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The Fourth of July is a day of celebration for our whole country. Preschoolers are just beginning to become familiar with a few U.S. symbols, like flags, maps and the nation's traditional colors. Use the following three activities to extend lessons related to Independence Day celebrations. Make a U.S. flag, paint a firework explosion, and make a map of the United States into a puzzle for the students to play with at home. Your preschoolers will be ready to celebrate the 4th with a better understanding of all the festivities they are sure to encounter this year.
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Math Patterning: U.S. Flags
The concept of simple patterning will be explained and practiced by alternating red and white strips to form the stripes of the flag. Preschoolers will also learn that the stars of the U.S. flag represent the states of the union.
red strips of cardstock
U.S. flag copied on cardstock or other stiff paper
white star beads
blue markers or crayons
Instruct your preschoolers to glue the red strips of cardstock on every other stripe of the flag to form a pattern of red-white. Talk about how patterns repeat, and show an example. Next, color the square star section of the flag blue with your choice of either blue markers or crayons. Glue white stars on the blue square section of the flag. Discuss the fact that the stars represent the states of the union. You don't need to glue 50 stars on the flag. Give each child a hand-full for this project. Place magnets on the back of the flag so that kids can put it on the fridge when they get home.
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History: Fireworks Paintings
Preschoolers will use the colors that symbolize the United States: red, white, and blue. Students will name each color as they use them to complete the project.
thick, black construction paper
red, white, and blue acrylic or tempera paint
Using a sponge for each color, the preschoolers will dip the sponge into the red paint, and then press the sponge onto a piece of black construction paper. Be sure to ask the children to name each color before using it. Repeat this process with the white, and then blue paint. There will be at least 3 fireworks on the paper, but they can make more than one if desired. Next, let the students sprinkle a little silver glitter over the fireworks. (this part is optional) Allow the paintings to dry, and shake off any loose glitter. Spray with fixative if you like.
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Social Studies: U.S. Maps
Students will identify the U.S. flag. Coloring and cutting skills will also be practiced while completing this activity.
U.S. flag image
crayons or markers
To make this puzzle, copy a U.S. map onto a large piece of cardstock. Teachers may need to cut out the map prior to this activity, depending on age and ability level. Students will then color the map. Using a black marker, have the students draw several lines on the map to make 4 or 5 puzzle pieces. Students can then cut on the lines with help to make the puzzle pieces. Place pieces in a small box or bag. Now students can work their own puzzles and take them home to show Mom and Dad!