Sounds of patriotism filled the Coman Hill halls in June as kindergarteners prepared for their Flag Day performance. The repertoire included well-known traditional songs of our country, as well as exuberant dances set to the music of popular American songs and marches.
The kindergarten performance theme remains consistent each year, focused on patriotism and the Flag Day holiday. “The students are so motivated that they rise to the vocal challenges and complicated language found in many of these songs,” says Emily Capalbo, Coman Hill music teacher.
This theme also provides a natural at-home connection. “I think there’s unspeakable value in sharing their learning and excitement in discovering that family members know the songs. It only perpetuates their enthusiasm,” Ms. Capalbo says.
She involves a lot of cross-curricular exploration; students read books about songs, discuss them in a historical context, use visual prompts as a way to support vocabulary, and they also explore geography. “We use maps a great deal,” says Ms. Capalbo. “There’s new meaning in This Land is Your Land when we locate California and New York on the map, understanding how far Woody Guthrie traveled and learning that this trip inspired him to write his famous song.”
The Kindergarten Flag Day performances precede the school’s Flag Day Celebration, when all of the teachers and students gather outside around the flagpole singing patriotic songs after a ceremonial flag raising. Ms. Capalbo continued, “The singalong is special because it brings everyone in Coman Hill together, commemorating the end of school in a moment of community, song and celebration.”