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Ideas That Unite Us as Americans Lesson

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					  AMERICAN HERITAGE LESSON
                                                                              LESSON

                                                                                In one
  What Unites Us as Americans?                                                    day
  Overview
  Students work as archivists at the National Archives to
  place artifacts into appropriate collections.

  Preview In a preview, students hear an early recording of
  the song “God Bless America” by Kate Smith while they
  analyze the lyrics.                                            Materials
  Activity During a Social Studies Skill Builder activity,       • Audio recording and lyrics
                                                                   to Irving Berlin’s “God Bless
  students work as archivists at the National Archives. Pairs
                                                                   America” performed by
  of students are given primary sources or artifacts related        Kate Smith:
  to our heritage and are tasked with placing the archives         http://www.youtube.com/wat
  into the appropriate collection (i.e. famous people,             ch?v=b1rKQReqJZg

  famous documents, etc.). Groups get an opportunity to          • Interactive Student Notebook
  present their sorted collections in a whole class debrief.       pages Preview, Notes, and
                                                                   Processing pages.
                                                                   1 per student
  Processing Students design a display that would be
  suitable for public viewing at the National Archives in        • Copy of “Ideas that Unite Us
                                                                   as Americans” pp. 274-285
  Washington D.C.
                                                                   copied off at least one per
                                                                   pair if you do not use Social
  Objectives                                                       Studies Alive! Regions of
                                                                   Our Country.
  In the course of this lesson and participating in the
  classroom activity, students will                              • Student Handout 1:
  • study primary sources related to our shared American           Archiving Directions—1 per
                                                                   group
    heritage.
  • analyze a variety of primary sources including visuals,      • 4 to 5 copies of each artifact
    text, and audio archives.                                      A-I
  • create a display showcasing one primary source and           • Smart phone or iPod Touch
    how it helps to unite us as Americans.                         with a QR code scanner
                                                                   app—1 per group

  Primary Sources                                                OR
  Declaration of Independence, “I Have a Dream” speech
                                                                 • The last page of the lesson
  by Martin Luther King, Pledge of Allegiance,                     guide with links to the
  Constitution, Bill of Rights, Statue of Liberty, bald eagle,     research websites
  “Four Freedoms” speech by FDR, and the Great Seal of
  the United States



                                                                                                    1
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  Procedures

  Preview
  Suggested time: 10 minutes

  1. Distribute lyrics. As students enter the class, give each a
     copy of the lyrics and music analysis questions on page 1
     of the Interactive Student Notebook while you project the
     Preview.

  2. Play Kate Smith's rendition of “God Bless America.”
     Follow the link to
     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1rKQReqJZg (YouTube) for
     a recording of the first time that “God Bless America”
     was sung. Tell students to listen to the music and follow
     along with the lyrics on their handout.

  3. Have students answer music analysis questions. Tell               Interactive Student
                                                                      Notebook—P review
     students to answer the three questions on the bottom of
     their preview page in their Interactive Student Notebook.

  4. Debrief student responses. Select a few students to
     share their answer. Explain that while “God Bless
     America” is a famous song it is not the National Anthem.
     The National Anthem, the “Star Spangled Banner,” was
     written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812.

  Social Studies Skill Builder
  Suggested time: 60 minutes

  1. Prepare materials for activity. Make sure each to create
     enough materials for each group prior to class. Each
     group should have the following:
        • Interactive Student Notebook—1 per student
        • Artifacts printed separately on card stock to make
          placards—3 artifacts per pair
        • Student Handout 1: Archiving Directions—1 per pair

  2. Divide the class into pairs. Put students into
     heterogeneous pairs. Have them arrange their desks so
     that they can easily see each other and the front of the
     class.                                                        Classroom arrangement




                                                                                             2
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  Procedures


  3. Introduce the activity. Explain to students that artifacts
     like the first radio recording of “God Bless America” are
     usually cataloged by archivists working at the National
     Archives in Washington D.C. Tell them that they will be
     pretending to be archivists preparing for an exhibit
     entitled, "Ideas That Unite Us as Americans." Their task
     will be to categorize three artifacts into different
     collections for the exhibit. Explain that a collection is a
     group of artifacts that share a theme, author, or topic.

  4. Model for the students. Using Kate Smith’s recording as
     an example, practice categorizing by helping students
     determine which collection the recording best fits into.
     Project the model artifact of the lyrics to “God Bless
     America” and have the class vote on only ONE of the
     three possible collections:
         A. Artifacts related to early radio
         B. Artifacts related to the life of Kate Smith
         C. Artifacts related to the work of Irving Berlin         Lyrics to “God Bless America”
                                                                           by Irving Berlin
  5. Allow students to begin. Pass out Student Handout B:
     Archiving Directions. Review the steps:
        1. Start with one artifact found on a placard given to
            your pair.
        2. Find the appropriate page in the text that displays
            an image or information regarding the topic of the
            artifact.
        3. Go to the website to learn more about the artifact
            topic.
        4. Complete all the boxes in the appropriate row of
            the matrix.
        5. Discuss and select one collection to place this
            artifact in.
        6. Be prepared to explain your pair’s choice to the
            class.                                                      Student Handout 1
        7. Repeat steps for the remaining two artifacts
            assigned to your group.




                                                                                         3
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  Procedures

  6.     Debrief the artifacts. After most pairs have
         completed sorting three artifacts, project the image
         of each artifact. Ask one pair to quickly share, while
         the remaining groups fill in their matrix:
           • What is this artifact?
           • What person or group of people is related to
             this artifact?
           • What topic best describes this artifact?

  7.     Challenge pairs to share their collection choice.
         After a pair shares correct information to the
         questions above, challenge each group who
         completed sorting that artifact to quickly share
         which collection they chose and their reasons.




  Processing
  To be completed outside class

  1. Students design an artifact exhibit. Direct students
     to the processing directions in their Interactive
     Student Notebook. Students will design a display for
     one artifact that would be suitable for public viewing
     at the National Archives in Washington D.C. Tell
     students they should be creative and to be sure to
     include:
          • A colorful sketch of the artifact.
          • Three important facts that should be in the
            display.
          • One paragraph that describes the reason that this                   Processing
            artifact is an example of an idea that unites us as
            Americans.
                                                                    Struggling Writer
                                                                       Suggestion
                                                                  Allow students to record key
                                                                  words instead of a paragraph
                                                                  explaining why the artifact
                                                                  unites us as Americans.



                                                                                                 4
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  Procedures


  Websites for Artifacts
  If internet is spotty at your school, consider printing out information from the following
  websites for this activity.

  The Declaration of Independence
  http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration.html

  The Constitution of the United States
  http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html

  The Bill of Rights
  http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights.html

  Four Freedoms Speech
  http://www.archives.gov/historical-docs/todays-doc/index.html?dod-date=106

  The Pledge of Allegiance
  http://www.legion.org/flag/pledge

  Statue of Liberty
  http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/charters_of_freedom_zoom_pages/charters_of_freed
  om_zoom_12.1.1.html

  Bald Eagle
  https://www.msu.edu/~thelenam/natsig.html

  Great Seal of the United States
  http://www.archives.gov/historical-docs/todays-doc/index.html?dod-date=620

  “I Have a Dream Speech”
  http://www.archives.gov/northeast/nyc/exhibits/mlk.html




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  Procedures


  Professional Enrichment

  Want to know how to use QR codes in class? Visit this blog post:
  http://blog.teachtci.com/your-secret-code-to-class




  Want to know more about Social Studies Skill Builders?
  To learn more about this lesson strategy and how to implement it in your classroom:

       • Visit TeacherGenius and view teacher-submitted ideas related to Social Studies Skill Builders
         http://teachergenius.teachtci.com/social-studies-skill-builder-2/
       • Watch a four-minute video to see a Social Studies Skill Builder in action
         http://bcove.me/5rvbw46j
       • View the on demand webinar “Social Studies Skill Builders in Five Easy Steps”
         http://www.teachtci.com/webinars/social_studies_skill_builders_in_five_easy_steps.html




  Want more free lessons?
  We publish free lessons on timely topics on the TCI Blog. Find them all here:
  http://blog.teachtci.com/tag/free-lesson-plans




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  MODEL ARTIFACT                                      Lyrics to "God Bless America” by Irving Berlin




              God Bless America
              Words and music by Irving Berlin
              © Copyright 1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin
              © Copyright Renewed 1965, 1966 by Irving Berlin
              © Copyright Assigned to the Trustees of the God Bless America Fund
              International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved.


              While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
              Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
              Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
              As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

              God Bless America,
              Land that I love.
              Stand beside her, and guide her
              Through the night with a light from above.
              From the mountains, to the prairies,
              To the oceans, white with foam
              God bless America, My home sweet home.



       Which collection would this song BEST fit into?

       A. Artifacts related to early radio
       B. Artifacts related to the life and works of Kate
          Smith
       C. Artifacts related to the life and works of Irving
          Berlin



                                                                                                         7
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STUDENT HANDOUT 1                                       Archiving Directions



 1. Start with one of the artifacts found on
    a placard given to your group.


 2. Find the appropriate page in the text
    that displays an image or information
    regarding the topic of the artifact.


 3. Go to the website to learn more about
    the artifact topic.


 4. Complete all the boxes in the
    appropriate row of the matrix.


 5. Discuss and select one collection to
    place this artifact in.


 6. Be prepared to explain your pair’s
    choice to the class.


 7. Repeat steps for the remaining two
    artifacts assigned to your group.

                                                                                 8
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  ARTIFACT A                              Quill used to sign the Declaration of Independence




       Which collection would this quill used to sign the
       Declaration of Independence BEST fit into?

       A. Artifacts related to early writing instruments
       B. Artifacts related to the life and works of
          Thomas Jefferson
       C. Artifacts related to famous American
          documents

                                                                                                 9
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  ARTIFACT B                               Constitution of the United States, found rolled up




       Which collection would this rolled up copy of the
       U.S. Constitution BEST fit into?

       A. Artifacts related to famous American
          documents
       B. Artifacts related to the life and works of James
          Madison
       C. Artifacts related to the idea of popular
          sovereignty
                                                                                                10
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  ARTIFACT C                            James Madison’s personal copy of the Bill of Rights




     Which collection would this James Madison’s
     personal copy of the Bill of Rights BEST fit into?

     A. Artifacts related to the Constitution
     B. Artifacts related to the life and works of
        James Madison
     C. Artifacts related to famous American documents



                                                                                              11
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  ARTIFACT D                                     Audio of “Four Freedoms” speech by FDR




                                             Listen to FDR’s “Four Freedoms” speech at:
                                             http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iHKtrirjlY




       Which collection would this recording of FDR’s
       “Four Freedoms” speech BEST fit into?

       A. Artifacts related to early radio
       B. Artifacts related to the administration of FDR
       C. Artifacts related to American ideas of freedom




                                                                                           12
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  ARTIFACT            E            Portrait of Francis Bellamy, Author of the Pledge of Allegiance




       Which collection would this portrait of Francis
       Bellamy BEST fit into?

       A. Artifacts related to American authors
       B. Artifacts related to the life of Francis Bellamy
       C. Artifacts related to the Pledge of Allegiance




                                                                                                     13
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  ARTIFACT F                                 Refurbished Blueprints to the Statue of Liberty




       Which collection would this set of blueprints for a
       refurbished Statue of Liberty BEST fit into?

       A. Artifacts related to symbols of America
       B. Artifacts related to New York City
       C. Artifacts related to the relationship between the
          French and American governments



                                                                                               14
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  ARTIFACT G                                    Bald Eagle Sculpture by Lorenzo Ghigliere




       Which collection would this statue of a bald eagle
       given to President Bill Clinton in 1994 BEST fit
       into?

       A. Artifacts related to the administration of Bill
          Clinton
       B. Artifacts related to the life and works of
          sculptor Lorenzo Ghigliere
       C. Artifacts related to symbols of America
                                                                                            15
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  ARTIFACT H                               Early Copy of the Great Seal of the United States




       Which collection would this early copy of the
       Great Seal of the United States BEST fit into?

       A. Artifacts related to the 2nd Continental
          Congress
       B. Artifacts related to the work of Charles
          Thomson (principal designer of the seal)
       C. Artifacts related to the Declaration of
          Independence
                                                                                               16
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  ARTIFACT I                              Poster Promoting the March on Washington, 1964




       Which collection would this poster from the early
       1960s BEST fit into?

       A. Artifacts related to civil rights for African-
          Americans
       B. Artifacts related to the life of Martin Luther
          King Jr.
       C. Artifacts related to famous American speeches

                                                                                           17
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  PREVIEW                                                              Interactive Student Notebook


  God Bless America
  Words and music by Irving Berlin
  © Copyright 1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin
  © Copyright Renewed 1965, 1966 by Irving Berlin
  © Copyright Assigned to the Trustees of the God Bless America Fund
  International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved.


  While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
  Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,                                Kate Smith (1907-1986)

  Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,                                  Kate Smith, singer, was the
  As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.                                  first to sing Irving Berlin’s
                                                                              “God Bless America” in
                                                                              1938. Smith had a long and
  God Bless America, Land that I love.                                        distinguished career before
  Stand beside her, and guide her                                             and following her famous
                                                                              rendition. This song stirs
  Through the night with a light from above.                                  patriotic feelings among
  From the mountains, to the prairies,                                        many Americans. “God
                                                                              Bless America” is not,
  To the oceans, white with foam                                              however, our National
  God bless America, My home sweet home.                                      Anthem. That distinction is
                                                                              held by Francis Scott Key’s
                                                                              “Star Spangled Banner.”




    Answer the following questions while you listen to the song
    and study the lyrics:

    1. Who was the composer of this song?


    2. How would you describe the song to a friend?


    3. Why do the ideas expressed in the song unite us as
       Americans?

                                                                                                         18
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  ARTIFACT NOTES                                                                  Interactive Student Notebook




                       What is the artifact? Draw a   What are three important        Which collection did your pair
    Text pages and     simple visual to help you                                      decide to place this artifact in?
    archive link                                      facts about the artifact?
                       remember it.

      Page 274-275
     The Declaration                                  1.
     of Independence

                                                      2.

                                                      3.


     Page 276-277
    The Constitution                                  1.

                                                      2.

                                                      3.


        Page 278
      Bill of Rights                                  1.

                                                      2.

                                                      3.


       Page 279
    “Four Freedoms”                                   1.

                                                      2.

                                                      3.


       Page 281
       Pledge of                                      1.
       Allegiance

                                                      2.

                                                      3.
                                                                                                                          19
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  ARTIFACT NOTES                                                   INTERACTIVE STUDENT NOTEBOOK



    Text pages and      What is the artifact? Draw a   What are three important    Which collection did your pair
    archive link        simple visual to help you      facts about the artifact?   decide to place this artifact in?
                        remember it.

        Page 282
    Statue of Liberty                                  1.

                                                       2.

                                                       3.


       Page 282
       Bald Eagle                                      1.

                                                       2.

                                                       3.


       Page 283
    Great Seal of the                                  1.
     United States

                                                       2.

                                                       3.


        Page 285
    “I Have a Dream”                                   1.

                                                       2.

                                                       3.




                                                                                                                       20
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  PROCESSING                                                Interactive Student Notebook




    DIRECTIONS
    Use the space below to design a rough draft for a display that would be
    suitable for public viewing of one of your artifacts at the National
    Archives in Washington D.C. Be creative and include the following:
     • A colorful sketch of the artifact
     • Three important facts that should be in the display
     • One paragraph that describes the reason that this artifact is an
        example of an idea that unites us as Americans.




                                                      1.


                                                      2.


                                                      3.


                 Artifact Sketch                       Three Important Facts




                    Why is this artifact an example of an idea
                          that unites us as Americans?
                                                                                           21
© Teachers’ Curriculum Institute   www.teachtci.com                       info@teachtci.com
272   State Facts
Ideas That Unite
Us as Americans
What connects Americans are shared ideals. Ideals are ideas
that seem very good and worth trying to achieve. Our country
is based on ideas about freedom and equality for everyone.




                                                  State Facts   273
                                 The Declaration of Independence:
                                 Creating a New Country
                              People have lived in our land for thousands of years.
                              But the United States is less than 250 years old. It was
                              founded in 1776.
                                  At that time, our country was a group of 13
                              colonies. The colonies belonged to country called
                              Great Britain. They were ruled by the British king.
                                  Many colonists grew unhappy with British rule.
                              They felt the British did not treat them fairly. They had
                              little say in their own government.
                                  In 1775, colonial leaders met in Philadelphia,
                              Pennsylvania. This group was called the Second
                              Continental Congress. For over a year, they discussed
                              what to do about the conflict with Great Britain. In
                                          July 1776, they decided the colonies should
   From the Declaration of                form their own country. They declared
   Independence                           independence from Great Britain.
                                             This was a huge step. It was a crime to be
   We hold these truths to be             disloyal to the British king. But the colonists
   self-evident, that all men are         believed in something more powerful than
   created equal, that they are           British law. They believed they had basic
                                          rights. No government or king could take
   endowed by their Creator
                                          these rights away.
   with certain unalienable                  A man named Thomas Jefferson
   Rights, that among these are           explained this thinking. He did so in the
   Life, Liberty, and the pursuit         Declaration of Independence.
   of Happiness.




274 Items that Unite Us as Americans
American Ideals
The Declaration of Independence describes the ideals
of the new country.
   Thomas Jefferson wrote, “All men are created
equal.” This was a new idea in 1776. In most
countries, people were not born equal. But the
United States was founded on the ideal of
equality.
   It has taken time to live up to this
promise. Until 1865, most African
Americans lived in slavery. Women
could not vote until 1920.
   Jefferson also wrote that all
people have basic rights. These
rights are “unalienable.” This means
they cannot be taken away.
   Our basic rights include the




                                                                                            The Granger Collection, New York
right to life, liberty, and the pursuit
of happiness. Liberty is another
word for freedom. We believe in
the freedom to make choices. We
decide what we will do for a living. We
choose how we will worship. We make
other basic choices. We are free to pursue
                                        sue
happiness.
   Jefferson believed that government should
                                                      Thomas Jefferson
get its power “from the consent of the governed.”
In other words, power belongs to the people. They
can choose to let the government use it. The United
States is a democracy. We choose our leaders. We
give them the power to make laws. Over time, our
democracy has grown. More and more people have
been invited to take part. Today, nearly all citizens
aged 18 or older can vote.




                                                     Items that Unite Us as Americans 275
                                 The Constitution of the United States:
                                 Creating a Government
                                 The Declaration of Independence listed the ideals
                                 that would guide the nation. But it did not create a
                                 government.
                                                         In 1787, a group of leaders
                                                     again met in Philadelphia. They
                                                     met to create a plan for the new
                                                     government. The plan they wrote
                                                     is the Constitution of the United
                                                     States of America.
                                                         The Constitution begins with
                                                     a special paragraph. We call this
                                                     the Preamble. The words make
                                                     clear that “we the people” are
                                                     forming the government. It exists
                                                     to serve us. The words also tell
                                                     the purposes of our government.
                                                     These are to:
                                                    • create a more perfect union
                                                    • establish justice
                                                    • insure domestic tranquility—
                                                      peace among the people
                                                    • provide for the common defense
                                                    • secure the blessings of
                                                      liberty.

                                                               In 1789, the states
      Preamble to the                                          adopted the plan.
      United States Constitution

      We the people of the United States, in order to
      form a more perfect union, establish justice,
      insure domestic tranquility, provide for the
      common defense, promote the general welfare,
      and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves
      and our posterity, do ordain and establish this
      Constitution of the United States of America.



276 Items that Unite Us as Americans
How Government Achieves Its Purposes
The Preamble tells us the purposes of the
government. But how does the Constitution
achieve them?
    One way is by giving government power.
The Constitution gives government power to
create an army. The army helps defend us.
It keeps us safe.
    The Constitution allows government to coin
money. With this power, government helps
people do business. It helps them build better
lives.
    The Constitution gives government the
power to tax. Taxes are how government raises
money. Money allows government to offer
important services. For example, government
helps give people medicine. It helps the needy.
Government helps keep our air and water
clean. Such services promote our welfare.
    The Constitution meets the purposes of the
Preamble by putting limits on government
power, too. One way it does this is with
elections. The people can change leaders if
they do not like the ones they have. This gives
the people great power.
    The Constitution also gives power to the
states. For example, states make their own
laws. They run schools. They build roads.
The states have power. And the federal
government has power. But nobody has too
much.




                                                  Items that Unite Us as Americans 277
                                 The Bill of Rights:
                                 Protecting the Rights of Individuals
                                 The Constitution achieves the purposes of the
                                 Preamble in another way. It promises to protect
                                 people’s rights. It does so in the first ten amendments
                                 to the Constitution. Together, these amendments are
                                 called the Bill of Rights.
                                                          What rights does the Bill of
                                                       Rights guarantee? They include:
                                                    • The freedom of speech and
                                                      freedom of the press
                                                      Government cannot stop us
                                                      from sharing our ideas and
                                                      views. We can even criticize
                                                      the government.
                                                    • The freedom of religion
                                                      This means we can worship in
                                                      any way we want.
                                                    • The right to bear arms
                                                      People are allowed to own guns.
                                                    • The right not to be searched
                                                      or arrested without good reason
                                                      Government must follow certain
                                                      rules.
                                                    • The right to a speedy public
                                                      trial in front of a jury
                                                      Everyone who is arrested has
                                                      the right to a trial.

                                    Our rights have limits. For example, we do not have
                                 the freedom to say things that might create danger.
                                 We cannot shout out “Fire!” in a crowded place and
                                 cause a panic. We cannot put hurtful lies about a
                                 person in a newspaper.
                                    With our rights come responsibilities. We hear the
                                 ideas of different candidates in an election. We must
                                 choose wisely when we vote.
                                    We are free to practice any religion we like. We are
                                 responsible for respecting other people’s choices.


278 Items that Unite Us as Americans
Four Freedoms
Americans believe in freedom. We also believe
in helping others enjoy freedom and equality.
Sometimes, this is not easy. Sometimes, we must
fight for freedom. We must resist those who would
take freedom away.
   The United States faced this kind of challenge in
1940. The country was about to go to war—World
War II. Our enemies were dictators. In a dictatorship,
people have no freedom.
   Our president was Franklin Roosevelt. He gave a
speech to help prepare the country for the challenge
ahead. This speech is called the Four Freedoms
speech.
   Roosevelt reminded Americans of their own
freedom. He challenged them to spread American
ideals. “In the future days, which we seek to make
secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four
essential human freedoms.”
   These four freedoms included the freedoms of
                                        eedoms
speech and religion. Roosevelt also named
                                       med
two other freedoms. One he called the
“freedom from want.” People should be   e
free to work and earn a good living.
   The fourth freedom was “freedom
from fear.” This was the fear of one
country taking away the freedom of
another.
   Roosevelt’s ideas still ring
true today. Americans want their
freedom. They want freedom for the
                                                                                           The Granger Collection, New York


people of the world.




                                                    Franklin D. Roosevelt

                                                    Items that Unite Us as Americans 279
                                   Respect for the Flag
                                   The flag should never be displayed with the union (the
                                   blue portion) down, except as a signal of dire distress.

                                   The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such
                                   as the ground.

                                   The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally,
                                   but aloft and free.

                                   The flag should not be used as wearing apparel,
                                   bedding, or drapery.

                                   The flag should never be fastened, used, displayed,
                                   or stored in a way that would allow for easy tearing,
                                   soiling, or damage.

                                   The flag should never be used to cover the ceiling.

                                   The flag should never have placed upon it any mark,
                                   letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any
                                   nature.

                                   The flag should never be used as a container for
                                   receiving, holding, or carrying anything.

                                   The flag should never be used for advertising or
                                   printed on anything designed to be thrown away.

                                   No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume
                                   or athletic uniform.

                                   When a flag is in such condition that it is no longer fit
                                   for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way,
                                   such as by burning.




280   Items that Unite Us as Americans
The Pledge of Allegiance
I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic
for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.




                                     Items that Unite Us as Americans   281
                                         Symbols of the United States of America
                                         France gave the Statue of Liberty to the
                                         United States in the 1800s as a sign of
                                         friendship. The world has come to see the
                                         statue as a symbol of freedom and democracy.
                                         It has welcomed millions of people to the
                                         United States.




                                         The bald eagle became a national symbol in
                                         1782. The powerful bird was chosen because it
                                         was found only in North America. To our early
                                         leaders, the bird stood for strength, courage,
                                         and freedom.


282   Items that Unite Us as Americans
The Great Seal of the United
States shows the main ideas of
the nation’s founding. The colors
come from the American flag.
The eagle represents strength,
freedom, and courage. The
13 arrows and the olive branch
show the power of war and
peace. The cluster of stars in
the sky stand for a new nation
taking its place among the
other nations. The motto
E Pluribus Unum means “from
many, one.” It means that we
are one people made up of
many different types.




                                    The pyramid stands for strength.
                                    The eye over the pyramid stands
                                    for a greater power watching over
                                    people. Latin words celebrate
                                    the start of a new time in history.
                                    The letters on the pyramid’s base
                                    are Roman numerals for 1776, the
                                    year of the nation’s founding.




                                         Items that Unite Us as Americans   283
                                   National Holidays in the United States
                                   Fourth of July—Independence Day
                                   This holiday celebrates the day that the Continental
                                   Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.
                                   It is celebrated across the United States with picnics,
                                   parades—and, of course—fireworks.
                                   Thanksgiving
                                   In 1621, the Pilgrims of the Plymouth colony and local
                                   American Indians celebrated the harvest. Presidents
                                   Washington and Lincoln later called for national days
                                   of thanksgiving. Today we hold this celebration on the
                                   fourth Thursday in November.
                                   President’s Day
                                   In February, the country notes the birthdays of two
                                   of our greatest presidents: George Washington and
                                   Abraham Lincoln. Americans today honor both of
                                   these great leaders with the celebration of President’s
                                   Day. It takes place on the third Monday in February.
                                   Memorial Day
                                   Americans remember the men and women who died
                                   in the service of our country on Memorial Day. The
                                   holiday began in the years following the Civil War.
                                   It was called Decoration Day, after the practice of
                                   placing flowers on the graves of the war dead. Today,
                                   it is celebrated on the last Monday in May.
                                   Labor Day
                                   On the first Monday in September, Americans
                                   celebrate the contributions of the American worker.
                                   Flag Day
                                   The first Flag Day was in 1877. It honored the adoption
                                   of the American flag by the Continental Congress.
                                   That took place 100 years earlier, on June 14. Now,
                                   each year on that date, we honor the great symbol of
                                   our nation.
                                   Constitution Day
                                   Constitution Day falls on September 17. It celebrates
                                   the signing of the United States Constitution on that
                                   day in 1787.

284   Items that Unite Us as Americans
I Have a Dream
Reverend Martin Luther
King Jr. fought hard for
equality for all Americans.
On August 28, 1963, he
spoke before a huge
crowd in Washington, D.C.,
about his dream for our
country. This speech is
remembered today as the
“I Have a Dream” speech.
Here are some parts of
that speech.



     I say to you today, my friends, so even
     though we face the difficulties of today and
     tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream
     deeply rooted in the American dream.

     I have a dream that one day this nation will
     rise up and live out the true meaning of
     its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-
     evident: that all men are created equal.”

     I have a dream that my four little children
     will one day live in a nation where they will
     not be judged by the color of their skin but
     by the content of their character.

     I have a dream today.

     I have a dream that one day… little black
     boys and black girls will be able to join
     hands with little white boys and white girls
     as sisters and brothers.

     I have a dream today.

     And if America is to be a great nation, this
     must become true… Let freedom ring…
     from every mountainside, let freedom ring.



                                                     Items that Unite Us as Americans   285

				
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Description: Engage your students into studying some of our most treasured American symbols, songs, and speeches while also infusing technology! Try this great lesson by TCI, makers of History Alive. Learn more about us at www.teachtci.com.