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Conceptual Basis for Lesson:
Elementary students will learn how to collaboratively incorporate pattern, symbolism, logo design, and layout into a representational work of art. They will be creating a community flag which represents themselves as individuals as well as a unified community working together.
Relation to the Series:
Part of the series: My Community, lesson five. This lesson will serve as the conclusion to the series tying together what students have learned about their community, the important people, and themself. While this series was designed for elementary children it could easily be adapted for older levels.
Visuals of flags from different countries, visual representations of the alphabet/stylized letters.
- tacky glue
- felt (various colors 8 1/2x11 in size)
- white paper for brainstorming/sketching
- assorted markers
- wooden dowel (to hang flag)
- yarn/twine/string (to hang)
- large piece of canvas/fabric prepared for hanging
Materials depend on time available for lesson and class size. Teacher may alter materials based on budget and availability as well.
- symbolism: to use an object/idea to stand for something other than its original depiction
- layout: the placement of objects and/or images to make a cohesive statement
- collaboration: to work or cooperate with one another for a greater goal
As a group, the teacher and students view flags of other countries and discuss what the symbols, color, and designs stand for. The teacher discusses with the class about creating their own flag to represent their community.
Students will create an individual portion of a class flag by designing personalized initials using felt and markers. Their initials should somehow represent the student, symbolize something about them, or any interests they have. These initials will make up the border of the flag. Students will then collaborate to create images and/or symbols for the center of the flag to represent their community.
Class Learning Activity:
The teacher shows students examples of stylized letters and visual alphabets so they can get an idea on how to alter their initials and make them personalized. (doing a Google search for stylized alphabet or letters in images brings up many examples) Students then sketch and brainstorm their ideas on paper. Once they decide what they are going to do-they are given felt and supplies to create their individual portions of the flag.
Once the students have completed their initials-as a whole group the students brainstorm ideas for what to put into the center of the flag. The students can decide to consider their classroom as their community or their school. (Or neighborhood) In smaller groups they work together to add images to the middle of the large canvas by drawing.
The student's initials are glued (or tied together) to make a border for the flag.
Regardless of culture or ethnicity, in history and in the world, the idea that the sum of parts makes up a whole, is an important concept. Much like quilt making where each individual square may be a work of art or masterpiece on its own, when combined with other squares produces something even more harmonious and extraordinary. Students should see that individually their initials were awesome pieces of artwork, but together they are something more profound.
Making a Classroom Flag
The idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts is an important concept in history and the world. Through numerous lessons students will produce artwork expressing their individuality as well as specific information about their community and where they fit in.