The Great American Seal

The Great American Seal lesson plan

Discover the beauty of the Great American Seal. Recreate this national emblem with Crayola™ Color Sticks™ Colored Pencils.

  • 1.

    Provide students with a visual of the American Seal. Have them dissect the symbols that make up this seal. What is the significance of each? Allow students class time to research the history of this seal.

  • 2.

    In preparation for creating their own seals, students use a book or Internet resource for a colorful picture of the Great American Seal. Provide a medium size plate to each student to use as a template. Students draw two circles on a piece of white construction paper and a piece of cardboard. Cut out the construction paper and cardboard circles with Crayola Scissors.

  • 3.

    Using Color Sticks™ Colored Pencils, students draw the front and back of the Great American Seal on two circles of construction paper. Lay the Color Sticks flat to shade a large background area. Add details and words with Crayola™ Washable Markers.

  • 4.

    Students attach the finished seals to the cardboard circles with a glue stick.

  • 5.

    Ask each student to write a summary paragraph describing the importance of this seal to their country as well as the most surprising facts they uncovered during their investigation. Post writing with American seal re-creations.

Standards

  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade level topic or subject area.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • MATH: Classify two-dimensional figures into categories based on their properties.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.
  • SS: Distinguish among local, state, and national government and identify representative leaders at these levels such as mayor, governor, and president.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in artworks.
  • VA: Analyze, describe, and demonstrate how factors of time and place influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art.
  • VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resource includes: The Great Seal of the United States by Norman Pearl
  • The Great Seal is printed on the U.S. dollar bill. Encourage students to investigate how it ended up on the dollar bill and the role of Henry A. Wallace in this process.
  • The Great Seal has several myths and misinformation associated with it. Students research these myths and mysteries. Can they uncover the origins of these?
  • The Great Seal is a symbol of the national government in the United States. Students distinguish between local government, state, and national. What are the symbols used at the local level? State? How do these compare to that of the Great Seal? What is the history behind the development of your local government's seal? Your state government's?
  • Students work in small groups to research how symbols are chosen for coins in the United States. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.