Creating Free Thinkers, Not Robots

It’s summertime and now it’s the season for teachers to begin planning the upcoming year. I always have to laugh to myself whenever I hear people comment about teachers having their summers ‘off.’ If they only had the time to actually discuss this misconception they would realize that a lot of teacher’s summers consist of professional development, lesson planning, etc.

I’m here today to share a fun lesson I always look forward to doing with my kiddos at the beginning of the year. One of the first standards I taught at the beginning of the year was citizenship and what it means to be a good citizen. It’s actually pretty fascinating to ask my class each year what the Pledge of Allegiance means and why we say these words every day before class and to hear crickets in response. 

A lot of students have no idea what it means to pledge their allegiance to something and it’s a shame they memorize the words but have no clue as to what they’re saying.

My goal is to not create robots, but free thinkers. I do this by simply educating and informing my kids of what it truly means to be allegiant to the United States and what those big words mean in the pledge they recite each morning.


This workbook is so easy to prepare and it’s something my kids always loved learning about. This packet combines a little language arts, handwriting, as well as an interactive component. Plus there’s coloring involved and who seriously doesn’t like to color?

What’s Included...

The United States of America

In this section, students quickly locate their state and it’s membership to the United States of America. You can easily slide in geography standards or objectives here by having students locate their state on a U.S. map!

Color, Paste, and Match
Students have pictures that they must color and match to the correct section of the pledge. If you want differentiation, skip the matching pictures and have your students create pictures of their own that reflect each line of the pledge.

Practice language arts and handwriting by having students copy and write the pledge line by line. Discuss with your class the reason certain words are capitalized and others aren’t, punctuation found throughout, and introduce new vocabulary.

Interactive Pages
This workbook has many interactive pages where students work together to learn the different terms found in the pledge. This is a snapshot of ‘and to the Republic’ where students practice voting to make a decision, which is similar to how our government works today.

After completing this lesson I found that my students stood a little taller during the morning announcements when they recited the pledge and I have to say it makes me heart happy to see that.

How do you tackle beginning of the year objectives in Social Studies?

8 comments

  1. We do lots of activities related to being a good citizen in the classroom. I am excited about this because next year we will be adding social studies objectives about the symbols of the US. Fingeres crossed.

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    1. What is one of your favorite activities with your kids? I love covering Social Studies!

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  2. We read books and do activities about friendship, citizenship and community at the beginning of the year.

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    1. Is there any read alouds you’d be willing to share? I love finding new resources to engage students and supplement my lessons :)

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  3. Online videos, books, and brainstorming are just a few of the ways I teach citizenship.

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  4. This is my first year teaching 2nd grade do I would love using this to start out the year!

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    1. How fun! I personally love second grade...what state do you teach in? Good luck this upcoming year!

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  5. We have to teach the U.S. & Texas pledges in 2nd grade.

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Thank you for sharing!