Home School Years

Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it.

America The Beautiful

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Target Vocabulary: America, American, anthem, appreciation, brotherhood, citizens, culture, eagle, flag, hymn, immigrants, independence, interpretation, liberty, nation, national, patriotism, pride, spirit, symbolism, United States

This week we are focusing our Summer School curriculum on themes relating to America and the Independence Day holiday. I want to briefly highlight a book I found to be a great resource for building discussion points and lessons related to American geography, history, symbolism, music and art: America The Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates; illustrated by Chris Gall.

Gall, a direct descendant of Bates, offers an artistic interpretation of the original poem, which has become a patriotic hymn honoring America’s beauty and spirit. The book offers various teaching tools including musical notation of the first verse, colorful illustrations accompanying all four verses of the poem, along with brief descriptions of the depictions. Themes include:

  • The Statue of Liberty
  • Appreciation for the natural wonders of the land
  • Lewis & Clark on the Missouri River along with Sacagawea exploring passage to the West
  • Immigrants from all over the world representing how American culture has been shaped
  • Apollo 11’s rocket on its mission to the moon
  • The changing seasons and landscapes across America
  • Scene showing family spending time together
  • Lighthouses as coastal beacons along the shores from sea to shining sea

This book helped us gain a deeper appreciation for the spirit behind the words Katharine Lee Bates authored.


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