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Show Your School Spirit Banner

Why is the United States' national bird a bald headed eagle? Students research the origins of symbols!

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Ask students to share with the class what they know about the U.S. national mascot, the bald-headed eagle. How did it come to be the symbol of the U.S.? What other animals were proposed as a mascot? Who was involved in the discussion to appoint a mascot?
    2. Widen the discussion with students by asking about sport mascots, state birds, etc. What purpose do these serve?
    3. Organize students into small groups. Assign each group the task of identifying an appropriate mascot for their class or school. Ask students to research their selection and be able to identify the positive attributes of their selection that they feel represents the class or school. The group may also want to create a motto to accompany their mascot on the banner.
    4. Each student group will create a proposed banner for their selections. Provide Crayola® Washable Tempera Paint, Fabric Markers, and Crayola Scissors for each group, as well as a piece of unbleached muslin fabric about 3' by 3' and sufficient yarn for students to work with. Remind students that they will need to leave some fabric at the top of their banner in order to attach it to a 4' dowel stick.
    5. Each group should prepare an organized presentation for classmates, as well as administration, if their mascot is for the school. Allow time in the school day for presentations and feedback from peers.
  • Standards

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    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: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Bucky's Journey Through the Badger State by Aimee Aryal; Hello Scarlet Knight! by Aimee Aryal.

    This lesson may be used to create banners representing specific states or countries, with student creating a representation of the state or national bird, the motto, etc. and preparing a presentation to share with classmates about their learning.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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