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Star Spangled Banner Evaluations

Mrs. King's Music Room: Star Spangled Banner Evaluations  FREE download of a fabulous activity for analyzing different performances of the "Star Spangled Banner".  Links to videos and great ideas for using it in your classroom. Students love this patriotic activity.

I am so thankful that I am teaching in the digital age.  As a rural teacher, my students don't have an opportunity to see a variety of music performances.  YouTube has opened a whole new world of instruction.  If we are learning about bassoons, we can watch a video about bassoons.  If we read about a barbershop quartet, we can pull up a video and hear one in minutes.  Looking for an authentic folk song from New Zealand?  Hello, Internet.

One of my favorite patriotic activities utilizes the awesomeness of YouTube and encourages students to evaluate and critique.  I call it Star-Spangled Banner Evaluations.  I give students a sheet to fill out while listening or watching performances of our national anthem.  The worksheets ask students to write down the name of the performer, the genre, if it is acapella or accompanied and then rate it using a 5-star system.  There is also a place for a few notes that will help students write about the performance later.  At the end of class (I usually leave about 10 minutes, maybe less.), I ask students to write a paragraph (4-6 sentences) about their favorite one.

I use a wide variety of examples.  They hear soloists, groups, choirs, instrumental versions, classics, children and whatever else I can find.  I usually cue up these performances before they get to class, but sometimes we'll vote on the ones we watch.

I have most of my favorites saved on my national anthem Symbaloo board.   Check out this page to see all of the performances that I have bookmarked.  You can save this page too and use it in your classroom.

This activity leads to great conversations about vocal quality, how to classify genre, how to name groups (quartet, sextet, etc..), stage presence and more.  For some students this is an introduction the term "acapella".  This is also a lot of fun, so students often don't realize what higher order thinking skills they are using.  Love that!

Would you like to try out the Star Spangled Evaluations?  You can!  I've uploaded them to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store as a free download.  If you like them, please leave a little feedback.  I love 4 star ratings and your comments help me create more things that you'll love.

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  1. I love this idea! Thanks so much for the post, I plan to use this with 5th grade since they aren't getting their iPads back for awhile!

  2. I love this! How do I add another video to the Symbaloo board? One of my favorites to show is the "Cactus Cuties" performing at a Texas Tech Basketball game.

    1. The Cactus Cuties are there. They are on the bottom row. This board isn't a cooperative board (although they may have those). It's the one I use for my classroom so I'm the only one that can edit it.