Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Star -Spangled Illustrations

Stacy Durham


Students create a PowerPoint presentation to show their patriotism and express their thoughts on the meaning of The Star-Spangled Banner with this exciting and creative activity.


The student extends previously learned knowledge and skills of the third grade with increasingly complex reading selections and assignments and tasks (for example, decoding, context clues, predicting, variety of word structure, constructing meaning, purposes of reading).

The student uses resources and references such as dictionary, thesaurus, and context to build word meanings.


- Copy of the Star Spangled Information sheet for each student (see associated file)
-32 Index cards with one line of the song printed on each card
-32 sheets of white cardstock or other sturdy paper
-Oil Pastels or markers for each student
-Black ink pens or markers for each child
-Pencils for each child
-Dictionary for each child
-Access to a scanner and scan program
-Access to a PowerPoint Program
-Web access, or a copy of the music for The Star -Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key
-It is also helpful to have a parent volunteer to assist the students with creating the PowerPoint slides and scanning the images
-LCD screen or scan converter is helpful, but not necessary
-TV/ VCR combo is also helpful, but not necessary


1. Copy each line of The Star Spangled Banner onto separate index cards. There are 32 lines to the song.
2. Create a template for each child to use to create the slide. I recommend the object template in Microsoft PowerPoint. This will allow space for text as well as the illustration.
3. Download the music from the Website provided. (see below)

To do this you will need to go to that site and at the bottom of the page it says - to hear the music on your computer-. Right click in that area and copy music to file. Save it under my documents and call it SSB. Remember where you have saved it so that you can retrieve it later.


Day 1
1. Students listen to the complete song, The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key (there are several verses to the song that the students might not be familiar with).

2. Discuss the song- what is the song about? What is the star-spangled banner-? What was occurring in history when this song was being written? What war was Mr. Key referring to? What does this song mean to us today? Why was this song chosen to be our National Anthem? Research information on this topic can be found on the Internet at the Websites listed below.

3. Pass out the information sheets to each child. Go over each section before the students begin.

4. Pass a card to each student, assigning all of them a line of the song to think about and discuss. You could also pair off your students and give them each a verse. The song is easily divided into 32 sections and this was what I found to be the easiest. Ask for volunteers to work on additional illustrations if you have some extra.

5. Students discuss with a buddy what their line means to them. They can then brainstorm and determine how they would like to illustrate the line.

6. Explain that the students should complete this assignment carefully. Tell them that they will have different answers than their neighbors will and that is normal. This assignment is based on the student's own research and opinions.

7. Tell the class that they will need to look up unfamiliar words in the dictionary.

Day 2
1. Each child copies the line of the song that they have received onto the bottom of the paper, using dark black ink or black markers.

2. The students use a pencil to illustrate the line of the song. You will have 32 illustrations at the end.

3. Each student creates a PowerPoint slide, using a template that you have already created.

4. Model the first slide to the class by creating a title slide. Demonstrate how to add the graphics and the text. If you do not have a scan converter or an LCD screen to allow the entire class to view your demonstration, you can teach one student who then in turn assists the next child and so on. This works well with older children.

5. Students type the line of the song that was assigned to them on the slide.

6. They scan the illustration onto the slide. It helps to have a parent volunteer for this task.

7. After the illustrations have been scanned, have the children hang them in the hall in the correct order. This way the students will have an exercise in sequential order and the hall will look very patriotic!

(Optional: If you do not wish to create a PowerPoint, then use the students' illustrations down a hallway or on a bulletin board.)

Day 3 (Teacher Only)
1. After each child has created the slide, you will need to do the settings for the slide show.

2. Click on slide #1 (this will be your title slide)

3. To set the timing of the slides, on the tool bar > slide show then > slide transition.

4. Set time to change after 4 seconds.

5. >Insert >Movies and Sounds and then > Sounds from file

6. Locate your downloaded sound file of the Star- Spangled Banner and >> on that file. This will insert the music on to that one slide.

7. To include the music continuously onto the other slides, > the sound object and then > the tool bar option >custom animation. > play settings > play using animation order, then > continue slide show, and > after 33 slides, then > more options and > OK.

8. To view your slide show, on the tool bar, > slide show and > view show.

9. If you need to adjust any of the settings, repeat the above steps. If you have the resources available, video tape the slide show so that the presentation can be shown on the school's morning show. You can also send the tape home with the student's so they can share their presentation with parents.


Use the attached rubric to assess the student's slide and the completion of the information sheet.


This lesson can easily be extended to include a research paper on the writing of the song. The students could also research other patriotic songs. As a class, or individually, they could write their own patriotic song. This could be one about the events of Sept. 11, 2001, or another modern event.
The slide show or song could be shared with the entire student body on the school wide morning program.

Web Links

Web supplement for Star -Spangled Illustrations
Star Spangled Music

Web supplement for Star -Spangled Illustrations
Star Spangled Banner Website

Web supplement for Star -Spangled Illustrations
Star Spangled Banner Links

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