of the Pledge, by Dr. John W. Baer
Origin of the Pledge, American Civil Liberties Union
of Heroes Web Site
students say the Pledge of Allegiance do they say the right words and
do they understand the words they are saying? Find out by asking them
to write the words to the Pledge, explain what they mean and compare
their understanding with the explanation provided at the web sites above.
Read the different versions of the history of the Pledge provided
at the websites above. Talk with your parents about what you have learned
and ask them what they remember about reciting the pledge.
the Pledge, a lesson developed by the
Center for Civic Education, is a critical thinking exercise from introduction
of the We the People...The Citizen and the Constitution High
Children’s Story, by James Clavell (1963, reissued
in 1989 by Dell). Clavell wrote this story at the height of the Cold
War, when his young daughter came home from school able to recite the
Pledge of Allegiance (and demanding a dime for her efforts) but not
explain what it meant. In the story, the New Teacher from a conquering
nation charms a class of children into forsaking the Pledge and cutting
up their classroom flag because they do not understand the importance
of these symbols.
the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, by Bette Bao
Lord (1984, Harper Collins). Based on the author’s own experiences
as an immigrant from China, this book tells the story of Shirley Temple
Wong’s efforts to become American. Especially relevant is her
hilarious rendition of the Pledge of English, which her emerging English
has not yet allowed her to make sense of.
but the Truth, by Avi (1991, Orchard). Through such documents
as school memos, letters, diaries, transcripts of phone calls and newspaper
clippings, the reader must decide what the truth is when ninth-grader
Philip Malloy is suspended for humming during the playing of the national
anthem. His case becomes a First Amendment issue, even though his reasons
for not standing silently and respectfully are far from pure.
Pledge Allegiance, by Bill Martin, Jr. and Michael Sampson,
illustrated by Chris Raschka (2002). This picture book provides background
on the Pledge and explains the meaning of each phrase in kid-friendly
language. A useful introduction for primary-age students.