Lynn Handshy
Apple This is Lynn Handshy. Lynn teaches first grade at Tularcitos Elementary School in Carmel Valley, California. She will write monthly articles about the major activities and projects of her classroom. We will feature those projects here on Leslie's website.

"Proud to be Americans"

By Lynn Handshy

I asked the children what we should do for Leslie's website to show that we are proud to be Americans. McLane said, "We have to show everyone that we are good citizens." We have spent the past nine months practicing character traits that make people good citizens so McLane's suggesting triggered a lively brainstorming session and the ideas flowed. The children decided they wanted make a patriotic garland on which were written affirmations of their classmates and other school friend's sterling character attributes. This is how they did it.

1. On 8"X1" strips of red, white and blue construction paper children wrote affirmations about their friends. Each child did 12. (They invited the other three 1st grade classes to participate too.)

Here are some sample statements:

a. Molly is a good citizen because she is trustworthy.

b. Kyle is a good citizen because he is responsible.

c. Mr. Williams is a good citizen because he is caring.

2. After each child wrote four affirmations on each color, the classes began constructing four long red, white and blue paper chains.

3. On the last day of school, these chains were draped around the windows of the school office for all to see and read.

Isn't it lovely that a group of six and seven year olds think that being an American means being a citizen of good character? Share their spirit of patriotism and enjoy this festive month.