What Does
the Star-Spangled Banner
Mean to Me?

Suggested Lesson Plans for Elementary Students

Teacher Introduction:
Review pages 2, 16, and 31 of The Star-Spangled Banner Project Teacher’s Manual
Day One: Content
Below are several suggestions for activities to do in the classroom to help students understand the history surrounding the Star-Spangled Banner. Choose one or two lessons to do with your class.

Suggested Activities for Students Grades 4 and 5:
The Star-Spangled Banner Project Teacher’s Manual
Activity I: A History of The War of 1812 & the Star-Spangled Banner pgs 16-22
Activity III: Journal Writing and Reporting — page 23

Fort McHenry Teacher’s Guide
Lesson 4: The Star Fort
Lesson 8: The Great Garrison Flag

National Flag Day Foundation Educational Resource Handbooks
Francis Scott Key and Fort McHenry -- pages 28-35

The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Educational Resource Guide
Lesson plan: Mary Pickersgill and the Making of the Star-Spangled Banner

Day Two: What is a Storyboard?
Use the How to Write a Storyboard lesson plan that accompanies this packet to teach students about storyboards. You may want to have the whole class "storyboard" a short story on the blackboard as a group exercise. Discuss some of the key elements of a successful storyboard.

Homework Assignment:: Establish teams of three to four students. Each team should write an answer to the question, "What does the Star-Spangled Banner mean to me?". This should be turned in and reviewed by the teacher.

Day Three:
What does the Star-Spangled Banner Mean to Me?

Teams should take their revised statements —
What does the Star-Spangled Banner Mean to Me? and turn them into storyboards.

Storyboard Tips:

  • Storyboard illustrations should be very simple, they can even be sketches
  • Storyboards should outline a 30 second public service announcement (PSA)
  • Consider that each drawing in the storyboard will be on the screen for 4 to 5 seconds --
    this will limit the number of drawings to 4 (see sample board)
  • Think about camera angle as you make the sketches for your storyboard
  • To create your storyboard sketches, put yourself in the position of the
    camera — what does the camera see?
  • Storyboards can be drawn on paper, poster board or be computer generated

Materials Needed:
To obtain these materials, you may go to our download page and download all pdf's needed or please access the web sites provided and download your materials. Thank You.

note: Please go to the History Channel and register to receive their entire Teachers Manual
National Flag Day Foundation Educational Resource Handbook

The Star-Spangled Banner Project K-8 Teacher’s Manual

National Museum of American History —
Smithsonian Institution, The Star-Spangled Banner Project


Fort McHenry Teacher’s Guide


The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Education Programs Resource Book

How to Write A Storyboard

Contest Registration Form:
Fourth, Fifth and Gifted and Talented/SE Teachers if you are interested in registering for the What Does the Star-Spangled Banner Mean to Me? 2003 Public Service Announcement Contest please complete the Contest Registration Form on the following page.

Good Luck!

Questions Call:
Julia Forbes,
Senior Educator for the Smithsonian's Star-Spangled Banner Project at (202) 357-1734 or email at forbesj@si.edu

Pat Perluke,
The National Flag Day Foundation, Inc. (410) 836-9295 or email at ajlaquin@aol.com

download PSA Contest Info and Registration Form - pdf | pdfs needed PSA Contest Materials

go back to The Star-Spangled Banner Education Committee of Maryland