Lesson 1: Learning “Stars and Stripes Forever”

Aim: How can we explore steady beat and marching with “Stars and Stripes Forever”?
Summary: Students learn to sing and move along to “Stars and Stripes Forever” while building vocabulary to describe the American brass band.
Materials: Musical Explorers CD or online audio, scissors, glue, popsicle sticks, markers or crayons
Time Required: 40 minutes (four 10-minute activities)
Standards: MK-2GM.1,MK-2GM.4, MK-2GM.6, MK-2GM.7, MK-2GM.6, MK-2GM.9,MK-2GM.10,
SC: MGK-2.1, MGK-2.2, MGK-2.3, MGK-2.4, MGK-2.5, MGK-2.6
Vocabulary: steady beat, march, patriotic

Meet Mike

  • Meet Mike on SG6.


Explore the Steady Beat in “Stars and Stripes Forever”

  • Listen to Mike and his friends play “Stars and Stripes Forever,” cdicon_22px Track 7

    • What do you notice about this song?
    • How does this song make you want to move?
  • Explain to your students that the steady pulse you feel in music is called the steady beat.
  • Ask students to clap their hands with the steady beat as they listen to the song.


March to “Stars and Stripes Forever”

  • A march is a musical genre with a strong steady beat, originally written for bands marching in a parade.
  • Ask your students if they have ever been to a parade.
    • Who have you seen in a parade?
    • Have you seen a marching band?
  • A marching band is a group of musicians who march and play their instruments together. Marching is walking to a steady beat in an organized manner.
  • Ask students to stand and march to the steady beat of “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
  • Color and cut out the flags on SG7. As Mike and his friends play “Stars and Stripes Forever,” ask students to wave their flags and march to the steady beat.


Learn the Chorus to “Stars and Stripes Forever”

  • Now listen again to a portion of the song, cdicon_22px Track 8.

    Ask your students to hum along.
  • This part of the song has lyrics. Read the lyrics to “Stars and Stripes Forever” aloud to your students. “Stars and Stripes Forever” is the official National March of the United States of America. This is a patriotic song, or a song that expresses pride in our country.


Stars and Stripes Forever

Hurray for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.

Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.


John_Philip_SousaJohn Philip Sousa (1854 – 1932)

John Philip Sousa lived in the 19th and 20th centuries and primarily wrote music for community orchestras and bands. He is known as “The March King” because of the number of marches he composed.


Musical Word Wall

Add the words steady beat, march, and patriotic to the Musical Word Wall.


PDF Downloads

SG6 ↓ Download File
SG7 ↓ Download File


Musical Explorers Audio Tracks