The Road to "The Star-Spangled Banner"

Photograph by Jessica Pugliano
Photograph by Jessica Pugliano

6th-8th Grade
by Jessica E. Pugliano, New Cumberland Middle School

This is a Google Earth Tour of the events leading up to Francis Scott Key’s writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Goals and Objectives

Describe the learning outcomes and/or goals.

  1. Students will be able to understand the events leading up to the creation of the Star-Spangled Banner
  2. Students will be able to evaluate different versions of the Star-Spangled Banner

Students will use laptops and Google Earth to take a self-guided tour starting in London, England and the composing of the song “To Anacreon In Heaven” and end at Carr’s Music House in Baltimore, Maryland.  Students will answer questions and write a reflective essay upon completion of the tour.  Included in the tour are videos, audio, and other multimedia.
Materials Needed
Laptop, desktop computer, or iPad/equivalent tablet
Google Earth
Road To Star-Spangled Banner .kwz file
Headphones (optional)
Question sheet
Google Earth Instructions Sheet
Google Earth Guide
1.  Download and install the “Road to the Star Spangled Banner” Google Earth .kwz file.  Follow the directions on the Google Earth Instructions page.  You may wish to also download the Google Earth Guide if you’ve never worked with Google Earth before.
2.  You will need to install this on each computer or tablet that is being used.
3.  Print enough copies of the question sheet for each student.
4.  Students will need to use headphones for this on an individual basis.  There are video files embedded into the tour.
5.  After students move through the tour at their own pace, use this opportunity to go over questions and discuss student responses.  You may also wish to have students answer a short essay response.
Google Earth
Road To Star-Spangled Banner .kwz file
Question sheet
Google Earth Instructions Sheet
Google Earth Guide
Pennsylvania State Music Standards:
9.1.8.A – Know and use the elements (duration, intensity, pitch, timbre) and principles (composition, form, genre, harmony, rhythm, texture) of each art form to create works in the arts and the humanities,
9.1.8.E. – Communicate a unifying theme or point of view through the production of works in the arts,
9.1.8.J. – Incorporate specific uses of traditional and contemporary technologies within the design for producing, performing and exhibiting works in the arts or the works of others (explain and demonstrate traditional and contemporary technologies),
9.1.8.K. – Incorporate specific uses of traditional and contemporary technologies in furthering knowledge and understanding in the humanities,
9.2.8.A. – Explain the historical, cultural and social context of an individual work in the arts,
9.2.8.B – Relate works in the arts chronologically to historical events,
9.1.8.D. – Analyze a work of art from its historical and cultural perspective,
9.1.8.E. – Analyze how historical events and culture impact forms, techniques and purposes of works in the arts,
9.1.8.F. – Know and apply appropriate vocabulary used between social studies and the arts and humanities,
9.3.8.C. – Identify and classify styles, forms, types and genre within art forms

Jessica Pugliano
Jessica Pugliano

About the Author
Jessica Pugliano is a general music teacher/choral director at New Cumberland Middle School in the West Shore School District.  She has also worked as a technology coach in the same district, implementing computers and apps into the general education classrooms.  Please contact Jessica Pugliano at for any questions.
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

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