Teaching Cleveland
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High School Edition: 9-12

Lesson 45

Pride in Cleveland


After creating a timeline of Cleveland "firsts", and reviewing the city seal, city flag and city motto, students will create a new seal, flag and motto, reflecting what they think is important about Cleveland today.



  1. What are some of the important events in history that happened first in Cleveland?
  2. What does the city seal and city flag look like? What is the city motto?
  3. How would you design the city seal and flag to represent Cleveland today? What would be an appropriate motto?


  1. Divide students into cooperative teams. Distribute Handout 1 - Cleveland Firsts. Divide the number of "firsts" (24) among the groups and explain to students that the class will be creating a timeline of Cleveland "firsts." Each group will be required to make a poster for each event they have been assigned from Handout #1. Each poster must have the date in bold letters on the top of the paper, however, encourage them to be creative with the rest of the poster, being certain to highlight the event. Students may also research each event. (The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History would be an excellent source)
  2. When teams have finished their posters and research, they are to arrange their date in chronological order. Then the class will create their timeline of "Cleveland Firsts" beginning with 1863 and ending with 1968. The timeline could be created in the classroom or hall and should be titled "Timeline of Cleveland Firsts".
  3. Discuss with students the purpose of seals, flags and mottoes. (To show representation and pride in a country or state. Used in ceremonies and as symbols to represent the country or state.) Show examples of the flag, seal and motto of the United States and Ohio, or flags, etc. from other countries. Then present the seal, flag, and motto of Cleveland. Have students brainstorm ideas of what they think make Cleveland a special city. They may use events and ideas from the past and present.
  4. Explain to students that they have just been hired by the city to design a new seal, flag and motto for the city of Cleveland. Their designs should be representative of what they think is unique about Cleveland today. Teams will then present and explain their designs to the class.

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