Focus Question for the Lesson: What was Francis Scott Key writing about?
Historical Thinking Skill Targeted:
> Historical Comprehension: Reconstruct the literal meaning of a historical passage
> Historical Analysis: Hypothesize the influence of the past
VSC Content Objectives:
> 5.C.2.a Describe Maryland's role in the war of 1812
VSC Skills and Processes Objectives:
> 6.A.3.f Periodically summarize or paraphrase important ideas while reading
> 6.A.4.c Determine and explain the author's purpose
> 6.G.2.c Construct a sound historical interpretation
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Explain the meaning of the lyrics of the National Anthem,
• Reflect on the events of the bombardment of Ft. McHenry,
• Form an argument on whether the "Star-Spangled Banner" is an acceptable National
Anthem in today's society.
SUGGESTIONS FOR ACCOMMODATIONS:
To assist students with IEPs and 504s, the small groups could be heterogeneous grouped to ensure that stronger readers are grouped with weaker readers. Weaker readers may also be assigned the optional book "America in words and song..."(See secondary sources) This book is kid-friendly and contains the actual words as depicted in the primary resources distributed throughout the lesson. They may also receive extended time on the assessment.
• Chart Paper
• Student copies of "The Star Spangled Banner"
• Instrumental version of "The Star Spangled Banner"
• Sentence Strips
• Pencils and paper
• Worksheet, "National Anthem Lyrics"
• Worksheet, "What's the National Anthem about?"
• Worksheet, "National Anthem"
Teacher will play an instrumental of the National Anthem. Students will work in small groups or in pairs to write the title and words of the song. (The song may be played more than once, if necessary.)
Post the actual words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" (either on a transparency or chart paper). Discuss with students how accurate their versions are compared to the actual version. Were there any students who were able to recollect all of the words accurately? Explain that the words of the song were written as a poem by a lawyer, Francis Scott Key, who was being held on a British ship through the bombardment of Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812. The words were written as a reflection of that event. Ask: So, what was Key writing about?
The teacher may differentiate the process by having students rotate the lines among the groups so that each group will make an attempt to paraphrase each part of the stanza. Then compare.
The teacher may also accommodate by giving the shorter lines (Group 1 and 2) to those who may need extended time or for those who may struggle with written language.
Students will complete the worksheet entitled "What is the national anthem about?" For differentiation students may either write or illustrate their response. Have students reflect on whether or not Key accurately depicted the bombardment of Ft. McHenry based on what they have learned in previous lessons.
1. Have students divide into two (or three) debate teams and hold a debate over whether "The Star-Spangled Banner" should be our National Anthem. Students can be given primary sources dealing with the original debates. Others may investigate other options for our National Anthem. Students should be able to give reasons why "The Star- Spangled Banner" or another patriotic song should be our National Anthem. (The third debate team could argue for a new National Anthem to be written to reflect the past, present, and future of America.)
2. Have students discuss whether the U.S. is "... the land of the free and the home of the brave." The students can research what other events were going on in the United States during the War of 1812. Analyze whether or not we were "free and brave" then, and if we are "free and brave" now.
Francis Scott Key. The Star- Spangled Banner . Sheet music and lyrics. Fort McHenry.
"Bombardment of Fort McHenry" John D. Troy. Printer, Corner of St. Paul's Lane and Market Street. 1812. Fort McHenry.
(Optional)- May be used with students with IEP's and 504 plans
Sonneborn, Liz (2004) America in Words and Song "The Star-Spangled Banner": The story behind our national anthem. Chelsea Clubhouse Publishers. Philadelphia