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Teacher Feature

Teacher Feature

Using "Key" Words


Students will use the Star-Spangled Banner coin to comprehend the anthem's lyrics and importance.


The image on the front of the Star-Spangled Banner $5 coin features an American sailing ship from 1814 routing a British ship during the War of 1812.  The image on the back displays the first words of the national anthem of the United States, "O say can you see," over 15 stripes, surrounded by 15 stars.  Read the March Coin of the Month to see the coin and learn more.

Locate lyrics (print and recorded) of "The Star-Spangled Banner."  As a class, listen to this famous song.  Discuss its importance to our country and make an "O What Do You Know?" list of what the students already know about this anthem.

In small groups, have the students read and discuss Francis Scott Key's main points in the lyrics.  Each group should interpret and discuss one verse.  Have the students take notes on the meaning of each line by using a T-chart or a two-column note format.

Each group should comprehend its lyric verse, be able to summarize it in writing, and retell the main points in their own words.  Invite the groups to present their findings to others in class.  Once all the groups have presented, discuss the song as a whole and talk about its relevance to the famous battle.  Revisit and update the "O What Do You Know?" list from the beginning of the lesson.

Using information from the Coin of the Month page, class discussions, available resources, and the song lyrics, have the students create an illustrated timeline of the War of 1812.

Make a Connection

Test your kids' knowledge of the Star-Spangled Banner coin by having them complete the new Star-Spangled Word Jumble!

Visit the kids' Commemorative Coins page and invite your students to learn more about commemorative coins.

If you are looking for additional information about commemorative coins, be sure to check out the Commemorative Coin Program page.

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