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Cover the bottom of a paper towel roll with heavy paper. Drop beans, rice, sand, small pebbles, bells, and/or other desired "noisemakers" into the tube, then cover the top end. (I use plain white paper with two criss-cross layers of clear packing tape to hold it in place.) Wrap tube in red, white, or blue paper, and decorate as desired. Red or blue masking tape stripes on white paper are one possibility. Star stickers offer another easy options. Colored or painted designs afford a third ... the possibilities are limited only by one's imagination. As a finishing touch, add crepe paper streamers (cut 2-inch crepe paper into 1/2-inch to 1-inch wide strips) to each end. Crank upsome Sousa tunes and march, march, march.
From a sponge, cut out star shapes. Cut another rectangular sponge into 1" strips.
Provide children with red, blue, white, gold, and orange paints; 6-8" pieces of yarn; disposable toothbrushes; and paint smocks. Cover painting area with newspaper or plastic, and make sure no portion of children's clothing is exposed.
Give each child a small piece of paper (half sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 or A4 paper work well), and direct children to cover the paper completely with one or more bright crayons or oil pastels. Once papers are completely covered -- no white showing -- have children color over the bottom layer of colors with a black or dark blue crayon or oil pastel. (Oil pastels are ideal for this project, but crayons will work.) Once the papers are completely covered in black, hand each child a wooden scratch stick. Encourage them to scratch patriotic designs onto the paper and allow the bottom layer of color to shine through.
Give each child a piece of white paper between 4" x 6" and 6" x 8". Direct children to draw scenes from the Revolutionary War on their papers. After drawings are complete, show children how to mount drawings on red construction paper. (Red paper should exceed dimensions of white paper by at least one inch.) After pictures have been mounted on red paper, they may be mounted on a sheet of blue poster board in chronological order. Children may then neatly print or type labels (one sentence to one paragraph, depending on language ability) to describe their drawings.
Ask children to look at the American flag and name the colors it contains. Explain that each color used in a flag has a special meaning. In the American flag, for instance, the blue stands for justice, the white stands for purity, and the red stands for courage.
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