Sometimes when something is familiar, like the national anthem of the U.S., we don’t spend a lot of time considering the details. If you have trouble getting your students to slow down and really think about things before diving into conclusion and making vague assumptions, this lesson is for you.
In this lesson, students will grapple with the topic of America through two different mediums: image and sound. First, students will write down their descriptions of America, without any prompt. Then, students will look at 15 different images of America and use the images to broaden their responses. Reflection will include identifying the tone of their written work. Next, students will listen to a traditional rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner (1931) and answer questions regarding imagery, tone, and mood. Afterwards, students will listen to Jimi Hendrix’s 1969 version and answer the same questions. Using a graphic organizer, it’s time for students to compare the two versions using details from their notes. The teacher then has options in either leading a class discussion, facilitating small group discussion, or assigning a writing assignment that expands upon the topic of America in light of the activities in the lesson.
This lesson can exist as a stand-alone or be easily integrated into a unit on U.S. history, U.S. literature, or citizenship. In the past, social studies/history teachers, English language arts teachers, and art teachers have found success collaborating on this lesson, making it an ideal option for middle school teams looking for a cross-disciplinary lesson.
This detailed lesson included:
- Teacher notes, including
* ‘How to Use’ guidance,
* Statement of purpose, and
* A Starter script as an option for introducing the lesson.
- 15 images that fall under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, rendering them free and legal to use in your classroom.
- Graphic organizer for students to use when listening to each anthem version
- Graphic organizer for students to use when comparing the anthem versions
- 9 questions to prompt class discussion or writing assignments
Skills developed in this lesson:
- Identifying the role of style, imagery, and voice in different mediums
- Understanding the how style, imagery, and voice impacts meaning in different mediums
- Comparing different mediums related to a common theme
- Developing critical thinking skills to evaluate images and music
- Using language to evaluate and explain judgments
Don’t miss out on store discounts, free products, and new product launches! Just click the “Follow Me” star under our store name above or on our homepage.
Off The Beaten Path Curriculum & Instruction
Questions or comments? Please email me at Beth@teachoffthebeatenpath.com