I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy!

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SWBAT identify the main idea and some details from the text when prompted. SWBAT create a torn paper American flag.

Big Idea

Patriotism is all around us.

Prepare the Learner

15 minutes

I read Yankee Doodle  sing and read storybook that is published by Scholastic.  I like this one because the illustrations help students understand the song and what is happening in it.  As I read, I am reinforcing the foundational skills of directionality (right to left progression), return sweep, turning pages, picture/text connection and fluency.  This song also supports the theme of Patriotism.  


 If you do not have the storybook,  you could use this video and song:



Yankee Doodle  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XZQZ8KL3as


After I read the book, I let the kids listen to the song.  I either show the video with the music or I play the song from a CD and flip the pages in the Yankee Doodle sing and read storybook by Scholastic as the kids sing the words.


I let them listen to all three verses and encourage them to try to learn those words too.

Interact with text/concept

45 minutes

I first review the vocabulary word: government.  I say:  Our government is the people who run our country.  The government decides how we spend the country’s money and what laws we should have.  In the United States, we vote to decide which people will be in our government.  Who is the leader of our government? (president)  Students add the word ‘government’ to their dictionaries.  These are dictionaries that I use with each unit.  It is the students' recording of words learned throughout the unit.  We are recording our understanding of the word and students are reinforcing understanding of print/picture relationships.


I show students the cover  Patriotism by Lucia Raatma   I read aloud the first half of the story on this day, pages 1-8. After reading each page, my questioning  focuses  on main ideas and details:


Page 2  I remind students that Patriotism is the heading for this page and the name of the page.  It tells us what the page is about.  I then read the first sentence: Patriotism means being proud of and loyal to your country.   I tell students that this is the main idea of the page and everything else on the page will tell us how we can be proud and loyal to our county.  I say: Everyone say ‘main idea.’  (students repeat)  Students have had practice with main idea both formally and informally throughout the year, so this is more of a revisit for my students.


Page 4  I read all of page 4.  I ask:  Who remembers the heading or name of this page? (Being Patriotic)  I read the first sentence: People of all ages can help improve our country.    I remind students that this is the main idea of the page.  I read the rest of the page and say: All of the ways the page tells us that we can help improve our country are called ‘details.’  Everyone say ‘details.’  (students repeat)


Page 6  I read the heading: Patriotism and your family.   I ask students what this page will be about. (Patriotism and your family)  I read the first sentence: Your family can be patriotic by celebrating national holidays together.   I ask the students to listen for the ‘details’ that tell two ways we can celebrate holidays together. ( attend a parade, visit a veteran’s grave) I ask:  How do you celebrate the 4th of July with their family?  With my family I eat hamburgers and watch fireworks.  Turn and tell your partner what you do.  Students can use the linguistic pattern: With my family I _____.


Pages 7-8  I ask students to look at the picture on page 7.  I ask:  Judging by this picture, what do you think the heading is on page 8?  (Patriotism with Friends)  I read the first sentence and ask the students to listen for details about democracy as I read the rest of the page.


Collaborative Conversation

Collaborative conversations are one of the big shifts we see in Common Core.  They are directly addressed in the Common Core Standards and are a focal point across the curriculum.  It is important that we start early with these because as students get older and texts get more complex, they will use collaborative conversations to make both meaning from and decisions about what they read.

I have students talk with a partner about how they can be patriotic or show patriotism.   They will use the linguistic patterns: 

How are you patriotic?  I am patriotic by __.   

How do you show patriotism?  I show patriotism when I ___.


I ask for volunteers to share out.  We then draw pictures of ourselves being patriotic.


Extend Understanding

20 minutes

American Symbols book-supporting and extending the theme of Patriotism


Flag Art

I like to do this as a tear paper art, but really any type of flag art would work.  It builds on the theme and big idea of Patriotism.  The American flag is in almost every picture throughout the text as a representation of Patriotism.


I model coloring the blue field very carefully so the stars remain white.  I also model how to color the  stripes in a red/white pattern.

I give the students a small square of red construction paper (5x5).   They tear off small pieces of red construction paper and glue them into the red stripes of the flag.  I also model non examples where I tear pieces that are too big to fit neatly into the stripes.  


There are two ways to create the book and glue the writing with the art project:

  1. Glue art and writing on an 11 x 18 sheet of construction paper either side by side or by placing art on top and writing on bottom.
  2. Cut 11 x18 sheets of construction paper in half and create a book with enough pages that will hold writing and art for entire unit.  Writing and art can be glued on facing pages.


I have made the book in two different sized versions over the years and here is how they both lay out!  Both sizes look great when done.  It is personal preference on which way you want to construct the book.


Lessons and learnings connect to each other within a lesson and/or throughout a lesson series.  This part of this lesson springboards from the text because the topic of the text is Patriotism.  Almost every picture has an American flag in it.  This flag art will be the picture representation of the flag writing page in their book.  The rigor of creating this book is high. It cannot be done in one lesson or one day.  It must be taught in a series.  Also, it requires students to retain learning from day to day!