Sing, America, Sing!
Language Arts & Music Activity
In this activity, students articulate their thoughts about citizenship in songs
WHAT YOU NEED
- Drawing materials
- Audio tape recorder
WHAT TO DO
- Have students meet in discussion groups to discuss, for a set time, what
American citizenship means to them. Suggest directions the discussion might
take, such as the responsibilities of citizenship, the history behind it, and
emotions generated by certain symbols. Explain that the purpose of each group's
coming together is not to develop a single impression of what citizenship means
but to allow individuals to put their ideas into words and to hear what others
- After the discussion, have students work independently to write a song (such
as a rap song) or a poem that describes what citizenship means to them. (You
may want to have writers and musicians pair off to work together.)
- Have student share their ideas with a peer and use the helpful criticism to
revise their work.
- With student input, plan a Citizenship Day during which students will
perform their songs and read their poems. Set up a schedule of individual
rehearsal times leading up to that date. Have students practice with a tape
recorder so that they can hear themselves. Hold a final dress rehearsal with
- Invite school and family members to the performance. Tape or video tape the
performance and later play it for students so that they can appreciate one
Have students research patriotic music of the past, such as the national anthem
and similar pieces, and compare the sentiments expressed in the older music and
their own songs. A music librarian could help with works by Sousa, Cohan, Ives, and others.
Discuss with students the statistics for voting in local and national campaigns
and how they indicate that not enough citizens are taking advantage of their
right to vote. Students plan a radio ad campaign aimed at voters ages 18 to 21.
The radio ads should feature catchy music and slogans to encourage young people
to register and vote.
Artists in the class can design a series of posters to invite people to the
performance. Have the class choose their favorite design and use it to make a
souvenir program for the performance.
Activity Search |
Reading Center |
Math Center |
Social Studies Center
Education Place |
You may download, print and make copies of this page for use in your classroom, provided that you include the copyright notice shown below on all such copies.
Copyright © 1997 Houghton Mifflin Company. All Rights Reserved.