Oh, Say Can You See?

The Flag Maker by Susan Campbell Bartoletti tells the story of how the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key was created and used during the War of 1812. Told from the perspective of Caroline Pickersgill, the twelve-year-old daughter of Mary the flag maker, this story shows the work involved in creating the large flag and shares what life was like back then. Basic facts about Fort McHenry’s role during the war and the battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner are also included in this story. The illustrations by Claire A. Nivola are detailed and help add to the historical perspective.

Last summer I had the opportunity to visit Fort McHenry and view this flag in the Smithsonian museum. I was in awe. It is exciting to see a part of history. The next best thing is experiencing it in a book. The Flag Maker and other historical picture books are great ways to share these experiences with students and strengthen and broaden their understanding of our history.

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