A basic history of the War of 1812, and the battle that inspired the words.
The Internet to the rescue! For a basic summary (wait - we attacked Canada??) followed by a short quiz, check out Ducksters.com.
* Our flag in 1814 did not look exactly like it does now. Can your kids spot the difference? Take a look at the changes our flag has gone through over the years. Where does your state lie in the order of statehood? Could there ever be a 51st state? Talk about our territories, or states that have threatened to divide over the years. Create a flag that would include new states - would you add stars, or come up with a completely new design?
* Patterns and symmetry. Look at the patterns on our flag - the alternating colors of the stripes, and the number of stars in each row. Design flags for fictitious places with varying numbers of stars, stripes, colors, and other symbols.
* Music is all about math! The Star Spangled Banner was written in 3/4 time, what does that mean? Learn what the quarter, half, and whole note look like. Draw them out in patterns, and clap the rhythms together. Then clap out a rhythm, and ask them to draw it! Google to find "free music symbol flash cards", or use these from Music Fun.
* If your family had its own anthem, what would it sound like? Is there a song already written that you think sums up your family's ideals? Or can you come up with your own words? Would the music be solemn, cheerful, fast, slow?
Anything red, white and blue makes a good snack today! Look around the kitchen for berries, gelatin, whipped cream, cream cheese, etc.
Other Web Sites to Explore