4th of July

Foto Friday: U.S. Flying Flag

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053Port Angeles, Washington, 2013

Have a fun & safe 4th of July!

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Book Review: I Pledge Allegiance

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pledge

I Pledge Allegiance
Written by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson
Illustrated by Chris Raschka
Published by Candlewick on June 3, 2004
Ages: 4+, 40 pages
Genre/Topics: Patriotism, Pledge of Allegiance, U.S. History

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Many students begin the day reciting The Pledge of Allegiance. What exactly does it mean when we proudly salute the flag? When did it begin? Has the Pledge changed since it started? These questions and more are explained in I Pledge Allegiance.

I Pledge Allegiance isn’t exactly a story, instead the entire Pledge is ‘spoken’ on the pages. The book breaks it down and explains what words mean. Only a few words are on a page with an explanation, such as pledge, allegiance, flag, republic, nation, God, liberty, and justice. These are big concepts for children to grasp. There is additional information about the Pledge throughout the book. The book explains the flag’s colors, what to do when saying the Pledge, brief Pledge history, and even a colorful map of the United States of America.

I really enjoyed I Pledge Allegiance. As a teacher, I proudly state the Pledge every morning. Some students don’t show respect when saying the Pledge, so I think this book will explain what it means. The illustrations are unique, because they appear like construction paper and watercolors. I Pledge Allegiance does a great job showing how all are represented under the flag, since the people are all colors from yellow to blue. I highly recommend I Pledge Allegiance, so children can understand what the Pledge means and how to be respectful.

Facts about The Pledge of Allegiance:

  • In 1892, Francis Bellamy wrote it as a poem for children. It was published in the children’s magazine, The Youth’s Companion.
  • It wasn’t intended to be spoken daily, instead it was written to celebrate Columbus Day.
  • The Pledge used a military style salute, similar to the Nazi salute. In 1942, the U.S. Flag Code changed the salute to be a hand over the heart.
  • In 1954, President Eisenhower asked Congress to add ‘under God’.

Original Pledge:

I pledge allegiance to my flag and the Republic for which it stands – one Nation indivisible – with liberty and justice for all.

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet S. Wong

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apple pieApple Pie 4th of July
Written by Janet S. Wong
Illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on May 1, 2006
Ages: 4-7, 40 pages
Genre/Topics: 4th of July, Immigrant Families

A Chinese American girl is unhappy as she sits inside her parent’s market while 4th of July festivities take place outside. Her parents are busy making chow mein and sweet & sour pork, but the girl states that nobody wants Chinese food on the 4th of July. Her father replies that fireworks are Chinese. The day continues as she hears a parade she’d like to attend. A few customers wander inside for soda and ice cream, but nobody buys the Chinese food. The girl doesn’t think her parents understand American things, even though her mother loves apple pie and her father has lived here as a boy. Finally, evening arrives and customers enter to buy Chinese food for dinner. When the market closes, the family watches the Chinese fireworks while eating ‘American’ apple pie.

Apple Pie 4th of July is a great children’s book to highlight different sides of what it means to be American. The United States is referred to the ‘melting pot’ or ‘tossed salad’, so there’s no formula of what exactly makes an American. The girl learns that she can be proud of her heritage while enjoying stereotyped ‘American’ apple pie. The illustrations and plot are simple for young ages to enjoy.