Employ the flags of the world to introduce mathematical concepts like shapes, colors, lines, and the idea of following sequential directions. In this activity, kids create an African flag notebook, but to do so, they need to use math...and drawing skills! This engrossing activity provides an opportunity to discuss and research the different countries of Africa, plus kids have a cool souvenir when they're done.
What You Do:
- Have your child label and decorate the front of the journal or notebook. Consider having it resemble a reference book and give it an official title, such as African Flag Atlas.
- For the first flag, model the process of observing the flag's separate components. Show your child an image of an African flag and discuss the different shapes and colors. He may want to begin with a simple flag, such as that of the Ivory Coast or Guinea.
- Ask your child to draw a rectangle as the outline of the flag. You can draw one first if your child needs the review.
- Either describe or draw an example of how to fill in the flag's design. Give step-by-step directions, pausing to allow your child to perform each step.
- Have your child label the flag with the name of the country to which it pertains. Your child can also number the page in his flag book.
- As your child progresses, try to move away from drawing or modeling the creation of a flag, and rely more on merely describing the shapes and colors of the flag. Eventually introduce more advanced mathematical concepts such as diagonal lines, centered images, and even parallel or perpendicular lines.
This activity will show your child how to create a meaningful symbol and, eventually, compile a reference book. After instructing your child in how to draw a day's particular flag, you can extend the activity by researching facts and looking at images relevant to the flag's country.
Serena Makofsky has a multiple subjects teaching credential with an emphasis in cross-cultural instruction. She taught in inner city classrooms for many years. She also writes curriculum for English language learners.