What Does This Symbol Mean?

Subject: Social Studies

Lesson Length: 30 - 35 mins

Topic: Identity in Our State

Grade Level: 4

Standards / Framework:

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.


  • Show and discuss common symbols of the United States e.g., 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 two-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.


  • Comic to print or display: Comic.

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