E.T. A LOCAL WAY OF LEARNING
Author: Jane Ducey
Eulalie R. Rivera Elementary School
Grade Level: 5-8
8. Values & Attitudes 1. Social Studies
2. Language Arts
Student shall use the flag as a tool for learning or reviewing the origin,
meaning of the flag and its use as a signal system. Student may also make
use of the pole for assorted measurements.
Symbols on flags have interesting origins. The Virgin Islands flag although
arbitrarily designed by the Navy commander then in charge of the islands was
recently, by referendum, retained by the majority of the island people. However,
although most people felt the symbol had for 60 years served the territory and
should be kept, many others would like to see an indigenous design that would
better reflect the islands.
1. Look at the flag and describe the thoughts you have about it at this moment.
Discuss the meaning of "symbol" and the meaning a country's flag has for the
people who live there.
2. Does the V.I. flag design contain elements that relate closely to the West
3. Do people tend to embrace change or do they prefer to retain things they grew
up with and are accustomed to seeing every day?
4. As an art project make a design for a flag which you feel would look good and
best represent the island scene on the eve of the 21st century.
5. List two reasons for having the flag at schools.
6. Why is the flag sometimes flown at half mast?
7. Using the Beaufort Wind Scale note the name and speed of the wind that shows
the flag extended.
8. Might the flag ever be flown upside down and what would it be a signal of in
9. By sight, estimate in feet the height of the flagpole from the base to the
10. Using either the artist-comparison method of measurement or the isosceles-
triangle method, measure in feet the height of the flagpole. Compare your
answer with your estimate.
11. Look at your watch to determine the time of day, and record it in this
space. Use a yardstick to measure the length of the
shadow cast by the flagpole, and place a marker at the top end of the shadow.
In what direction is the shadow of the flagpole cast?
Return to the flagpole several hours later, but while the sun is still shining.
Record the time of day.
Measure the length of the shadow now cast by the flagpole, and place a marker at
the top end of the shadow.
What is the difference in feet in the length of the present shadow and the
one cast several hours earlier?
In what direction is the shadow of the flagpole now cast? Explain the difference
between the two lengths of the shadow and the change in direction of the shadow
cast by the flagpole.
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