As the sun sets on this Flag Day, and with the Fourth of July just around the corner, I wanted to share with you a few resources for celebrating with your own family or summer students. During a time of political and cultural turmoil, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the future of our nation. When we look to our forefathers, however, we see the possibility of overcoming great odds to achieve liberty.
Most of our students are not old enough to hit the polls to vote, and of those who are of voting age, most may not or can not participate. What this does NOT mean is that it is not important to impart a knowledge of our country's rich history, full of both proud moments and shameful ones. Or that it is not important to share values of patriotism, responsibility, and hope.
The summer is a season of patriotic holidays, from Memorial Day to Flag Day to Fourth of July. Use it as a time to take a few minutes to share patriotic songs and stories with your own family. If you have the opportunity to work with summer students or clients, share with them as well! Also consider using these songs throughout the year as they overlap with student goals regarding everything from gross motor skills, to academic concepts such as history, to communication, to following-directions, to reading skills! Try some of these ideas:
1. March to "Oh, When the Saints," using the strong metric beat to cue leg raises!
2. Interpose the lyrics of the Star-Spangled Banner to learn American History with the illustrated book: By the Dawn's Early Light: The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner.
3. Practice inflection, tempo and articulation to the tune of the story-like song, "America the Beautiful".
4. Take turns passing an instrument to "This Land is Your Land," emphasizing pronouns, your, my, you and me!
5. Address reading and pre-reading skills while enjoying other books illustrating the lyrics of favorite patriotic tunes, with a quick search of patrioticchildren's books on amazon.
If we learn from the mistakes and victories of our nation and others, and make choices to stand for those things that will truly set us free, rather than lies disguised as liberties, then we will have hope for a future generation.
God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her through the night with the light from above. From the mountains to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam. God bless America, my home sweet home.
EnJOY! And God bless America!
<3 Patina Joy