Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Betsy Ross

We knew we were going to be able to see Betsy Ross's house while we were in Philadelphia, so we did a lesson on her before we went.  It is not known for sure whether or not she made the very first American flag, but she is credited with it since she was a very well known upholsterer at the time and a friend of George Washington.  

The picture is outside of Betsy's house.  They didn't allow us to take pictures inside.  The guard at the door pretended like he really knew Betsy.  He said she was taking measurements at the governor's house to make drapes as a surprise for his wife.  Which was funny because we had just met Betsy in her basement workshop.  Hmmm...   Yes you can meet Betsy as she works in her sewing room and she'll answer any of your questions.  

There are many lapbooking and unit studies you can purchase including this one http://www.homeschoolshare.com/by_resources_betsyross.php

but here is a free one that has lots of good ideas http://www.homeschoolhelperonline.com/lapbooks/united_states_flag.htm  
And you know I like free!

http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/, has lots of fun information you can use to create your own lesson or unit.  You can take a virtual tour of her house, learn about her life, look at a picture gallery of how the American flag looked at different points of time, and learn flag etiquette including the proper way to fold a flag.  It is a wealth of American flag information for your young budding vexillologist.    
AMERICA: The Making of a Nation
We borrowed this amazing book by Charlie Samuels from the library.  It has so many interactive fold outs and colorful graphics.  It's like a big super professional lapbook.  There are a couple of pages devoted to the first American flag and to Betsy Ross.  We used a huge fold out flag as a pattern to make our own and there were also instructions on how to make a five pointed star with just one cut.

Here is the Free One holding up the flag he made.  I just gave him the materials and he followed the pattern and went for it!  He learned how many stripes and stars there should be and what they all represented.  I did have to help him with some of the stars since the folding was somewhat difficult for such little stars.  I love how each star looked different. 

If you ever take a trip to Philadelphia I recommend the Betsy Ross House tour.  The boys had fun playing in her kitchen and pretending to make turkey pot pie and best of all they got to meet Betsy Ross in person!  
Now that's living history!

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