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McREL Standards Activity

Flag Folding

Purpose:As a result of this activity, students will be able to use their understanding of the effects of combining, subdividing, and changing basic shapes to determine the official method for folding the United States flag.
Related Standard & Benchmarks:
 Standard 5.Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of geometry
   Level II [Grade 3-5]
   Benchmark 3. Predicts and verifies the effects of combining, subdividing, and changing basic shapes
Student Product:Prediction chart
Material & Resources:Scale drawing of U.S. flag for each student.  Optional word bank: rectangle, triangle, lengthwise, in-half, square, diamond, parallel, diagonal, from top-to-bottom. Prediction chart (landscape 3-column chart for students to record for each step: Planned Action on Shape; Predicted Resulting Shape; Actual Shape as a Result).
Teacher's Note:The steps to folding the U.S. flag can be found on the Internet

A possible extension activity would be to investigate flag folding procedures for flags of other countries. This would be particulary appropriate for flags of countries being studied in class or were students were born.

The teacher provides students working in pairs with scale drawings of the United States flag, a prediction chart, and the following instructions:

"There is a custom of special folding reserved for the United States Flag alone. When the flag is correctly folded, only a triangular blue field of stars is visible.  Knowing just that piece of information, can you determine the official steps for folding the flag? As you try to discover the official steps, record your plans, predictions about shape changes, and actual effects on the Prediction Chart.  Use drawings and/or physical materials to try out and verify your solution of steps."