Red, White and Blue
Books To Share
- America the Beautiful by Wendell Minor.
- Anno's USA by Mitsumasa Anno.
- The Aunts Go Marching by Maurie J. Manning.
- Happy 4th of July, Jenny Sweeney! by Leslie Kimmelman.
- I Pledge Allegiance by Bill Martin, Jr.
- Wemberly's Ice Cream Star by Kevin Henkes.
Books To Show
- America Is… by Louise Borden.
- Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet Wong.
- Betsy Ross and the Silver Thimble by Stephanie Greene.
- Fireworks, Picnics, and Flags by James Cross Giblin.
- Happy Birthday, America by Mary Pope Osborne.
- Stars and Stripes: The Story of the American Flag by Sarah L. Thomson.
Freedom to Vote
Voting encourages children to make choices and allows them to feel empowered. Create a voting bulletin board. Allow the kids to vote between two or three choices for summer movies, treats, story selections, or whatever applies to your library. Use poster board to list the "candidates" with a description and picture, such as a photograph or drawing. Attach a pencil on a string and let the kids "vote."
Purchase red, blue, white, and silver metallic tinsel, available at craft stores. Staple several pieces to a plastic straw. Set several in a bud vase or set in florist clay for colorful firecracker decorations.
Cut flag shapes for each child.
Many companies sell flag and patriotic pencils, bags, bookmarks, and other items. Try Upstart's "Free to Read" themed items.
I love to see the starry flag
That floats above my head.
I love to see its waving folds
With stripes of white and red.
“Be brave,” say the red stripes.
“Be pure,” say the white.
“Be true,” say the bright stars.
“And stand for the right.”
Hang Out the Flag
“Hang Out the Flag” by James S. Tippett in Celebrating America: A Collection of Poems and Images of the American Spirit by Laura Whipple.
This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie.
For instructions on how to fold and cut a five-point star with one cut, visit the Betsy Ross Homepage at www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagstar.html. Just like the original committee that commissioned our flag, you probably think that it is very difficult to cut a five-point star. It’s not and you’ll amaze the children and they will amaze their friends with this simple paper and scissor craft.
- White construction paper
- Stencils with stars and other geometric shapes or stickers in those shapes
- Glue sticks
- Rickrack, felt scraps
- Markers and crayons
Read I Pledge Allegiance by Bill Martin, Jr. Show the children examples of flags from books and encyclopedias, or if possible, show them real flags. Talk about the symbolism of the shapes and colors. Give each child a piece of white paper and other craft supplies and let them design their own flags.
Games and Activities
- Lightweight white poster board, either cut into circles ahead of time or provide patterns for circles that are about 3 1/2 or 4 inches in diameter
- Red, blue, and gold markers or crayons
- Golf-type pencils
- Craft glue
Cut out the circles and use the scissors to make a small hole in the center. Color the circle with red, blue, and gold designs. Try swirls, stars, concentric circles, a star pattern, and other designs. Put the golf pencil through the hole and use a little glue to hold it in place snugly as shown in the illustration. Let dry and take your top for a spin!
- "Living in America" on Reading Rainbow's Greatest Hits by Various Artists.
- “America the Beautiful” on Fidgety Feet by Steve Rashid. Note: This is not the traditional song; it is a multi-cultural swing version.
Note: Show one section of longer videos or DVDs as part of your program. For a storytime program, limit the film to 10-12 minutes. Display the other videos for parents and caregivers to check out.
- American History for Children: United States Flag. (25 minutes)
- The Star-Spangled Banner by Peter Spier. (12 minutes)
- This is America, Charlie Brown: The Music and Heroes of America. (25 minutes)
- This Land is Your Land. (12 minutes)
- America Through Music
- America’s Story
- Flags of the World
My America: a Poetry Atlas of the United States by Lee Bennet Hopkins.