me.  We didn't get much chance to study any of it today, but we may extend our study into tomorrow.  I'm definitely intrigued by the eagle poems.  We haven't done any poetry lessons this year so maybe this is a good place to start.

And here's some books I found at the library that have some good pictures:

Finally, I'd like to add a great big, "Mission Accomplished!"  I didn't even have to worry about Primus being fooled by that "bald eagle vs turkey" nonsense.  She's too smart for that.  After we were done watching the video and we were discussing it (number 3 above), I asked her, "What's so special about the eagle?  Why didn't they choose the turkey instead?"

Her immediate response was, "Cause turkeys are lazy!  All they do is walk around and eat stuff."
Me: "But didn't Benjamin Franklin say that the eagle was the lazy one?"
She decided that good-old Ben was pretty silly for thinking that because the bald eagles in the video we saw sure didn't seem lazy. 

Ha, ha!  I love it!  I promise that I didn't coach her on that!  She remembered the bald eagle vs turkey lesson all on her own and was able to apply her new knowledge to what we had learned before. 

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