As a music teacher, I feel a great responsibility and duty to educate our nation’s youth on the history of our country through our music. American music tells the story of our country, from its birth and through the years – our turmoil, grief, victories, and liberties. Each school year I spend a good deal of time talking about, listening to, and singing the National Anthem. I hope to make some kind of impression on my students so as adults, they are the ones in the stadiums with their hats removed, standing respectfully tall, and proudly singing each and every note and word of National Anthem.
I would like to share some videos and activities and other resources that I use to help teach the “Star-Spangled Banner” and to celebrate its birthday every September 14th.
This first video is created by Rev. Dudley Rutherford of California. His site, www.flagrespect.com, plays a 9:11 video on the history of the “Star-Spangled Banner” (do you notice the coincidence of the length of the video and a date that passed earlier this week?) I play this video for my students in the week leading up to September 14 and I think it does an amazing job of giving life to what many feel is a dead song. It restores passion for a country and a song who’s lost its voice.
This second video is one I created for my school to play on its morning news show each year on September 14. Its short, sweet, and to the point. The video also gets kids singing which is a huge deal! They’re never going to learn it if they don’t get to practice it!!!
Also, here is a links to some fantastic National Anthem activities and resources through the National Anthem Project…
- Have a school-wide celebration
- Standards-based lesson plans on the National Anthem
- Promote in publications with logos
How do you celebrate the “Star-Spangled Banner’s” birthday? What do you think of these videos and activities? How will you use these in your classes?