Overview: This lesson explores the history and composition of The Star Spangled Banner.
In this arts integration lesson, we use The Star Spangled Banner and mosaics to learn about American history. This patchwork flag lesson is designed for grades 5-8. Additionally, it provides a meaningful way for students to connect the current culture of America to the culture that existed when Francis Scott Key wrote our National anthem.
We start with the book By the Dawn’s Early Light from Steven Kroll. Students discover how the battle in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner. From there, students listen to the anthem, then use pre-made sentence strips to puzzle together each line from the song. As they put them together, they discuss the significance of the story shared through music.
Then, students begin to study mosaics and discover how artists create larger works from smaller components pieced together in a thoughtful, significant way. Students end up creating their own mosaic showcasing each line of the Star Spangled Banner – creating their own “patchwork flag”.
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.