Red, White, and Blue: Patriotic Lesson Plans and Classroom Activity Ideas



In this article you will find:

  • lesson plans, quizzes, activity sheets, and other free printables on John Philip Sousa
  • teaching activities on the history of the Francis Scott Key and the Star Spangled Banner
  • lesson plans and tips for teaching students how to sing the National Anthem
  • instructional video on how to sign the Pledge of Allegiance
  • fun choreography ideas for patriotic performances


John Philip Sousa



John Philip Sousa was nicknamed the March King because he primarily wrote American Military and patriotic marches. He wrote 136 marches and many operettas. His music is fun and lively, and kids will love it! Sousa led the U.S. Marine Band and then the President’s Own Band during five different presidencies. He even played at two inaugural balls. He organized The Sousa Band the year he left the Marine Band. The Sousa Band toured from 1892–1931, performing at more than 15,000 concerts. The band played for sold-out crowds both in America and around the world.  

HERE is a great playlist on YouTube of Sousa’s music.

One site to learn about classical music is Classics for Kids. They have 4 different radio broadcasts about Sousa, as well as free printable activities to go along with them.



The Crayola website has a free coloring page about John Philip Sousa.

This is a great website all about Sousa and his career.

Sounds of Sousa is another website full of resources to learn about Sousa and his music.

Have fun learning a cup routine to El Capitain by Sousa with your kids!



 Francis Scott Key and the Star Spangled Banner 

Virtual Sheet Music The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History – where the Star Spangled Banner is now.

Smithsonian Museum The words to the song.

SSB Lyrics Great information about the flag.

American flag information

SSB Museum Find out why our Star Spangled Banner is worth saving.

History Channel: SSB Francis Scott Key online games.

Francis Scott Key games


Star Spangled Banner



Have students listen to different versions of The Star Spangled Banner. Then have them write what they hear and fill out these sheets!


Star Spangled Banner Quiz Star Spangled Banner Meaning Star Spangled Banner Listening





Additional Teaching Resources:

Tips for Teaching Students the National Anthem

Teaching Students the Pledge of Allegiance in Sign Language

Choreographed “America the Beautiful”



star spangled banner classroom photo




John Philip Sousa – Composer Study Lesson Ideas by Teach Beside Me

Quiz and Facts from Beth’s Notes 

Star Spangled Banner Printables from Beth’s Notes


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The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) provides a number of forums for the sharing of information and opinion, including blogs and postings on our website, articles and columns in our magazines and journals, and postings to our Amplify member portal. Unless specifically noted, the views expressed in these media do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Association, its officers, or its employees.

Kristen Rencher. © National Association for Music Education (