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ERIC Number: EJ1002597
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1056-0300
"They Mean Something More!" Teaching about Symbols Using Balanced Integration
Vesperman, Dean P.; Bernens-Kinkead, Donna J.; Loudermilk, Liesl S.; Newsom, Gladys I. M.
Social Studies and the Young Learner, v25 n1 p10-12 Sep-Oct 2012
Since the election of 1796, buttons, slogans, and, most importantly, symbols have become a mainstay of the American election system. The log cabin symbolized the childhoods of Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln; the sun represented hope on Barack Obama's 2008 presidential election posters. Many people without formal instruction in what symbols mean understood the messages these symbols were intended to convey because symbols are a powerful tool of communication. In this article, the authors describe and consider their efforts to teach the importance of symbols as a powerful means of communication in an integrated, cross curricular social studies/art project. In designing this project, they kept the following in mind: Integration is a tool not a goal; it should be planned; and it should reflect balance between the subjects being integrated. They considered the following key questions: How can they teach students to understand the importance of symbols as a means of communication? How can they organize lessons that prompt students to think artistically, master social studies concepts, and meet important curricular standards using a balanced approach to integration? The project described here was implemented with a fourth grade class. (Contains 7 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800: Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A