Ideas for Getting Started
What's the Dream Flag Project? That's a question we might want to start with to let our students know that we're doing something that's not just in our school, but in schools across the country and the world. This year, there will be students as far away as Nepal and Romania making Dream Flags, and there are students in at least nineteen of the United States. Here area some places to see what Dream Flags is all about:
Map of Dream Flag Sites Since 2003
This is an interactive map that shows all of the sites where Dream Flags have been created around the world. Click on a marker and you'll see the name of the school, city, state, and country. Zoom in to look around, our zoom out to see the whole Dream Flag world! This is our growing community of students who share their dreams with the world.
See some of the Dream Flags from past years—all styles and types, and ages.
This a collection of poem samples sent in by 14 different schools from Belize to Philadelphia to France and from all ages. PDF download.
Slide Show of Dream Flag Makers Around the World
This ten-minute video is slide show used at one of our Dream Flag Celebrations. Without any captions, it shows dreamers making flags and celebrating dreams across the USA and around the world.
Dream Flag Poetry Read by Students at Philadelphia Celebration
You can use samples from this 30-minute video to demostrate the variety of ideas and words that are used by Dream Flag makers of all ages. Poems are accompanied by a live musician, and there's a great introduction by Kerry Sautner, Director of Education at The National Constitution Center.
Tenth Anniversary Video
This five-minute video has explanation of the history of the project and some great clips of flags and student poets.
Building Community at Memphis Street Charter
This nine-minute video, created as part of an online workshop, tells how The Dream Flag Project worked at a city school in Philadelphia, narrated by Brandon Lee, the school's Community Director and including interviews with his students. It outlines the process they used.
"The Dream Keeper"
Students may want to get going right away, but it's great to start with a few Hughes poems that your students will like. "The Dream Keeper" is a sort of theme poem for this project. It's an easy one to memorize.
We can sing it as well with "The Dream Flag Song" Here are some useful links.
Hear “The Dream Flag Song.”
Music and words for “The Dream Flag Song”
It's also nice to start with some background on Langston Hughes. There are lots of books with this kind of information and some excellent web sites as well. Some of the sites have Hughes poetry and even a recording of him reciting his work! We have a list at Langston Hughes and Writing Resources.
Six Prompts for Dream Flag Poems
List of six prompts for guiding Dream Flag Poetry writing. Varying difficutly. PDF download suitable as a student handout.
Dream Flags Lesson Plan for Elementary and Middle School
If you want a lesson plan for the whole poetry part of the project, we have one designed for six forty-minute class periods.
It covers an introduction of Langston Hughes, some study of his poetry, and drafting of original dream poems by students.
Prayer Flag Background
Another place to start is with the idea that this project will take our dreams and make them fly. Our inspiration comes from the concept of Prayer Flags, and here's a page with some examples along and some explanation of how they are intended to bring good wishes and positive hope to all.