Teaching Patriotism Using Shared Reading Texts to Kindergarten or Primary Students

Teaching Patriotism Using Shared Reading Texts to Kindergarten or Primary Students
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A Review of Shared Reading

Shared reading is a process whereby students “share” in the reading with their teacher. Students enjoy the thrill of practicing shared reading as they can “echo read”, learn about print, act out the reading, and reread again and again. Patricia Cunningham is well known for her contributions in her writing about shared reading.

Reasons to do shared reading lesson plans are to discover the meaning of text, print conventions, vocabulary and sight words, phonological patterns or using drama. A shared reading piece is typically read over the duration of a school week, but may go longer as necessary. I have some shared reading texts that I teach with for one week, but refer back to them throughout the school year. The Pledge of Allegiance is one of them.

Primary teachers use big books, poems, chants, songs or nursery rhymes for shared reading. The shared reading text is enlarged either on a poster, on chart paper (teacher-made), songs, an Interactive Writing piece (refer to my article on Interactive Writing) or in a big book for all students to see.

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.

Images of Texts for Patriotism

The Flag We Love

My Country Tis of Thee

Images courtesy of Amazon.com


  • Teacher experience is the inspiration for this piece.

This post is part of the series: Teaching Reading: A Series for the Kindergarten Teacher

Below is an outline of some of the reading lessons that I have prepared for this series. Come back and browse again, as more are likely to be added. I have many more in other reading series that I cannot include here. Click on my name to read more, if interested.

  1. Teaching Kindergarteners to Read
  2. Teach Word Recognition to Kindergarteners
  3. A Lesson for Kindergarten on Letter, Number and Word Differences
  4. Creating a Personal Word Wall with this Lesson Plan for Early Readers
  5. Teaching Patriotism in the Classroom with the Shared Reading Model
  6. The Reason for Writing Instruction: A Teacher’s Reflection
  7. Teaching Kindergarteners to Read With Picture Books
  8. Book Review: Word Learning, Word Making, Word Sorting, 50 Lessons for Success
  9. Teach Children to Care for Books: Concept of Print
  10. Use Flash Cards as a Literacy Center Game