Of The People
by Teresa Jennings
We couldn't resist doing this song for this issue. It is, after all, our young company's very first major election year, and we just had to be a part of it. The message is the important part of this song. While it is our intention to reinforce the power we Americans have to control our own destinies by using the gift of free speech, it is also our intention to have our children remind our grown-ups. Subliminal message: vote.
You can do this one up big in a program complete with all the bells and whistles, or you can use it more subtly - perhaps at a P.T.O. meeting or a pre-election day concert. However, you use it, consider adding activities, and bring it across-the-curriculum. Discuss these whole language possibilities with the other teachers:
- Do a unit on politics, elections, voting, etc. Discuss the American political system. How does it work? Is it the best way to do things? Can anyone run for office? What does it take? Is it expensive? Come up with other such questions for discussion, or let the students come up with their own questions.
- Put together your own school elections (or music class elections) and let the students campaign - complete with posters, buttons, flyers, media coverage, debates, etc. Even let them have conventions, if at all possible. And don't forget to teach them how to register and vote. Send home a letter informing their parents and families what they are doing and invite them to participate. Adults need to be inspired sometimes, too.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.