Choosing the Text
The beginning of the school year is a great time to introduce The Pledge of Allegiance. A Performance Indicator for Social Studies (in New York) states that, "students know the roots of American culture, its development from many traditions, and the ways many people from a variety of groups and backgrounds played a role in creating it. SS1.E.1A ".
To show students that the same piece of information can be written in different forms, I would show them three forms of the shared reading text, in this case, The Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge of Allegiance would be written on a teacher made poster, a store bought poster of The Pledge of Allegiance and in a book, The Pledge of Allegiance (Scholastic, Inc. 2001) as the three choices. In this way, students visually learn that the same text can be read in different forms.
Identify the purpose of reading The Pledge of Allegiance to the students first. Kindergarteners are expected to learn the pledge but may have no prior knowledge as to why we say it. They recite the pledge every day and usually garble the words, especially, "and to the Republic for which it stands", most likely words Kindergarteners may have never spoken the pledge before and certainly don't comprehend its meaning.
This book will not only give you a great shared reading text, but will be the start of reading a text for comprehension and understanding while learning the history of the flag and the reasons that we say The Pledge of Allegiance. This shared reading text will also give you a great start for teaching proper pronunciation of words. There are scenes from all over America in the book and even an astronaut on the moon holding the American flag. In the back of the book there are explanations about where the photographs in the book were taken and why. I also use the books, The Flag We Love and My Country Tis of Thee for this historical theme (pictured below). Please see www.loc.gov for many great history lesson ideas and free downloads for teachers and families.
For a whole series of social studies lesson plans for primary students, including the history and meaning of school, read more.