Betsy Ross’s 5-pointed star + 4th of July activities

Flag of the United States from 1777 to 1795.

Click on the image above to see it larger in a new window.

In honor of Independence Day we thought it would be fun to look at one story about the first American Flag.

The rough design of the flag was drawn by a committee of George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross in 1776.  When approached by the committee, George Ross's niece, a respected seamstress, Betsy Ross, suggested some important changes.  One change was to use a 5-pointed star to represent each of the 13 colonies. The committee objected that a pentagram would be too hard to make. Betsy demonstrated that she could create the desired star by simply folding fabric and making just one scissors cut.  So, the design was changed.

How did she do that fold and cut?

The activity: BetsyRossStar.pdf

CCSS: 7.G.B, 8.G, HSG.CO

For members we have an editable Word docx and one solution to the folded line task.

BetsyRossStar.docx       FoldLines-solution.pdf

We also have two previous activities for the Fourth of July.

Fireworks on your calculator!

Students experiment with their graphing calculators to create a fireworks display?  They manipulate parabolas and adjust their calculator windows.  We have a brief activity with task questions.


Flag Art


A little ratio art might be a fun way to get ready for the Fourth of July. In this activity students measure; create whole number ratios for the official U.S. flag; decide how our artistic flags will be different from the official flag; make stars from regular pentagons, and finally create their own flag design.

CCSS: 4.NBT, 4.NFB, 5.NBT, 5.NF.B, 6.RP.1, 6.RP.2, 6.RP.3, 7.RP.1, 7.RP.2, 7.G.1


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.