A WWII Plane and Singing a Patriotic Song

It’s not everyday that a WWII plane appears out of nowhere, overhead, in my own backyard.  It was enormous! Hubby thought it could be a B-24 or even a rarer B-29 Superfortress.

Somehow it seemed very fitting. Yesterday at school I pulled out my autoharp and Miles asked to sing “This Land is Your Land.”  I was surprised.  While the song was the most popular song last year (understatement), we have only sung it one time this year – two weeks ago.

That’s all it took.

So yesterday, we sang  “This Land is Your Land” in an enormous way. Children stood up.   They fought over who would hold the book while we sang.

What is it about patriotic songs?  How is it that children can sense a strong, wonderful feeling?    I don’t have an answer, but I will embrace their enthusiasm and sing those songs. Emergent curriculum.  Patriotism.  Children and music.

At pick-up time I asked Miles’ mom how he knew this song.

“He heard it from you.  And he loves that song. He has been singing it non-stop every day.”


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in America, Early Education, music, patriotism, preschool, Singing, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to A WWII Plane and Singing a Patriotic Song

  1. We had a wonderful choir at my middle school. The students blossomed as they sang. Being a middle school, the content was always about the winter musical and the spring musical. I wish everyone understood the importance of the arts in school.

  2. Ritu says:

    That is just so wonderful, to be the one instilling true patriotism into the children 🥰

  3. beetleypete says:

    I’m no expert, but after enlarging the photo I think it is a Super Fortress.
    You have given Miles a song that he will remember for all his life. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Love the song too. Really, aircrafts/ planes are always fantastic. Michael

  5. Great timing all the way round!
    Last year #1 learned several more patriotic songs, but his favorite was You’re a Grand Old Flag. My title might be off but you know the song I mean. He sang it all the time and we asked him to sing it just as often. 😃

    • Jennie says:

      The timing was remarkable, the plane was absolutely gigantic, and the song was #1 at school. I find it fascinating that things can happen together like this. I love that song your grandson sang! You have the title right. These patriotic songs are among the best. Thank you, Deborah.

  6. Wonderful post, Jennie. It sounds like such a great song. You should record your class singing it for us.

  7. Darlene says:

    Such a great song. Although we have different words to it in Canada, it always makes me feel proud as I’m sure it does your students. Keep doing what you’re doing. xo

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Darlene. I feel the same way. And, I will keep doing what I do! So, Canada has different words to the song? I’d love to know those words.

      • Darlene says:

        Here it is. The place names had to be changed, of course. I think there is a picture book as well.

        This Land is Your Land (Canadian Lyrics by The Travellers )
        This land is your land, This land is my land,
        From Bonavista, to Vancouver Island
        From the Arctic Circle to the Great Lakes waters,
        This land was made for you and me.

        As I went walking that ribbon of highway,
        I saw above me that endless skyway;
        I saw below me that golden valley
        This land was made for you and me.
        I roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps,
        To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
        While all around me a voice was sounding,
        Saying this land was made for you and me
        The sun came shining, and I was strolling,
        And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling;
        As the fog was lifting, a voice was chanting,

        This land was made for you and me.
        This land is your land, this land is my land,
        From Bonavista to Vancouver Island;
        From the Arctic Circle to the Great Lakes waters,
        This land was made for you and me.

        Woody Gunthrie’s lyrics are ©1956 (renewed 1984), 1958 (renewed 1986) and 1970 TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)

      • Jennie says:

        Thank you, Darlene! It’s just the chorus that is different, to relate to Canada of course. Do children learn the song in school?

      • Darlene says:

        It depends on the teacher but I´m sure many do.

  8. Darlene says:

    Such a great song. Although we have different words to it in Canada, it always makes me feel proud as I’m sure it does your students. Keep doing what you’re doing. xo

  9. I hadn’t thought about it before, but you’re right about children and patriotic sounds. They like to sing it loud and sing it proud!

  10. I wouldn’t know one plane from another but it’s exciting to see something no longer common. The song is an earworm for Miles. We always sang patriotic songs with exhuberace too but I came from a military family.

    • Jennie says:

      I had no idea what kind of plane it was, only that it was enormous, old, and flying low.

    • Jennie says:

      Oops… and thank goodness hubby was there to identify it. It is a joy to see children sing patriotic songs with such exuberance. I did not grow up in a military family, but I learned to sing all those songs in school. Great memories!

  11. Norah says:

    Touching hearts, touching minds, changing lives. Beautiful, Jennie.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    We live a few blocks from Pratt and Whitney and occasionally have had that experience. I read a wonderful article distinguishing patriotism(love of one’s country) from nationalism(animosity to all other countries.) It is sad that the two are confused a lot of the times. I love all those patriotic songs I learned as a kid and I am far from a nationalist.

  13. srbottch says:

    I wish the kids sang patriotic songs at school but times have changed and it seems out of vogue in today’s environment. As a kid, our grammar s hook sang them and the military songs, religiously. I learned them then and have never forgotten them. Nice work on your part to keep them alive, Jennie.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Steve. I don’t care if it is out of vogue and if times have changed, because children haven’t changed. They love these songs! So, I will keep them alive. 🙂

  14. Opher says:

    You can’t beat Woody!

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