Celebrations: ‘The Pennant Project’

School/Teacher/Classroom or Arts Organization/Mentor: Whittier International Elementary School

Grade Level or Age of Participants: Kindergarten

MCAD Teaching Artist:  Beta DeFlorian

Number of Students: 25 Students

Visual Arts Content or Standards

K - 3, Creating and making meaning using symbols and color to construct physical pennants reflecting experiences based around celebrations.

Subject: 2. Social Studies: Peoples, Cultures, and Change Over Time

Strand: 2. Artistic Process: Create or Make

Standard: 1. Create or make in a variety of contexts in the arts area using the artistic foundations

Arts: Visual Arts


Benchmark : 1. Create original two and three-dimensional artworks to express ideas, experiences, or stories.

Curricular Link / Standards

Standard: 4. The differences and similarities of cultures around the world are attributable to their diverse origins and histories, and interactions with other cultures throughout time.


Benchmark: 1. Compare and contrast traditions in a family with those of other families, including those from diverse backgrounds. For example: How families celebrate or commemorate personal milestones such as birthdays, family or community religious observances, the new year, national holidays such as the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving.

Overview of Project

Students will learn about the purpose of pennants and how they can function in the name of celebration. Students will think about celebrations they take part in and create their own symbols or use existing symbols to represent their celebration of choice. Students will create one or more symbols and think about the role light plays in their celebration, perhaps adding that to their pennant using glitter cardstock. Outcomes are open to all celebrations and interpretations based around personal experience.

“Big Ideas”/ Essential Question(s)

°       How can celebrations and personal experiences of celebration be expressed through symbols?

°       How do we read symbols?

°       How are celebrations be depicted by symbols and color choice?

°       How do symbols reflect us?

°       Are certain symbols easier to see in our everyday life than others?

Student Outcome Objectives

 Students will:

  1. Reflect on celebrations they take part in, in both their personal experience and their classroom

  2. Examine existing symbols in order to implement symbols of their own

  3. Recognize and utilize specific colors essential to certain celebrations

  4. Examine what makes one celebration stand out from another and use those aspects to create unique art surrounding those ideas and themes


Prior Knowledge

 °       How to use scissors and glue

°       How to draw shapes

°       Knowledge of different colors

°       Knowledge of celebrations discussed in class or experienced personally


Lesson Preparation Timeline 

Ongoing Through February: Discuss Ideas with Kindergarten Teachers

March 1st: Meet with Lynda One-On-One

March 21st-24th: Material Preparation (Buying Materials, Cutting Paper and Felt, Gluing Strings)

March 24th: Create Exemplar

March 25th: Teach at Whittier International Elementary School

Examples of Artwork/References

Additional Resources

Teaching: https://www.teacher.org/resource/teaching-holidays/

Inspiration: https://oxfordpennant.com/


How will you know that the students learned what you intended and met the student outcome objectives? What will quality work look like?

The Teaching Artist will know students learned what was intended and produced quality work if the students have completed at least one symbol on their pennant and chosen colors deliberately associated with their celebration. A lot of the assessment is going around from student to student and asking what celebration they have chosen to depict and how they think their symbol shows that with their color choices. This sort of assessment is used within the classroom currently, if a majority of students seemed to have grasped the project and can communicate that to both the head teacher and teaching artist, the project is considered successful. It is possible the head teacher may ask for feedback afterwards as kids begin to transition, instead of the Teaching Artist so students can produce honest answers.


°       Assorted Colored Felt Sheets (19 Assorted Colors)

°       ¾ Yard of Neutral Colored Felt Cut into 25 6.5” x 10” Individual Pennants

°       ¼ Yard of Black Felt cut for Pennant End Trim

°       2 Sharp Fabric Scissors for Teacher Use

°       Hanging Material – Black Ribbon 3/8 of an Inch x 10 Yards (Cut into 5 Inch Segments for Hanging)

°       2 Sheets 12” x 12” Gold Cardstock cut into 3” x 3” Squares for Each Student

°       Tacky Glue – Mini Bottles

°       Markers to Draw Shapes on Felt

Learning Activities and Timing

Distribution of materials prior to children’s arrival in the classroom (5 Minutes)

Teaching Artist will go around and put a single pennant in each student’s spot and colored felt and pre-cut felt shapes on the tables along with mini tacky glue bottle so students are ready to work when they get into the classroom. Some kids may struggle using the glue, so teachers also will assist with this.

PowerPoint Introduction to Pennants and Symbols (5 Minutes)

Teaching Artist will run through PowerPoint in order to teach students about the function of pennants and a recap about celebrations and symbols they experience/know.

Student Work Time – (20 Minutes Maximum)

Students will start ideating and drawing symbols, teachers will walk around to cut out shapes since sharp scissors are needed, students will also be gluing symbols to pennants after things are cut. Students can also use precut shapes at this time to create their symbols.

Clean Up (5 Minutes)

Students and teachers will gather felt scraps and clean up tables.

Personal Construction of Pennant Banner (10 Minutes)

Once students have left, the Teaching Artist will personally string all pennants in order to be hung up for display.


Teaching Artist Reflection

What problems are anticipated with this lesson?

Some students may be extremely confused even after the presentation and need more personal explanation. Also, some students may have a hard time thinking of symbols to make or use.

How does this project fit into overall curriculum planning or art experience for the classroom or organization?

This project fits into the curriculum because it integrates pennants, an object of celebration and support, into the social studies topic of literal celebrations or holidays. The creating and making of meaning within symbols and colors to reflect and depict experiences based around celebrations, is combining various aspects of 2D and 3D art and social studies.


How will your students’ work be shared with the larger community?

The Pennants will be hung in the hallway for faculty, students, parents and other guardians to see.


How will you receive feedback on your teaching methodology and quality of student work?

The Teaching Artist will receive feedback from the head teacher via written response.