Power of Music
Olympic Symbols and
Subject: Social Studies,
Geography, Music, English
Time needed: 1 X 45 min.
express feelings of unity and common understanding.
awards ceremonies, the flags of the three medal
winning countries are raised and the national
anthem of the gold medal winning country is
played. An anthem is a song of praise that often
speaks of the struggle a nation had in gaining
independence. Common themes are: love of country,
hopes and dreams, and dedication to freedom
and the principles of human integrity. National
anthems also reflect the feelings of individuals
of that nation, and help form the basis for
personal standards of excellence.
Students will understand
the procedure for playing the national anthem
during the Olympic awards ceremony.
Students will compare
and contrast the themes found in a variety of
anthems from a selection of countries.
Students will write
the words of an original anthem for a fictional
Video Segment #3:
Olympic Symbols and Meanings. Video available
from Griffin Publishing Group at http://www.griffinpublishing.com/.
While the video segment is a good addition to
this lesson plan, it is not essential for successful
completion of the activities.)
Background sheets: National Anthems of Selected
Pencils and musically lined paper
Copy of The Olympic Hymn
Show Video Segment #3: Olympic Symbols and
Meanings, focusing on the tradition of playing
national anthems for gold medal winners.
how and why countries choose to write national
anthems, with particular emphasis on the background
of the anthem of the United States, "The Star-Spangled
out background sheets, National Anthems of
Selected Countries, and have students study
the words of at least three national anthems.
and write a list of elements that are common
in all of the anthems that students read. Consider
rhyming patterns, literary style, theme, inclusion
of similar words, etc. The list should be discussed
as another national anthem text is analyzed
to determine if those elements remain consistent.
The list may be hung in the classroom for future
Ask students to
research the words to all verses of the original
"The Star-Spangled Banner. " One of the original
verses is seldom sung today.
- What has happened
in our relationship with our "Mother Country"
in the last 200 years that might make that
verse offensive to the British?
Ask students to
write a questionnaire that would help them determine
background information needed to write a national
- For example,
if the Queen of England decided to commission
a musician to compose a new national anthem,
what kind of information would the musician
need to compose the piece?
- Would he/she
need to know the country's history, climate,
customs, or other information before writing
write a survey that would be sent to the country's
magistrate to determine the needed information.
Students will then exchange surveys with a partner
who will complete it with the necessary information.
Students will write
the words to an original anthem for a fictional
country, or for their own personal statement
of beliefs and values.
- The words should
reflect the philosophy of the country and
the common elements of other national anthems.
Have students write
a fictional story about one of the anthems based
on the brief information included in this packet.
The story would need to be researched to find
more necessary information about the country
and its people.
Study the words
and music of the Olympic anthem and compare
how its message promotes the values of Olympism
students have studied.
| (c) 1996
By Griffin Publishing / United States Olympic
Published by Griffin
Publishing under license from the United States
Olympic Committee. This publication is a creative
work fully protected by all applicable rights.
All rights reserved. A classroom teacher may
reproduce copies of the material in this book
for classroom use only.