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Time To Celebrate

On quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies is written the phrase "E pluribus unum," "One out of many." What does it mean?

What you'll need:
U.S. coins
Map of the world
History log

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What to do:

  1. Have your children look at U.S. coins for the expression "E pluribus unum", and translate it for them: "One out of many." Explain to them that it refers to America as one nation with many peoples and cultures, and that it is not a common nationality but shared democratic values that bind us as a nation.

  2. With your children talk about the following list of holidays celebrated in the United States. Look at a calendar to add other holidays, and next to each holiday write when it is celebrated and what is celebrated.   See list of holidays >>

  3. Use the opportunity of talking about what holidays celebrate to read original sources. For example: on Presidents' Day read one of the great presidential speeches such as the Gettysburg Address; on Martin Luther King's Day read the "I Have a Dream" speech.

  4. Find holidays celebrated in other nations. Classmates, neighbors, and relatives from other countries are good sources of information.

  5. Think and talk about other important holidays our nation should celebrate.

  6. Discuss what your family celebrates, and have your children write about the discussion in their history log.

Questions to ask:
What kinds of accomplishments or events do we celebrate in America? What similarities and differences did you find between American holidays and holidays celebrated by people from other countries?

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