What does this symbol mean?

Subject: Social Studies

Lesson Length: 30 - 35 mins

Topic: Identity in Our State

Grade Level: 4

Objective: Informing


CDE History and Social Science Content Standards: Students recognize national and state symbols and icons such as the national and state flags, the bald eagle, and the Statue of Liberty.

Brief Description: Students will explore the historical context from which state symbols became meaningful and symbolic.

Know Before You Start: Students should be able to define the words: symbol and symbolism. Students should be able to identify state symbols.

What does this symbol mean? - Exemplar comic, panel 1 What does this symbol mean? - Exemplar comic, panel 2


  • Show and discuss common symbols of the United States (ex: flag, eagle, liberty bell). What do you think of when you see these symbols. Why do you think these symbols represent the U.S.A.?

  • Read and discuss the sample comic. Explain that each state has its own symbols.

Activity: Have Students research and identify two state symbols. 

- Using the sample comic as a guide, have them create a 2 panel comic showcasing the history behind both of these symbols. 

  • Panel 1: Symbol 1
  • Panel 2: Symbol 2

Closure: Digitally post or print out and hang all comics. Have students complete a gallery walk to view the symbols of their state. Ask students to pick out symbols that hold meaning for them (possibly an exit ticket activity).


  • Supply students with state symbols. 

  • Enrichment option: Have students pinpoint the perspective from which group(s) of people the symbol of the state either benefitted or held meaning for. Discuss the group(s) represented in these state symbols.

Resources: Comic to print or display: Comic 1.