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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th, and Teaching the Pledge of Allegiance

Happy 4th of July, American friends! And everyone else, I guess- I hope you have a happy day as well :)

This weekend we are finishing ALL of our moving- out of my classroom today, out of my apartment by Sunday! Woohoo!

My goal is to get some new content going next week, but in the meantime, today seemed like the perfect day to share one of my first posts! This is something I do every year in the first week or two of school.

Linking up with  Cara at The First Grade Parade for Throwback Thursday...

I get incredibly jealous of beautiful, organized classrooms online, and I have to say... that's just not me yet! I'm continuing to figure out how to make a classroom best work for me, especially because I'm not one of those naturally organized people, to say the least.

One thing, though, that's incredibly important to me is having a lot of print made WITH the kids up around the room. I know I'm not alone in that!

I wish I had thought to get the whole poster in this, but under our flag, we have a Pledge anchor chart. The kids say the pledge every morning, but so many of them don't actually know what words they are saying, or they don't know what those words mean.

My school is very diverse, and I have multiple students who are from other countries, so I think it's particularly important to teach the Pledge! (We are in a college town and a lot of visiting professors come to the area for short amounts of time.)

We spent some time at the beginning of the year copying the words of the Pledge, and then breaking it down into kid-friendly language. It's a great lesson in synonyms and practical use of the dictionary, but it also helps students learn some of the basic principles of our country.

They say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, and I love feeling like my class actually understands what they are saying!

*P.S.- I've been asked about how I handle "under God" in a public school.

When we get to "under God," which was only added in 1954 (interestingly enough), I talk with the students about how freedom of religion was one of the major reasons that many early Americans had come here and wanted to start their own country. We are a public school with many kids from different religions, and this is something that I think is incredibly important to recognize. Most of the kids from our country don't realize that this freedom isn't something everyone in the world has, and they tend to think it's pretty cool once they know that! It's a good way for kids to learn about why "under God" is important in the pledge while still respecting the fact that my kids may not believe it's about the same god as I do.

As an update, I also use this book to model using the illustrations to help us understand:

Do you do anything like this in your classroom to make the Pledge of Allegiance meaningful?


  1. Great idea! I really like this. I'm sure I've got many kiddos who don't really understand what all the little parts are about!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  2. Honestly, I haven't been as thoughtful about the time for the pledge each day as I should. Your post has inspired me to think about how I approach it with my kiddos.

    PS - AMEN to the moving struggles... I did the same this past month. It was crazy.

    The Sweetest Thing


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