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This game helps students learn about songs of the Armed Forces in a fun way


Music, Social Studies  


3, 4, 5  

Title – Music of the Armed Forces
By – Melissa Burroughs
Primary Subject – Music
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies
Grade Level – 3-5


      This lesson really helps students focus on their listening skills and helps them learn about songs of the armed forces in a fun way. It should be taught after a lesson on the significance of music in the military and after a lesson on “

The Star Spangled Banner



      Have students divide into “teams” of the five armed forces branches:

Coast Guard
Marine Corps
Air Force

      Go around to each group and teach them their listening clue to identify their branch’s march. Let them listen to the march and identify this section.

Navy – ” Anchors aweigh my boys, anchors aweigh… ” Point out how the melody starts out low and discuss what “aweigh” means.

Coast Guard – ” Semper Paratus, duh, duh, duh …” These are not the actual words, but it works with the melody. It helps them remember the motto as well as identify the piece.

Army – ” And the caissons go rolling along… ” Make sure to define what a caisson is.

Marine Corps – ” From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli… ” Point out the “leap” in the melody. This helps kids to have something to listen for.

Air Force – ” Off we go into the wild blue yonder …” Point out that the notes ascend like a plane ascending into the sky. Encourage them to make a motion with their hand as if a plane is taking off… they like this one!

    After you have spent time on each song play one randomly. Have students listen for their listening clue. If they think that the march belongs to them, have them stand. They do not have to stand as a team. Their vote is individual.

Added challenge:

      At the beginning of the lesson, explain to students that any time that they hear “

The Star Spangled Banner

    ,” they are to stand, hold their hand over their heart and look straight at the flag at attention. I like to play this one in the middle of playing the armed forces tunes or while I am talking. It always surprises them and they like the challenge!

E-Mail Melissa Burroughs !

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