ElseMarie Lund Peterson, oil on linen, 18x24 by Holli Harmon

ElseMarie Lund Peterson, oil on linen, 18x24 by Holli Harmon

This Land Was Made For You and Me  


Grade: 1st

Subject: Social Science  and/or CA History


Class Sessions: 1 to 2


Lesson Summary:

   “ The CCSS overview for First Grade History says the following: The classroom serves as a microcosm of society in which decisions are made with respect for individual responsibility, for other people, and for the rules by which we all must live: fair play, good sportsmanship, and respect for the rights and opinions of others. Students examine the geographic and economic aspects of life in their own neighborhoods and compare them to those of people long ago. Students explore the varied backgrounds of American citizens and learn about the symbols, icons, and songs that reflect our common heritage.” ElseMarie Lund Peterson is a Dutch woman who moved to Solvang when she was a young adult. She values both American and Danish Culture. Her story is an excellent to show First Grader’s what makes America both similar and different to other countries. Kids will enjoy seeing the unique parts of both American and Danish culture.


Lesson Objectives:

- Identify American and Denmark Symbols

- Locate Solvang, CA and Denmark on a map

- Compare and contrast a major holiday in America with that of a closely related Holiday in Denmark such as: Juledag (Three days of Christmas) or Grundlovsdag (Constitution Day).

- Listen to an American Folktale like Johnny Apple Seed, John Henry or Paul Bunyan along with a Danish Folktale like

- Understand how tourism provides a source of employment for towns like Solvang

- Create a bookmark for ‘shared values’ or other kind of large craft project



- Portrait of ElseMarie Petersen

- Video of ElseMarie Petersen by Holli Harmon and Tina Love

-Biography of ElseMarie Petersen

- Images of American Icons and Danish Icons

- Craft Materials for students to create a ‘shared values’ project

- Copies of the above suggested stories


Lesson Plan:


1. Tell students that today they are learning about culture, community and citizenship

2. Show the students a globe or map and point out three places: Wherever you are in California, Solvang,CA and Denmark.

3. Ask students if they have ever traveled.

4. Did they enjoy where they went? Would they live there?

5. Talk about what it would be like to move.

6. Show the portrait of ElseMarie Petersen

7. See. Think. Wonder

8. Transition to talking about Petersen’s dual cultural heritage as Danish and American.

9. Show the pictures.

10. Hand out supplies for student’s to make a map and connect each of the icons to its location.

a. Idea: Large piece of paper with an outline of the USA and an outline of Denmark. Students draw icons like the Liberty Bell, Mount Rushmore, Statue of Liberty, American Flag, Bald Eagle etc and Danish Icons like the Flag, clogs etc. Students will punch a hole and attach a piece of yarn where they will draw the yarn to the location on the map.


Lesson 2


1. Talk about different holidays that children enjoy celebrating.

Ask them what they love about the holiday and write examples

2. Compare and Contrast a Danish Holiday and An American Holiday using moving desk groups as stations, doing dress up or creating a diagram.

3. Talk about why the holidays are celebrated the way they are. Take into account, climate, culture and resources.

4. Students are introduced to the concept of ‘tourism’ as an industry.

5. Use desk or classroom stations to investigate how tourism works. There can be a desk dedicated to making souvenirs, a cultural presentation, places that have pictures or representations of local food and much more.

6. Help students identify the names and titles of people who may work in certain tourist industry jobs from museums to bakeries.



- Student’s ability to identify places on a basic map

- Student’s ability to participate in discussion and group observation activities

- Student’s understanding of cultural icons in America and around the world

- Participation in group activities and willingness to work with others.


Standards Addressed:

1.2 Students compare and contrast the absolute and relative locations of places and people and describe the physical and/or human characteristics of places.

1. Locate on maps and globes their local community, California, the United States, the seven continents, and the four oceans.

2. Compare the information that can be derived from a three-dimensional model to the information that can be derived from a picture of the same location.

3. Construct a simple map, using cardinal directions and map symbols.

4. Describe how location, weather, and physical environment affect the way people live, including the effects on their food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and recreation.



1.3 Students know and understand the symbols, icons, and traditions of the United States that provide continuity and a sense of community across time.

1. Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing songs that express American ideals (e.g., “My Country ’Tis of Thee”).

2. Understand the significance of our national holidays and the heroism and achievements of the people associated with them.

3. Identify American symbols, landmarks, and essential documents, such as the flag, bald eagle, Statue of Liberty, U.S. Constitution, and Declaration of Independence, and know the people and events associated with them.


1.4 Students compare and contrast everyday life in different times and places around the world and recognize that some aspects of people, places, and things change over time while others stay the same.

1. Examine the structure of schools and communities in the past.

2. Study transportation methods of earlier days.

3. Recognize similarities and differences of earlier generations in such areas as work (inside and outside the home), dress, manners, stories, games, and festivals, drawing from biographies, oral histories, and folklore.


1.5 Students describe the human characteristics of familiar places and the varied backgrounds of American citizens and residents in those places.

1. Recognize the ways in which they are all part of the same community, sharing principles, goals, and traditions despite their varied ancestry; the forms of diversity in their school and community; and the benefits and challenges of a diverse population.

2. Understand the ways in which American Indians and immigrants have helped define Californian and American culture.

3. Compare the beliefs, customs, ceremonies, traditions, and social practices of the varied cultures, drawing from folklore.


1. 6 Students understand basic economic concepts and the role of individual choice in a free-market economy.

1. Understand the concept of exchange and the use of money to purchase goods and services.

 2. Identify the specialized work that people do to manufacture, transport, and market goods and services and the contributions of those who work in the home.


Created By: Katherine Kwong Intern Fall 2016