Lesson 11.4: Social Studies Connection

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Broad Stripes and Bright Stars

O, Say, Can You See?

Did you know that the “Star-Spangled Banner” was a flag before it became the name of our country's national anthem? The Star Spangled Banner is the official song of the United States.

Saving a National Symbol

The flag called the Star-Spangled Banner survived a battle in 1814. Today, it no longer flies. It lies flat on a table. Time, dust, and light have damaged it. Though it is frayed and torn in spots, after years of being cared for, the old flag is near recovery.

A team of experts at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., has been cleaning the flag. The museum is not trying to make the flag look new. It is trying to protect it and save its place in history.

The flag experts haven't been working on this national symbol behind closed doors. Visit the museum and you can look through the glass wall to see the flag and watch the experts work on it.

A Flag on View

The Star-Spangled Banner is too fragile, or delicate, to be hung up. Marilyn Zoidis, who works at the museum, says that the flag will be placed in a glass room, like the room in which it is being fixed.

The new space will allow experts to continue to care for the flag while it is on display. The temperature and light in the room will be just right to protect the flag. Zoidis expects this exhibit to be ready in 2006. She said, “The flag represents the ideals of America — equality and liberty for all.”

Word Wise

national anthem:
A song that represents a country: The Canadian national anthem was sung at the hockey game.

official:
Something that is set by authority: English is the official language of the United States.

survive:
To continue to exist: Our newly planted bushes survived the flood.

damage:
To harm or injure: Dad drove the car over something sharp that damaged a tire.

fray:
To wear away, to tear at the edges: My favorite pair of jeans are starting to fray.

expert:
Person who knows a lot about a particular thing: After studying butterflies for years, Jill has become an expert.

display:
Exhibit or show: Our drawings are on display near the auditorium.

ideal:
A conception of something in a perfect state: The serious athlete believes in the ideals of practice, teamwork, and playing fair.

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Activity

Words that have opposite meanings are called antonyms. One antonym of the word display is the word hide. Display and hide have opposite meanings.

Write each of the words in the list below on a piece of paper. Next to each word, write an antonym for the word. Do you know more than one antonym for each?

  • dirty
  • dark
  • open
  • old
  • fix
  • new

Data Hunt

Design a flag for your school. You may work with a partner if you like. You will need paper and drawing materials.

Here's how to make the flag.

  • Like the Star-Spangled Banner, your flag should have stars.
    Use one star for every class in your school.
    Find out how many stars you will need.
  • Make a star array using as many of your stars as possible.
    Remember, every row in the array must have an equal number of stars. If the number of stars is not divisible by any number, you will only have 1 row in your array.
    Think about where you can put your array on your flag.
  • Did you have any stars that did not fit into the array?
    If so, draw each of these stars bigger than the others.
    Think about where you can put these stars on your flag.
  • Put other pictures or symbols on your flag.
    Make sure that anyone could tell that your flag represents your school.
    Does your school have any school colors? Be sure to use these in your flag.
  • Present your flag to your class. Explain the colors and symbols you have chosen. Describe the array of stars on your flag. How many rows are in the array?
    How many columns? What is the total number of stars? How can you use multiplication to find the total number of stars?