This challenge, which may serve as a culminating task for the inquiry, focuses on identifying and creating symbols for use in a new community flag. Begin by studying common landmarks in your community. (You may find it helpful to use an overhead or LCD projector to display the images.) Some towns have prominent landmarks that represent their cultural heritage (e.g., Vegreville, Wainwright and Medicine Hat have highly representative landmarks that are symbolic of their communities: pysanka, bison, teepee). As a class, discuss and list key features of the various symbols (e.g., match the community, interesting, realistic or colourful). Agree on three or four criteria that students will use to design representative symbols for their own community.
Review what students have learned throughout this inquiry about their community and its past. Invite students to discuss the importance or unique aspects of the community's heritage and then brainstorm ideas for suitable symbols to represent these features. Finally, using the criteria, invite students individually to design and recommend a symbol that best represents an important aspect of their community's heritage. You may want to adapt one of the charts and strategies for Justifying My Choice (Support Material) to assist students in selecting and explaining their recommendation.
Display pictures of flags of countries and discuss how the symbols on the flags represent things about the country or province (e.g., the maple leaf for Canada, the stars and stripes for the U.S.A., the infinity symbol for the M étis Nations of Alberta). Review the symbols students have recommended for their community and list them on the board or chart paper. Guide students to ensure that the list includes symbols of the past, cultural and linguistic roots, current landmarks, heritage and traditions of families in the community and Francophone and Aboriginal contributions to the community. Explain that their task is to make a flag that represents their community. Ask students to work with a partner to determine which symbols to include in the flag design. You may want to adapt one of the charts and strategies for Considering Options (Support Material) to assist students in selecting their choices of symbol.
Explain to students that their ideas will be drawn and then coloured on a large piece of paper. When students have settled on a final design and colour scheme, direct them to trace their design on a piece of cotton, using fabric crayons. Enlist the help of parent volunteers to help with the tracing and later ironing of the fabric crayons into the cotton. Hang the completed flags from the ceiling of the classroom or in prominent places in the school. You may wish to have students share their flags at a school assembly and/or invite your local newspaper to publish a picture of the community's "new" flags.