The American Flag and Me with Sheila Pree Bright

Lesson Activities & Lesson Plans

To begin the Lesson Activity please scroll down. If you are a teacher looking for the associated Lesson Plan, please click below.

Worksheet

Before you answer the questions on this worksheet, watch this interview the following video that describes the "Lynn Lights" project.

MM slash DD slash YYYY
Have you seen any of the murals in Lynn before?
Does studying the murals make you want to go and see them in person?
Do you think having murals in the city makes it special?
Did the mural(s), the symbolism, or the artist’s story make you think about your life and experiences?
If you have any questions or need assistance, email admin@beyond-walls.org

The American Flag and Me with Sheila Pree Bright

About this lesson

In this lesson, students will spend time reflecting on their relationship with the American flag and discussing their opinions with their classmates. Afterwards, students will participate in an artactivity inspired by Sheila Pree Bright’s “Young American” series where they will reimagine the design of the flag.

For a more in depth background information on the lesson topics, questions and pointers to help guide class discussions, links to videos to show in class, and lesson worksheets, among other things, download the unit guide below. You can also download an accompany PowerPoint for this lesson below.

Objectives

Students will be able to…

1. Read and interpret data and charts

2. Formulate and voice their opinions on a particular topic

3. Engage in thoughtful discussions with their peers

4. Develop skills in creative self expression

5. Respond to current events

Standards

Visual Arts

Creating

  • Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. (5-6.V.Cr.01)
  • Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. (5-6.V.Cr.02)
  • Refine and complete artistic work. (5-6.V.Cr.03.a-b)

Presenting

  • Select, analyze and interpret artistic work for presentation. (5-6.V.P.04)
  • Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.(5-6.V.P.05)
  • Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work. (5-6.V.P.06)

Responding

  • Perceive and analyze artistic work. (5-6.V.R.07)
  • Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.(5-6.V.R.08)
  • Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work. Evaluate a piece of artwork based on a predetermined list of criteria. (5-6.V.R.09)

Connecting

  • Relate artistic ideas and works to societal, cultural and historical contexts to deepen understanding. (5-6.M.Co.11)
  • Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art. Describe and demonstrate personal artistic style and preferences. (5-6.V.Co.10)

English Language Arts

Production and Distribution of Writing

  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (W.6.4)

Comprehension and Collaboration

  • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. (SL.6.1)
  • Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study. (SL.6.2)

Knowledge of Language

  • Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening. (L.6.3)

Extension activities for ELA standards are included below and in the unit guide.

Vocabulary

Wheatpaste

Series

Materials

Paper

Coloring utensils

Lesson Procedures

In this lesson, students will spend time reflecting on their relationship with the American flag and discussing their opinions with their classmates. Afterwards, students will participate in an artactivity inspired by Sheila Pree Bright’s “Young American” series where they will reimagine the design of the flag.

For a more in depth background information on the lesson topics, questions and pointers to help guide class discussions, links to videos and PowerPoints to show in class, and lesson worksheets, among other things, read the unit guide

1. To start this lesson, ask students if they have ever thought about what the American flag means to them. Have any students ever held an American flag?

2. Show students the three charts in the PowerPoint and discuss the data as a class. 

3. Show students the following video from NBCLX in which different generations discuss what the American flag means to them.

4. Afterwards, either as a class or in groups, have the students discuss what they saw in the video and talk about their own opinions on the American flag. Make sure that students are reminded that the classroom is a safe space to discuss their opinions, whatever they may be.

5. Introduce students to photographer Sheila Pree Bright and her “ReBirth” photography series.

6. Have students fill out the Lesson Form above where they will examine one of Sheila’s wheatpastes and watch a video of her discussing the project. Discuss everyone’s responses as a class. 

7.  Introduce students to the art activity. For this activity, students will be asked to redesign the American flag based on their relationship with the flag and what they believe the it should represent. Afterwards, students will present their flags to the class, explaining their design choices.

To help inspire students, show them the following video of participants of Sheila’s “Young Americans” series discussing the inspiration behind their portrait. Afterwards, have students fill out the “What the American flag means to me…” worksheet, listed in the unit guide, to help them plan how they want their American flag to look. 

For more instruction on this activity, including a description and criteria, refer to the unit guide

Extension Activities

Extension for English Language Arts

(W.6.3)

Have students write an essay about what the American flag means to them. For this essay, students are encouraged to be honest and even reference recent events if relevant. To aid the narrative of the essay, students are encouraged to participate in the art activity and write the essay in response to the flag they created.

Assessment

If you follow the unit guide, assessment is conducted regularly throughout the lesson in the form of group discussions and activities.

For alternatives, go to the resources section of the unit guide. This will take you to a document with a comprehensive list of assessment options. Though they are geared more towards Visual Arts, they can be altered or used for other curriculums, such as ELA and Science/Technology.

Exit slips are also a great strategy for assessment at the end of a lesson. For these slips, have students respond to the following questions:

Write one thing you learned today.
Write one question you have about today’s lesson.
Did you enjoy the lesson activities?