I taught my third graders a lesson today about the history and significance of the American national anthem as a national symbol. It was a really interesting lesson that I was surprised to find many students engaged in. Not only that, but I used a variety of multimedia for the lesson which students seemed genuinely excited about. We watched the anthem sung at the 1996 Olympics (found here) and Christina Aguilera's version/mess up at the Superbowl this year. After that I found a clip on YouTube that featured a karaoke-style sing along for kids, and most students really enjoyed singing along. Furthermore, I found that all students grasped the importance and respect one needs to have for our national anthem (which to me seemed like the bulk of the message for today's lesson).
However, the highest point of my day was when three girls in my last period class volunteered to stand up in the front of the class and sing the anthem together. And when I say sing, I mean they belted it out beautifully - none of that reading it off the paper nonsense (which was what I did :P). It was a really great end to a full day of classes that all seemed to go well!