Olympic National Anthems
May 17, 2012
I incorporate the Olympics in several ways. In the lower grades, I recreate the medals ceremony with a three-level staging area. I choose a different sporting event each day and share a brief example of it on the Internet. I made “flags” out of construction paper (I think with today’s computers one could print them off the Internet) and hang the flag of the featured country behind the staging area. I choose three students, present a “medal” to each one, and then play the national anthem of the featured country for the “gold medalist” of that event with all students standing and showing respect. Students learn about the tradition of the Olympics with the medal ceremony and hear the national anthems of different countries. I share with them where these countries are in the world and some basic information about the countries. I also supplement with songs and folk dances from the featured countries.
The upper elementary music classes play music skills games. The students are divided into teams, with each team representing a different country. The students compete in the music games either individually or as teams. The games assess their knowledge of note names, rhythm reading, instrument identification, composers, music genres, etc. I award “medals” based on their level of competence in the skills games.
Students of all ages enjoy these activities. Parents have told me that their children want to watch the Olympics because of the activities and discussions in music class.