Discover the symbolism and story behind the mysterious Great Seal of the United States. This engaging middle grade activity uses visual thinking approaches that guide students through the story of the nation's Great Seal and the symbolism contained within it.
Students begin with a "See, Think, Wonder" routine before taking on the actual story of the Great Seal. After that, they complete a "Challenge Investigation" in which they examine both sides of the seal and try to "crack the code" of all the visual symbolism on the seal, especially the frequent use of the number 13.
The lesson concludes with an assessment task that requires students to create their own personal "Great Seal" using figurative symbols as opposed to literal text. I've used this lesson many times over the years and I can honestly say that students always enjoy the mystery/puzzle aspects of it!