Third Grade Talks American Symbols – An Interaction with History and Current Events
Walk into any classroom at Episcopal School of Nashville and you will find children ranging in ages from four to twelve engaged in lively discussion. Recently, we listened as the third-grade class talked about American symbols. After more than a week of studying the history of such symbols as the Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Bell, students were challenged to think about new American symbols, what would make them significant, and why they think so.
Some students presented themes related to current events and topics: COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and the dismantling of walls. Others mentioned shapes that would include all people and colors that would not leave anyone out. One student wrote: “I think a pot of multi-colored flowers would make a good symbol because the flowers show that we are all different, and they all need water, and all drink the same. We are all different and we all believe in different things, but we all love.” Another student shared, “I think a new American symbol is a triangle to remind us the whole world is odd. Our differences make us special. If we know we are all special, we know we are all important.”
Sitting in the back of this room, no one could deny the authenticity and heart of these students. As they blend their historical references with their current concerns, not only is there evidence of critical thinking skills learned, there is also the fusion of education and heart, a present theme in any classroom on this campus.