National Anthem Project

The anniversary of the penning of our National Anthem is September 14th.  MENC, the National Association for Music Education, has made this historic date an annual event!  In an effort to help get Americans singing again, they have called this “The Campaign to Restore America’s Voice.”  Schools across the nation will participate in this event by gathering together on September 14th to sing the National Anthem.

Last year, my school participated in this event.  We held an assembly on the date, gathering hundreds of children ages 3 through 10.  We reviewed the events of the day with a PhotoStory made by our fourth graders, heard the entire poem recited and finally sang together.  That moment was amazing: the entire school coming together as a community of American children and adults.

It was a great example of school-wide arts integration.  Many (if not all) teachers took time out of their first week of school to teach the history of the poem by Francis Scott Key.  They helped them learn the lyrics and the etiquette of singing the song.  Some classes made artistic representations of the battle at Fort McHenry and others used the history of the song to practice story structure and story telling as well as oral skills.  New vocabulary was introduced and sentence exploration occurred. (Declarative and interrogative sentences are used throughout.)  All because of one very powerful song.  My class was in charge of creating the movie.  They used my netbook loaded up with PhotoStory to import relevant pictures, record narration and lay down the music.

Today, as we remember September 11th, we also are reminded of how fortunate we are to be Americans.  To be free and able to learn and teach.  We are free to gather together and sing our hearts out.

Music is one of those art forms that can truly connect people and create a community.  And that is what the National Anthem does for us at the beginning of a baseball game and before a national event.

This Tuesday, my school’s community will gather together again, take a moment to remember the importance of freedom and raise our voices in song.

If you are interested in learning more about this event (including resources, music and history) go to this site:


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Article by Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth Peterson has devoted her life to education and to reaching out to other teachers who want to remain inspired. Mrs. Peterson teaches fourth grade in Amesbury, Massachusetts and is the host of She holds an M.Ed. in Education, “Arts and Learning” and a C.A.G.S. degree with a focus in “Arts Leadership and Learning.” Elizabeth is author of Inspired by Listening, a teacher resource book that includes a method of music integration she has developed and implemented into her own teaching. She teaches workshops and courses on the integration of the arts into the curriculum and organizes the annual summer Teacher Art Retreat. Mrs. Peterson believes there is a love of active, integrated learning in all children and from their enthusiasm, teachers can shape great opportunities to learn.
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  1. Great post and fantastic school project! I wish more teachers and schools did arts integration projects.

  2. E Trask says:

    This was a terrific article about a wonderful project. I might be a little old-fashioned, but if we do not teach patriotism to our students early, it will be perceived as corny when they are an age when it should be most important. Thanks for doing this.

  3. kellygoldberg18 says:

    What a wonderful project! I’m thinking of suggesting it within my K-8 school…a wonderful way to honor 9/11 might be to spend social studies class that day as the commencement of preparing for the 14th. Thank you!

  4. Hi Ethel and Kelly, Thanks for your comments.

    Kelly, It would be wonderful to implement the project into your school! Let me know if I can help you. Here is the link to a video I made explaining the project and how it can be brought to your school.
    Please feel free to use it!

  5. Here is another link to the story of the National Anthem. It was sent to me by one of my colleagues at school. It would be great for older students in Middle and High School and even adults!

  6. Mary Linda Krikorian says:

    It is such a thrilling time in my classroom whenever the opportunity arises to cover the National Anthem! I pull up my maps, books, pictures, and all sorts of props to stir up enthusiasm about the subject. Before I even start the lesson, I ask for previous knowledge from the kiddos. It always excites me to hear what they know about the subject particularly before I start the lesson. I learn something every single time from them. Our country’s heritage ought to be of the utmost importance.

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