Practical Ideas For Using American Heroes Songs in Your School




Practical Ideas for Using

American Heroes Songs in Your School

Click and print out JONATHAN’S HEROES CALENDAR. I’ve spent dozens of hours compiling important dates that correspond with the heroes in my songs. Play the heroes song that ties in with a birthday, death day, day in which s/he accomplished something great, etc. Example: On February 15th (Susan B. Anthony’s birthday), play Carry On (from More American Heroes) in your classroom and/or on the school intercom as you mention the important date.

Play Who Am I? with your entire school during AM announcements or in your classroom. Give a series of clues (hardest to easiest) about a particular hero and then play the song from the CD. Children submit answers. At the end of the day, among the correct answers, randomly pick a winner who will get a Jonathan Sprout heroes CD! After the hero is identified, discuss the hero, what s/he did and what character traits they exhibited.

Use Dr. Dennis Denenberg’s book 50 American Heroes Every Kid Should Meet. As you teach children about heroes, play the corresponding songs. Most of my heroes are included in Dr. Denenberg’s list.

Use Dr. Dennis Denenberg’s great idea of creating a Heroes Fair at your school – having each of your students choose a hero they will research and “become” for a day. Play the heroes music in the background as people navigate their way around the hall of heroes.

Wax Museum Day – the same as a Heroes Fair, except students strike a pose and hold it. Biographical information is displayed next to each hero. Play the heroes songs during the event.

Play heroes songs during quiet/listening times, during arrival and departure times, over the school intercom before or after AM announcements.

Play the heroes music for your class. Ask your students to pick an additional hero not on the CD they would like to hear a song about. Try writing your own hero poem, lyric or song with your class. If you’re having trouble creating music, pick a familiar song and write your own lyric to it. Example: “Row row row your boat gently down the stream ... Merrily, merrily merrily merrily, life is but a dream” ... could be re-written to ... “John Muir loved to save every mountain stream ... happily happily happily happily, nature was his theme.”

Help your students memorize a few of my hero songs as they sing along with the CD. Perform a mini-concert in your classroom (or for the entire school). Invite parents, your principal and community leaders. Create a program/bulletin that includes student artwork, song lyrics (with proper crediting – name of songwriter(s) and copyright information). Include a brief biography of the hero. This can be a memento for your memorable occasion.

Create your own musical with a theme and use (with proper credit) my songs in your school. Example:

* Inventors & Innovators – Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington Carver, Milton Hershey, Jonas Salk

* History of Flight – Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong

* Equal Rights – Jackie Robinson, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Tecumseh, Sojourner Truth, Eleanor Roosevelt

* Peace – Samantha Smith, Martin Luther King, Jr., Johnny Appleseed, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Pocahontas, Cesar Chavez, Jane Addams

* Black History (February)

* Women’s History (March)

* Presidents-- Theodore Roosevelt, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson,

Have your children sing Heroes or A Better World from my CDs during a school-wide assembly, perhaps at the end of the school year or during a back-to-school night. The sheet music for these songs may be purchased for $11.99 each by clicking using our Order Form.

Have a school-wide Hero of the Month or Hero of the Week on the intercom each morning. Selected students share a tid-bit of knowledge each morning. Include songs and poems about the hero.

Night of the Notables. Each student picks a hero. S/he dresses up as that hero for an evening school performance that parents are invited to attend. Each student can recite a famous quotation from his/her hero and say a few things about the hero. Each hero could even be interviewed. Play heroes music in and around the performances.

Encourage your phys ed teacher to use heroes music during movement activities. When the kids are up and doing activities, why not use educational music? Here are some of my heroes songs that phys ed teachers have told me work well: Chocolate King, Doctor & He Will Not Give Up (from American Heroes #3), When They Flew, Aren't I A Woman & Break the Barrier (from More American Heroes), Washington’s Hat &  All Across the Land (from American Heroes).

Purchase great hero dolls at and teach about heroes while displaying these dolls and playing heroes music.

If you have an additional idea, please email me! I want to hear from you!