I'm pretty patriotic and I love to have my students sing songs about America. Veteran's Day is a great holiday to celebrate with Elementary School students.
There are many ways you can commemorate the service of our United Stated Veterans. Here are some ideas:
Have a school wide sing a long of familiar patriotic songs. Prepare a slide presentation with the lyrics and music. This way everyone can participate.
Present a music program where each grade sings one song and one speaker. Have each grade choose a song and stand and sing it for the rest of the school.
Have one grade level present a music program for the whole school. Write a script or find one online and have students sing songs in between speaking parts. You could choose a theme like "What does it mean to be an American Hero" and have students share essays they have written in class as the speaking parts.
Every year I direct a special Veteran's Day Program. My fourth graders sing about six songs and I find a guest speaker who is a Veteran to speak to the students. I also have the local scouts do a flag ceremony. We also invite any parents, friends and family members who are Veteran's to be our guests' of honor and sit up in front of the audience. We then recognize them and share where they served and in what branch of the military they served.
One technique I used this year to help my students sing the songs on pitch and focus on listening to each other was to have them sing a song acapella. I chose FIFTY NIFTY UNITED STATES to practice this technique. This is one of the four classes that will be performing in the program.
Although, not perfect...it was pretty good for a practice activity. The landed not quite on pitch but weren't even a 1/2 step off! I was pretty proud of them.
Our principal conducts the program and the fourth graders have speaking parts. The whole student body is encouraged to wear red, white and blue that day. I also teach everyone "American's We" from Teresa Jennings' MK-8 magazine. I have the whole student body stand and sing this song at the beginning of the program. We also stand and sing "The Star Spangled Banner".
Although I work with all students to learn this song--I focus on the ending section with my Kinders and First Graders. I have them practice, "Oh Say does that star-spangled banner yet wave. O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."
My favorite song is AMERICAN TEARS by Teresa Jennings over at Plank Road Publishing. If you haven't heard this song...then I challenge you to listen to the preview. I love hearing my students sing this song and they make me cry every time.
It doesn't matter whether you have a big program or just sing one song at the beginning of the school day and have a moment of silence-what matter's is that we as music teachers help our school community pay respect and remember our Veteran's.
Here are some links to some Patriotic Songs that you might find useful for your Patriotic programs.
"FIFTY NIFTY UNITED STATES", See the Video Here with Lyrics
"AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" using sign language. See the YouTube Video here for help teaching.
"The Star Spangled Banner" too using sign language and the history of the flag. A great resource here. The Video here.
Although Kinders can't sing the whole thing, we learn it every year and by the time they've worked on it a couple of years they know it well. I'm proud of the fact too, that everyone at my school knows the song and a little bit of the history.
There's nothing more touching than to hear all of the students dressed in red-white and blue singing and signing from their hearts.
I've included some FREE Resources you can find at TPT and on YouTube!
GRAND OLD FLAG by Daria
VETERAN'S DAY HISTORY IN PICTURES
PATRIOTIC SONGS POSTERS by BURST OF FIRST
PATRIOTIC MIDI FILES -you'll need to be able to use a music program to change the key as needed.
I have written several Patriotic songs and a Patriotic script and Music Program. You can find these items in my TPT store. SING PLAY CREATIVELY-PATRIOTIC SONGS