Subject: LangArts/History/Music
1. Topic-
This is an easy, enjoyable way to teach vocabulary, reading comprehension, English as a second language, and even some history. Reading comprehension and vocabulary of any language can be improved by adapting this lesson plan
2. Content-
Many songs present excellent opportunities for improving vocabulary. It is best to pick some songs which your children will know well. Select songs which have words that you want them to learn. They already know how the words are used in familiar songs. They can associate this with learning definitions. Repetition is enjoyable when they are singing.
Introduce the lesson as an easy and enjoyable way to learn new words.
3. Goals: Aims/Outcomes-
Students will..
1.R.WS.05.04 know the meanings of words encountered frequently in grade-level reading and oral language contexts.
2.R.CM.05.01 connect personal knowledge, experiences, and understanding of the
world to themes and perspectives in text through oral and written responses.
3.R.MT.05.01 self-monitor comprehension when reading or listening to text by automatically applying and discussing the strategies used by mature readers to increase comprehension including: predicting, constructing mental images, visually representing ideas in text, questioning, rereading or listening again if uncertain about meaning, inferring, summarizing, and engaging in interpretive discussions.
4. Materials and Aids-
Copy of The Star-spangled Banner (lyrics)
5. Procedures/Methods-

A. Introduction-

Encourage children to visualize the scene in this song. Encourage them to think of people who have given their lives trying to come to the USA to find freedom. Encourage them to think of people who have fought in wars so that the USA can keep its freedom and its flag.

(you might want to include this historical not about the song)

Fraces Scott Key wrote "THe Star-spangled Banner" soon after he was released from the British.
They had kept him prisoner on their ship which he had boarded to negotiate the release of an American in The War of 1812.
Helplessly, he watched the British bomb Fort McHenry which protected Baltimore. As the war raged and evening came, he hailed his country's flag which waved over the fort. He paced the deck during the night trying to see if the flag still waved. He hoped and prayed that it would not be replaced with the British flag meaning Fort McHenry was taken over by the British. They gave him no news about who was winning. Sometimes, the light made by the rockets and bombs gave him a quick glimpse of his beloved flag. Early the next morning, the fog lifted and there was enough sunlight for him to see the flag.
He was thrilled to learn that the battle was won by his countrymen. He was released that morning. This experience inspired him to begin writing about the experience on the very day he was released.
Later in 1931, this song would be designated as our country's National Anthem by an act of Congress.

B. Development-

1.Ask the children if they have heard the National Anthem before.
2.Encourage discussion about what the children think about the anthem.
3.Read the lyrics to the first first to the class, and ask the students if any words are unfamiliar to them (or they don't know what it means).
4. Let the students sing the song.
5. Say one of the words which you want to teach.
6. Read the sentence containing the word.
7. Make associations. Have they heard this word somewhere else?
8. Expand knowledge. Perhaps, they already know one definition of the word and this is a new use of it. Perhaps, they know the word as a noun and the song uses it as a verb, etc.
9. When you define a word, be sure they understand the words in the definition.
10. Explain to the students that the words you wish for them to gain a better understanding of are in bold print on the paper they will receive with the lyrics to the anthem on it. Have them read through the lyrics and if there are any words they don't understand to highlight them.
10. Next, play the song on the computer by going to and searching for the national anthem.
11. Have the students watch the screen and see if the pictures help to give meaning to any of the words.
12. After hearing the song, ask about some of the words. Use the words which are listed below for this verse.
13. Help the children guess the meaning. Ask, "What kind of fight was this?" You can give this hint: if they had bombs, what kind of fight was it?

From verse one, do they know these words: dawn, hail'd, twilight, gleaming, thro', perilous, watch'd, ramparts, gallantly, streaming, glare, bursting, yet, spangled, banner, o'er?
Even though they know the words "through," "watched," and "over," do they recognize them when they are written this way? Do they know why the words "Star-spangled" and "Banner" are capitalized in the verses? Do they know that these words are not capitalized unless they refer to the flag of the USA or the national anthem?


C. Checking for understanding-

Delight in discovery. Talk about a better enjoyment of the song (anthem) because of knowing what the words mean.

This Lesson Plan is available at (