With Memorial Day coming up, I thought we should do a little American flag math / art activity at Figment to teach the kids about patriotism. (Since Memorial Day means more than just flash sales.) I often like to start out with a book for inspiration when introducing a project to my students. We read One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote , which is from the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library. It is a very educational book about the voting process, but the rhyming flow of the book makes it fun for kids. I pulled a photo of the American flag up on my phone for the kids to study. We observed the colors, number of stripes (13) and stars (50). The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America, and the 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and became the first states.
You may be wondering how this became a math project with my small class of two.
- We split the red Play-Doh container contents in half. We studied what half meant; two equal parts.
- The boys made 7 equal balls out of their portion of Play-Doh and placed them to the side.
- I cut a white sheet of card stock paper in half. They helped me with this. This was the base for our flag.
- I gave the boys some blue Play-Doh and they rolled it out and made squares to place at the upper left hand corner of the white paper.
- Then they rolled out the red balls of dough in the correct lengths to form 7 red stripes, leaving white spaces for the other 6 stripes.
- We made 100 tiny little balls of white, split them in half and added them as stars to the blue square.
This is a simple art project that adds math in a fun way, while giving the kids a lesson on our American flag. This could easily be done using other flags. No matter what flag represents your home, don’t forget to honor it.