This is a lesson of Patriotic music just for those of you in America to use around the holidays of Independence Day, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day. According to Dictionary.com patriotic music expresses or is inspired by patriotism, and a patriot is someone who "loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion."
I know our kids will often hear the National Anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner" at sports events and the Olympics, but they rarely hear or learn other great American patriotic songs anymore. I've chosen 5 songs that you'll want to introduce them to. Sing along with them as well!
Most of the songs are also associated (sometimes just time-wise) with a particular war that America fought in. You may want to study a little about each of those wars when you listen to the song.
"This Land is Your Land" is a folk song written by Woody Guthrie in 1940. World War II had already begun, and the United States would be entering it the following year after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
I love how this video includes both the lyrics and photos of places mentioned in the song. Help your students recognize some of the famous landmarks and find them on a U.S. map.
"America the Beautiful" was written by Katherine Lee Bates and Samuel A. Wood in the late 1800s. Bates had traveled to Colorado and the words of the poem came to her while standing at the top of Pikes Peak. The lyrics and music were joined together and published in 1910.
"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was written by Julia Ward Howe in 1861 during the American Civil War. The arrangement you hear here of the song is one of the most popular choral arrangements, meaning it's sung by a group of singers called a choir.
"Yankee Doodle" is a classic patriotic song that dates back to before the Revolutionary War (around 1755). There are many different versions of lyrics. It was sung by the British to mock the American patriots and by the Americans to encourage them to fight on.
"God Bless America" was written by Irving Berlin and made famous by the singer Kate Smith in 1938 on the anniversary of Armistice Day, the day that World War I ended with Germany. Armistice Day would have its named changed to Veterans Day to give a special day for remembering all veterans in 1954.
Which song makes you feel most patriotic?
(For an additional activity you might like to do while studying patriotic music, head here for the Veterans Day Activity Pack, Lapbook, and Coloring Pages!)
You might also like the Memorial Day Online Unit Study from Techie Homeschool Mom:
- Explore the branches of America's Armed Forces
- Research America's conflicts and casualties
- Create a digital image to honor our fallen soldiers
- This mini-course contains one module.