On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the law that proclaimed June 14 each year to be celebrated as the national holiday of Flag Day. Every year since 1916, this day has been a day of patriotic celebration.
Share with students the songs from Patriotic Melodies from the Performing Arts Encyclopedia of the Library of Congress. Ask students to consider how America, Americans, and the flag are represented in the various songs and to hypothesize about the reasons for the differences that they notice. With many songs to choose from, each student can work on a separate song or small groups can tackle several songs. The songs range from well-known tunes such as “When Johnny Came Marching Home” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag” to more obscure songs like the “Library of Congress March.”
Invite students to share out with each other and the community.
Curious about the NCTE and Library of Congress connection? Through a grant announced recently by NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE is engaged in new ongoing work with the Library of Congress, and “will connect the ELA community with the Library of Congress to expand the use of primary sources in teaching.” Stay tuned for more throughout the year!
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