Poetry Assignments: Patriotic Songs and Illustration Paper

My notes to myself:
Maybe when we are discussing poetry, I could ask them what strategies their teachers have given them for reading poetry. We could discuss how useful they have found those to be. Maybe I could give them some of my strategies for reading poetry, particularly discussing how I chose the poems for the class and why. (I do some of that anyway, but maybe we could shut our syllabi, open the book, and have the students skim for possible poems to read. I might find some other good ones that way. It would also be a way to show what “non-prepared” reading of a poem might look like.)

Homework: Find/choose a patriotic song/poem. Research the history of the poem and the author. Do a 5-minute reading and introduction to the poem. (<4 min = -20, >6 min = -20)
american-flagPoem suggestions:
“Barbara Frietchie” John Greenleaf Whittier
“Ragged Old Flag” by Johnny Cash
“America the Beautiful” by Katherine Lee Bates
“America for Me” by Henry Van Dyke

“Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood
“Battle Hymn of the Republic” Julia Ward Howe
“When Johnny Comes Marching Home” (Civil War song)
“Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Phillips Sousa
“You’re a Grand Old Flag” George M. Cohan
“Ballad of the Green Beret” SSG Barry Sadler and Robin Moore
“I, Too, (sing America)” Langston Hughes
“Old Ironsides” Oliver Wendell Holmes
“O Captain, My Captain!” Walt Whitman
“The Concord Hymn” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“God Bless America” Irving Berlin
“A Nation’s Strength” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“America (My Country Tis of Thee)” Samuel Francis Smith
“Have You Forgotten?” Darryl Worley
“The Marine’s Hymn”
“The Army Goes Rolling Along” (either the 1917 or 1956 version)
“Anchors Aweigh” Charles A. Zimmerman
“The US Air Force” Capt. Robert Crawford
“Semper Paratus” Captain Francis Saltus Van Boskerck
“Eternal Father, Strong to Save”
“The New Colosus” Emma Lazarus
“Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (This is a long poem. You need to choose only a section of it to read aloud.)

Poetry paper:
Look up definitions of family, love, patriotism. Write a definition paragraph.
Then use three poems to illustrate the definition. One paragraph each.

2 thoughts on “Poetry Assignments: Patriotic Songs and Illustration Paper”

  1. I love your idea! Would it be okay for me to use it (or a variation thereof) in my comp class this semester?

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