Teaching Students About O Canada, the Canadian National Anthem

As Canadians, we take pride in our national anthem, O Canada. It is important that we teach our students about the significance of this song and what it means to be Canadian. Not only does it serve as a symbol of our country, but it is also a reflection of our history, values, and people.

One of the easiest ways to teach students about O Canada is through music. Start by playing the song in class and encourage them to sing along. You can also teach them the lyrics and the meaning behind each line. For example, the opening line “O Canada, our home and native land” refers to Canada as our country and birthplace.

You can also discuss the history of O Canada. The song was originally written in French as “Chant national” by Adolphe-Basile Routhier and was first performed in Quebec City in 1880. The English lyrics, written by Robert Stanley Weir, were added in 1908. It wasn’t until 1980 that O Canada was officially adopted as our national anthem, replacing “God Save the Queen”.

In addition to the history, it’s important to discuss the values that O Canada represents. The song emphasizes unity, freedom, and peace. It speaks to the diversity of our country, with lyrics such as “With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free”. This line references the beauty of Canada’s landscape while celebrating our country’s independence and strength.

Teaching students about O Canada can also be a chance to discuss current issues related to Canadian identity. For example, the phrase “In all thy sons command” has been a topic of debate for many years, with some people arguing that it excludes women. In 2018, the lyrics were officially changed to “In all of us command” to reflect a more inclusive language.

As teachers, we play an important role in educating our students about the significance of O Canada. By promoting respect and understanding of our national anthem, we can help foster a sense of national pride and unity within our classrooms and communities.

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