Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It's National Anthem Week!

On September 12, 1814, Francis Scott Key was aboard a British ship in the middle of Baltimore's harbor in the middle of a battle against the British. He was trying to free an American doctor and was so happy to see the flag of his country flying in the morning that he wrote a poem to celebrate the occasion. He called it Defense of Fort McHenry and sang it to a very popular tune brought to America years earlier. He didn't even sign the paper, thinking it wouldn't be around long (he had done this sort of thing before, and those songs didn't last long either). Little did he know that two hundred years later we'd still be singing his song, now known as The Star-Spangled Banner.

Every year about this time the fourth grade studies the song and its history, learning the words from memory. Other students learn patriotic songs and do a movement sequence to John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever.  You may share a musical moment with your child by downloading this exciting piece of music and listening to it together. To purchase and download the recording we used in class, go to and click on Parachutes and Ribbons and Scarves, Oh My!

In this video clip, Mrs. Gutshall's second grade class sings two verses of America. The class made quick work of learning how to read the second verse!

2G America

Here is Mrs. McAlexander's class singing their new patriotic song for the year!

2M You're a Grand Old Flag

Here are the songs learned in other grade levels:

Kindergarten - America (by the end of the year)
Grade 1 - America the Beautiful
Grade 3 - God Bless America
Grade 5 - God Bless the USA