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American Symbols Activities, Books, and Videos for Social Studies Lessons

American Symbols is one of my favorite social studies units to teach to first and second graders. I've rounded up my favorite, activities, books, and videos for teaching about American Symbols in this post.


To play this game, the teacher reads off a clue such as: "This building is on the back of the penny," and the students find the matching American symbol on their game board. Multiple clues are provided for each symbol so that your class can play again and again.

One teacher who tried this game said: "This is AWESOME! I've used this a few years now during summer school with my first graders. We go through each symbol ahead of time and talk about why they are important. By the end of playing a few rounds, they know all the symbols!"

Get it in my TPT Store here.

Each page of this flip book features fill-in-the-blank facts about the American Symbol, along with a picture of the symbol to color. Many teachers like to have their students store the completed flip book in their social studies notebook for later reference.

One teacher said: "This was right up my alley. We loved doing this and spending time on each page helped the students to remember the symbols individually."

Get it in my in my TPT Store here.


F is for Flag by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

Read about the symbolism of flag through this beautifully illustrated picture book. This book talks about the places we can see the flag, and what it symbolizes.

by Martha E. H. Rustad

Learn about the history and symbolism behind the State of Liberty through the eyes of an elementary school class taking a trip to visit the landmark.

The Liberty Bell by Mary Firestone

This book shares the facts behind the creation of the liberty bell, and how it became a symbol of our country.

Is the Bald Eagle Really Bald? by Martha E. H. Rustad

Ms. Patel's wonders, why the bald eagle is on the dollar bill? A special guest visits their class to teach them all about one of our nation's most treasured symbols.

The Washington Monument by Kristin L. Nelson

This book uses bright photographs and simple text, to share interesting facts about the Washington Monument, and the reasons why President Washington is honored with his own obelisk.

Who Carved the Mountain? by Jean L. S. Patrick

Detailed illustrations and rhythmic poems tell the story of design, and creation of Mount Rushmore.

Mr. William's class has seen the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the penny. They take a trip to Washigton D.C. to learn about what's inside, and why this memorial was built.


American Flag Facts, Etiquette, and History

This short clip tells a brief history of the U.S. flag, and the etiquette you should use when displaying a flag.

The Statue of Liberty for Kids

This video tells the story of how the statue of liberty was created, what is symbolizes, and fun facts about one of our treasured national landmarks.

The History of Mount Rushmore

This video tells the history of Mount Rushmore including, why it was carved, who created it, and its construction.

The History of the Star-Spangled Banner

This video tells about Francis Scott Key and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner and how it became our national anthem.

Learn About the Washington Monument

This video tells about the Washington Monument and why it was built to honor President George Washington.

White House-Fun Fact Series

Students can read along as the text of this video shares fun facts about the history of the White House.

How to Draw the Liberty Bell

This fun directed drawing activity will show your class how to draw the liberty bell. This channel also has videos for drawing other American Symbols here.

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