The Problem

You and up to three colleagues teach general music and other ensembles (e.g., band, orchestra, chorus, guitar ensemble, percussion ensemble, mariachi band, rock band) in a K-8 music program. The school is planning an all-school program for mid-February. For the grand finale the entire student body will perform My Country 'Tis of Thee.

Being a creative teacher you decide to use the tune as source material for teaching an array of concepts and skills over the semester. You also want to present a memorable event for the children and audience. 

Being well-organized and knowing how hard it is to develop curriculum once school begins, you begin your work during the summer. You plan to develop lessons that will help your students meet national and state standards in music. You want to use the revised Bloom’s taxonomy as a guide to constructing your lessons. You also will need to demonstrate through formative and summative assessments that the students are developing knowledge and skills that meet the national and state standards in music.

  1. Describe the characteristics of the students in your imaginary scenario, e.g., what do they know? what can they already do? what are their general developmental characteristics?
  2. Analyze the musical structure and historical context of My Country 'Tis of Thee.
  3. Brainstorm ways that My Country 'Tis of Thee can be used as source material to help students meet the achievement standards listed under the national standards.
  4. Create a grid built on Bloom's taxonomy and brainstorm specific ways that children could demonstrate their knowledge and skill within each square of the taxonomy.
  5. Create a way to assess the development of your students' knowledge and skill for at least one grade per teacher candidate in your group.Try to do this in a way that provides feedback
  6. Design a performance that is structured so that everyone in the audience learns a little but is also so moved emotionally that many cry. (I’m serious.)
  7. Provide a list of references to support your project.
  8. Post your entire project on either a web page or a site and present to the class. Send a link to your instructor, please.
  9. As a team, complete a self-assessment of your final project. As an individual, self-assess your personal contribution to the project.
The melody, lyrics and chord structure of My Country 'Tis of Thee can be found in the collection Get America Singing . . . Again! Vol. 2, published by Hal Leonard Corporation. You can also find a copy of the music in the Library of Congress and on the Wikipedia.