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Flag Day

Math Lesson
for Flag Day


The students will explore the number 50.


  • Groups of 50 items for each pair or small group of students.  (Use items such as counting bears, unifix cubes, pennies, toothpicks, beans, etc.)  If working as a whole class, only one group of items will be needed.



  1. Discuss the number 50.  Relate it to the U.S. flag and how there are 50 stars, one for each state. 
  2. Put the students in pairs or small groups.  (With younger students, this lesson may want to be done as a whole class.)  Give each group of students their 50 items.
  3. Guide the students through a session of grouping the items in different amounts.  For example, start with putting them in piles of 10's.  Practice counting by 10's.  Do the same for groups of 5's and 2's.  Have two of the groups combine their items and count them to see what 50 + 50 =.  

Other Lesson Ideas

  • Explore the number 13 (since there are 13 stripes on the flag).
  • Have a lesson on symmetry.  Print out pictures of symmetrical flags and ones that are not symmetrical.  Use the following link for assistance in finding pictures, National Flags.   Cut the pictures or fold them in half to demonstrate symmetry.  Are both halves the same or are they different?  Have the students draw one of the symmetrical flags and one of the asymmetrical flags for concept reinforcement.  Using the coloring printouts at the following web site may be helpful Coloring Book Of Flags.  Drawing a dotted line down the center of the flag, or folding it in half will help with concept mastery. 
  • Have pictures of different flags available for the students to view.  Explore how patterns are used in flags.
  • Have a lesson on 1/2 by discussing a flag flying at half mast.
  • Have the students make small flags out of straws (for the flag pole) and pieces of rectangular construction paper.  Once their flags are complete, work as a whole class to create patterns in how the flags are placed.  For example, a flag pointing to the left, a flag pointing to the right, etc.  Or one student holding a flag over his head, another student holding a flag by his waist, etc.  Therefore, the students bodies and flags are part of the pattern.

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