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McREL Standards Activity

What’s Your State Symbol?

Purpose:As a result of this activity, students will understand how effectively symbols represent the state.
Related Standard & Benchmarks:
Grades K-4 History
 Standard 3.Understands the people, events, problems, and ideas that were significant in creating the history of their state
   Level I [Grade K-2]
   Benchmark 5. Understands how symbols, slogans, and mottoes represent the state
Language Arts
 Standard 4.Gathers and uses information for research purposes
   Level I [Grade K-2]
   Benchmark 2. Uses a variety of sources to gather information (e.g., informational books, pictures, charts, indexes, videos, television programs, guest speakers, Internet, own observation)
Language Arts
 Standard 1.Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process
   Level I [Grade K-2]
   Benchmark 7. Writes in a variety of forms or genres (e.g., picture books, friendly letters, stories, poems, information pieces, invitations, personal experience narratives, messages, responses to literature, opinion pieces)
Student Product:A written report
Material & Resources:Teachers will want to provide information about different state symbols for students. Each state has a web site that can be accessed by inserting the state abbreviation in the following address: "www.state.(state abbreviation here).us" Some of these state web sites might provide information about state symbols and slogans. The following web site lists the state symbols and slogans associated with each of the fifty states:
Teacher's Note:Teachers should provide a list of state symbols for students and also direct them to other resources that describe state symbols and their origins.
Have you ever wondered why Texas is called the Lone Star state? Or why the state animal of Wisconsin is the badger? How about your own state symbols? Use a variety of sources (e.g., a list provided by the teacher, books)to identify the symbols (e.g., the state bird, the state tree or flower, the state fossil, state flag, state animal) that represent either your state or another state you have lived in or are interested in. Choose a symbol and use some different sources to find out about its origins and how it represents the state. Once you have completed your research, write a short report in which you address the following: 1)why this symbol was chosen to represent the state, and 2) how well you think this symbol represents the state.