"Symbols of America" Featured in Free Whiteboard Interactive Lessons for Elementary Social Studies Classrooms

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Pearson Expands Offerings for Time-crunched Teachers during Tough Economic Times

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Can you imagine the turkey instead of the bald eagle as our national symbol? Just picture the one-dollar bill. It almost happened. Most Americans are not aware that the Founding Fathers debated between these two birds when considering our national emblem in the 1800s. In the end, the bald eagle, which is unique to the United States, won out because it symbolized strength, courage, freedom, and immortality.

Such striking and intriguing facts pepper the back story of America's historic national icons like the Statue of Liberty, Old Glory, and the Liberty Bell. And now the nation's teachers have a new, free resource to help bring these revered images to life for elementary students: Symbols of America, a set of interactive whiteboard lessons and activities from the education services and technology company Pearson.

The lessons, found at http://www.pearsonschool.com/symbolsofamerica, align with state standards and delve into the history of the nation through a question-led exploration of key cultural icons that represent the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As an interactive learning tool, Symbols of America can be shared in the classroom on any digital whiteboard, LCD projector, or computer. The symbols can also be viewed on Flickr: http://flickr.com/pearsoneducation.

"We know that times are tight for many schools right now, so we hope our free Symbols of America whiteboard activities will extend interactive learning into more social studies classrooms to engage and educate young people about the iconic symbols of our nation," said Michael Gee, Pearson's vice president for the humanities. He added, "With the Symbols of American program, we want to add a compelling, interactive resource to every time-crunched teacher's educational toolkit."

The first lesson available for downloading immediately features the American flag. Through this lesson, students and teachers will explore this important symbol in American culture through video, songs, and interactive activities.

For example, by touching a digital copy of Old Glory on the whiteboard screen, students can discover the meaning behind the flag's stars and stripes, or they can examine an animated map that showcases America's 27 official and 11 unofficial flags through the decades. Meant to engage students like today's video games, the lesson's karaoke-like feature allows students to sing along to The Star Spangled Banner as the words scroll across the screen or learn the Pledge of Allegiance.

Additional lessons will be released in the coming months and will highlight other key American symbols including Mt. Rushmore, the Liberty Bell, the monuments in Washington, D.C., the St. Louis Arch, and the Alamo. Each set of activities will explore the unique features of these figures with an emphasis on vocabulary and key social studies objectives. All will be available for download free of charge.

Once teachers download the free lessons, Pearson is encouraging them to provide feedback to inform the next set of activities with real classroom experience. To download the lessons or provide feedback, visit http://www.pearsonschool.com/symbolsofamerica.

About Pearson
Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education services, technology and school solutions, provides innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to http://www.pearsoned.com.

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Stacy Skelly
Pearson
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