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The following activities can be useful to activate prior knowledge or to stimulate discussion on what constitutes a symbol.

Symbols ID(PDF 96 KB)

Use this symbols identification activity to generate discussion about what a symbol is.

Symbols KWL(PDF 36 KB)

Choose a symbol. Have students brainstorm what they KNOW, WONDER and have LEARNED about this symbol, using this graphic organizer.


Symbols tell a story. The following stories by Canadian authors are about specific symbols, and can be read aloud to generate class discussion.

  • Roch Carrier's The Hockey Sweater
  • Karen Levine's Hana's Suitcase
  • Eleanor Coerr's Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Symbols Hike

Go for a walk and identify symbols found in your

  • classroom
  • school
  • community

Consider flags, logos on buildings, emblems on licence plates, mascots and crests, and symbols on currency.

Symbols Road Show

Ask your students to bring to class an item that is symbolic to their family or home. Encourage students to share the stories behind the symbols. Alternatively, ask your students to draw a picture of something of symbolic meaning to them or to their family.