Thursday, September 8, 2011



This week has been very productive in history. Since Selena is performing with the other children at church for our 9/11 special service. We did a lot of practice on America The Beautiful.


It was my hope that not only would she learn the song to sing, but also learn the meaning of the song along with why we were going to have this special service on Sunday. We started by just breaking the song down in parts, and discussed the meaning.

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

Selena learned that this part speaks about the beauty found in America. We took a long look at our spacious skies both at day and at night. We looked at many pictures of all the different grain farmlands, so she could truly get a feel for  how they truly do look like waves of grain, as the winds and breezes blow over them. She reflected on Mount Rainier as the purple mountain majesty, which worked every so wonderful as it truly does raise up over the fruit orchards that she remembered from our vacation last summer.

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,

Whose stern imapassion’d stress

Athoroughfare for freedom beat

Across the wilderness!

Selena learned that the pilgrims are the people, men and women who truly were seeking for freedom. We used this along with our studies of Columbus and discussed how the people who came over from England were looking for a place where they could believe the ways they desired, and how that brought them to America. We also looked at the pioneers in our own family, and their quest for farms and a chance to raise their families.

O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life!

At this point, we truly looked and dwelled into 9/11. We looked at what happened on that day, disgusted why it happened, and who the heroes were on that day.  We talked about how every day these first responders and military men and women put their lives on the line to keep freedom ringing in our country and to keep us safe.

O Beautiful for patriot dream

That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam,

Undimmed by human tears!

Selena learned that this section truly speaks of heaven, and how through the grace of God we all have the opportunity to someday live in this beautiful city where there will be no more tears. This brought us full circle as to how big God was, is and should be in America and in all lives.

I am linking this up at All Things Beautiful.

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  1. What a lovely idea! We only did the first verse and I had them draw pictures to go with each of the lines. I am not sure I have ever heard the other verses. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing this with us.

  2. Great breakdown of the hymn, and the lessons in it!

  3. This is a great way to explain difficult words in a new song. I suppose I need to talk to Anna about Sep 11 before she learns about it in school. That was the day that changed all of us in so many ways.

  4. I love how often she gets to perform at church! Great job explaining that

  5. We once checked out a picture book that had some really beautiful pictures to accompany the words to that song. Like when it said "amber waves of grain" there was a picture of a Kansas prairie.

  6. That's a great idea!- so often, as children, we learn the words but not the meaning.