National Anthem Activities

National Anthem project day is coming up quickly!  I love this day.  It is a great way to celebrate Patriotism and music as September 14 is the anniversary of the penning of the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key.

The National Anthem project was started by MENC, the Music Educators National Convention in a mission to get America singing the National Anthem again.  Their work in re-cultivating a love for the anthem has been wonderful.

For the past four years, I have worked with teachers in my school to conduct an assembly each year on the morning of the 14th to get students and staff excited and singing the Star Spangled Banner.  Each year our fourth graders have led the school by reciting original, Patriotic poetry, showing an informative video about the history of the song, reciting the entire Star Spangled Banner poem and of course, singing the National Anthem with pride.

To see what we have done in the past years, please visit these posts:

Remembering 9/11, Celebrating 9/14

The National Anthem Project Explained in Video

National Anthem Project

Here is the video one of my classes produced about the penning of the poem.  Please use it in your own classrooms!

You can also watch this video on YouTube.

This year, I wanted to provide you with additional classroom activities to try with your students.  I have two resources to share.  One is from MENC and includes music and poetry based activities.  In addition I would like to share a fantastic resource.   The Joe Foss Institute has a page filled with information and classroom activities for the National Anthem including links to see the flag that inspired the lyrics and to Fort McHenry’s site.  (Please scroll for the links to these websites.)

In light of all the Patriotic anniversaries that land in the next week:  Patriot Day (September 11), National Anthem (project) Day (September 14),  and Constitution Day (September 17)I thought I would share with you the video that explains the Joe Foss Institute.  Normally I wouldn’t just send you to another website, but this organization is filled with the American spirit and wants to reach out to the youth of the country and those who educate them.  Here is their story:

You can also watch the video on YouTube.

Sidebar note: There is also a National Anthem Day on March 3rd.  This is the anniversary of when, in 1931, President Hoover signed a law making the Star Spangled Banner our National Anthem.  Quick math: The poem was written in 1814 and adopted as the National Anthem in 1931.  How long did it take for the Star Spangled Banner to become the National Anthem?

In the days to come, consider telling the story of the Star Spangled Banner and singing the song with your students as this is a wonderful, musical piece of our American history!

National Anthem Classroom Activities on Joe Foss Institute site.

National Anthem Project Activities on the MENC website.



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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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