Star Spangled Festival Performance

The Star Spangled Banner Anthem: Celebrating the origin and meaning through performance

Information Literacy/Interdisciplinary Arts

Grades 9-12

Brenda J. Cowe- School Library Media Specialist

Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts

Students from choral and instrumental music, theater, dance, visual art and communications will work together to create a creative exploration performance that tells the story of the Star Spangled Banner and the history behind it.

Goals and Objectives

  • Students understand the who, what, where and why of the the writing of the SSB.
  • Students know the basic historical context of the writing of the SSB.
  • Students understand how anthems function in society.
  • Students know how to examine aspects of a primary source.
  • Students are able to incorporate information from a primary source into a new creative product.
  • Students are able to work together to create new creative work for performance.
  • Students are able to locate and analyze historical resources.


Students are familiar with using secondary sources for research purposes, however, they are not as familiar with the in-depth reading and analysis that is required for use of primary sources in research. For this short research project, students will study the history behind the Star Spangled Banner flag, song, and the words, using primary source material. The issues of the War of 1812, changes in music production and the use of songs as dissemination will be the major focal points discussed. The use of primary source accounts, original manuscripts, original or historic scores, broadsides and possible recordings, will facilitate deeper student understanding and analysis of the role of the Star Spangled Banner in the life of Americans and our society. The culmination of the research will be an interdisciplinary festival celebrating the history and meaning of The Star Spangled Banner.

Materials Needed

Music CD- “Poets and Patriots”- Mark Clague- Information on purchasing here.


NEH Activity List2

Link to Research Lesson Plan here

Link to Library Resource Page here


Music Resources:

Star Spangled Music Foundation Scores

Specifically-“The Star-Spangled Banner” Armed Forces Version 1997 and “Historical” SATB Arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner” Arranged 2012 by Ross W. Duffin

“Poets and Patriots”- CD- Mark Clague

Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection 

American Treasures of the Library of Congress- Star Spangled Banner Exhibition

Art Resources:

Library of Congress- An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides

Dance Resources:

Choreograph Antique

An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals, ca. 1490- 1920- Library of Congress

American Antiquarian Society

Theater Resources:

Library of Congress Blog: First Drafts: The Star Spangled Banner

History Resources:

Fort McHenry- Francis Scott Key

Smithsonian Museum of American History Star Spangled Banner Site

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

National Park Service SSB National Historic Trail

School-based Research Resources:

BAVPA Library Resource Page

Gale Database Resources

World Book Online Resources

Primary Source Assistance resources:

National Archives Primary Source Analysis Sheets


Information Literacy, Research Process & Common Core

Common Core Learning Standards- English Language Arts- From














About the Author Brenda J. Cowe is a library media specialist at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, a Buffalo Public School in Western New York. Creating a rich academic research environment for the young artists she works with is her main mission. Ms. Cowe’s interests include music, art, poetry, photography, and dance. More information can be found at her website. About Banner Moments Made available as part of the 2014 Banner Moments K-12 Institute—a project of the American Music Institute of the University of Michigan and the Star Spangled Music Foundation, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities

This entry was posted in Band, Battle of Baltimore, Dance, Education, Events, F.S. Key, Fort McHenry, Fort McHenry, Free Sheet Music, Grades 9-12, High School, History, History, Language Arts, Library of Congress, Mark Clague, Melody, Music Band, Music Choral, Organizations, Places, Poets & Patriots, Recordings, Scholars, Smithsonian, Social Studies, SSB Videos, The Anthem, Uncategorized, Visual Art, War of 1812, Web Resources and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.