Lets Celebrate Our Land!

K, 1, 2

This culminating activity gives students an opportunity to share their new knowledge with others. They spread the word that "commons" are needed, and that when people work together nothing is impossible.

Lesson Rating 
PrintFour Thirty-Forty Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • describe Woody Guthrie's beliefs and the importance of "commons."
  • explain that volunteers are important in a community.
  • Recording of This Land Is Your Land (see Bibliographical References)
  • Book, This Land Is Your Land (see Bibliographical References)
  • Cardboard or tag board
  • Various colors of tempera paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Four sheets (the same size) of bulletin board paper
  • Black permanent marker
  • Guthrie, Woody and Arlo Guthrie. This Land Is Your Land. Rounder Kids C8050. Rounder Records Corp., 1997.
  • Guthrie, Woody and Kathy Jakobsen. This Land Is Your Land. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1998.


  1. Anticipatory Set: Before playing the recording of "This Land Is Your Land," ask students to think back to the second lesson when they named places that were in the song. Tell them to try to remember them because they will be listing them after singing. Sing the song, using the book as a guide if you like.


  2. Have learners list the places mentioned in the song. Continue until your list is complete. (California, Diamond Desert, New York Island, Redwood Forest, Gulf Stream Waters, Golden Valley, Sparkling Sands)

  3. Have the children choose the place they would like to work on until all places on the list are selected. If your class is large, duplicates could be made or some of the places could be made very large with student partners.

  4. Tell students that they will be making a cardboard cut-out of the place that they have chosen. Supply the class with sheets of cardboard or tag board, pencils, various colors of tempera paint, and paint brushes.

  5. Instruct students to pencil in their design first before painting. Also tell them to try to make them large. They should be able to be recognized from across the room.

  6. On the following day the teacher, or the students if they are capable, should cut out the cardboard shapes.

  7. Review information about Woody Guthrie's life and other concepts that have been learned in this unit. Brainstorming and leading questions may help the class to recall facts. Write the brainstormed ideas on the board. Ideas could include:

    • Woody Guthrie wanted the world to be a better and fairer place for all.
    • *Woody Guthrie felt strongly about "commons."
    • Woody Guthrie traveled around the United States singing songs for all kinds of people. He gave them hope that their life would get better.
    • *Definitions of: "commons," relief office, community, volunteer, philanthropy, private and public.
    • There are "commons" areas in the school and community. * Note: Include the above facts as they are part of primary unit objectives.
  8. Ask the students to write at least one fact about Woody Guthrie's life, beliefs, songs or about something that they have learned during this unit. Instruct the students to use the brainstormed list if they like. (Kindergarten students could dictate a fact; 2nd graders could write up to three or four facts.) When the students have finished their writing, have them take turns reading their facts to the class.

  9. On the following day, the teacher will need to prepare ahead of time by tracing a map of the United States and to create an enlarged projection to trace in four quarters. You will be making a big floor map on four big pieces of construction paper. Be careful to use the same size and distance from the wall so each quarter is proportional.

  10. Arrangethe class into four groups. Each group will work together to trace one quarter of projected map on to the paper. (Note: The students will have to pay attention to where they stand or they will block the outlines.

  11. As each group finishes the drawing they may begin to paint their map section. The students need to be sure that states are different colors from the ones they border. When the maps are dry, the students will label the states using a black, permanent marker. The teacher will tape the four quarters together to make a large floor map. Explain to the class that they will make a presentation using the cut outs, fact sheets and floor map. They can make a presentation for parents or other classes, or both. The class can make invitations for their parents or the teacher could send a notice home.


  12. Program Procedure The following is the order of what happens in the program. The teacher will need to use his/her discretion in assigning the parts to the students.

  13. Line up three introducers and between five and ten students to read their fact sheets. The other students will be in a line behind the front line, with their cut outs, in the order listed earlier in the lesson.

    • Student 1: Welcome! We have been learning a lot of different things lately.
    • Student 2: Many of the things we have learned about are in the Woody Guthrie song, This Land Is Your Land.
    • Student 3: It is our pleasure to share what we've learned with you.
  14. The following students in line will read their fact sheets to the audience. Note: The teacher will need to choose which students' fact sheets to use based on facts they named. No facts should be repeated in front of the audience.

  15. After the row of children are finished with their speaking parts, they will join the line of children that are standing behind them holding their cut outs .

  16. The class will sing the song This Land Is Your Land. Each time the cut out that a student is holding is mentioned in the song, the student will hold up his/her cut out.

  17. Next, the students will stand back as two students roll out the floor map in front of the line of students. Students will sing the song again starting with the chorus. This time different students will take turns walking the map when the following areas are named in the song.

    • Student 1: Walk from California to New York. When finished, the student will get back in the line.
    • Student 2: Walk from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream Waters, then get back in line.
  18. The class will sing the first verse. Then they will sing the chorus again, repeating the above procedure with different students.

  19. The class will sing the second verse. This time, when the chorus comes, they will ask the audience to join in.

  20. At the end a student will thank the audience for coming!


Assessment will be made on teacher's observation of learner participation.

Cross Curriculum 

The children will share their information in a program for parents and/or other classes in the school.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.9 Describe how philanthropic activities can bring about social change.