Trade Book: A Very Important Day

Very Important Day


Summary from ScholasticOn a snowy New York City morning, families who have journeyed to the United States from many different countries take the oath of citizenship at a downtown courthouse.

Activities for the Classroom:

  • Teach United States symbols and patriotic songs.
  • Have older students analyze the Pledge of Allegiance and/or the Star Spangled Banner to understand the meaning.
    • Please be aware of the history of the Star Spangled Banner. It was not written during the American Revolution, and it did not start off as a song.
    • There have been some changes to the Pledge of Allegiance over the years. For example, the phrase “under God” was added in 1954.
  • The hand over your heart salute was not immediately adopted. It took a little time before that salute was the official salute to the American flag.
Students pledging allegiance to the American flag with the Bellamy salute.

The Bellamy Salute- This salute did not catch on.

  • Have students research the two types of citizenship in the United States.
    • They can also compare and contrast.
  • Teach the 5 Themes of Citizenship:
    • Honesty is the basic theme of good citizenship. A person must be honest with others, and with himself or herself, in order to be a good citizen.
    • Compassion is the emotion of caring for people and for other living things. Compassion gives a person an emotional bond with his or her world.
    • Respect is similar to compassion but different in some ways. An important aspect of respect is self-respect, whereas compassion is directed toward others. Respect is also directed toward inanimate things or ideas as well as toward people. For example, people should have respect for laws. Finally, respect includes the idea of esteem or admiration, whereas compassion is a feeling people can have for others they don’t necessarily admire.
    • Responsibility, which includes both private, personal responsibility and public responsibility. Individuals and groups have responsibilities. Responsibility is about action, and it includes much of what people think of as good citizenship. You may wish to point out that one of the main responsibilities of students is to learn. They must educate themselves so that they can live up to their full potential.
    • Courage is important to good citizenship. Human beings are capable of moving beyond mere goodness toward greatness. Courage enables people to do the right thing even when its unpopular, difficult, or dangerous. Many people including Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, and Gandhi have had the courage to change the rules to achieve justice.



Description of 5 Themes of Citizenship from Education World



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