A New Nation

Oh Say Can You See....and Sing: The National Anthem

Oh Say Can You See....and Sing: The National Anthem

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.64

     challenging words:    inspiration, penned, renamed, upcoming, victorious, anthem, beloved, helpless, warning, ever, battleground, prisoner, however, attack, lines, okay
     content words:    Francis Scott Key, Scott Key, Great Britain, Fort McHenry, Would America, Had America, Star-Spangled Banner, On March

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Oh Say Can You See....and Sing: The National Anthem
By Erin Horner

1     Have you ever felt helpless? Francis Scott Key knew that feeling all too well. He, however, was able to use that feeling as inspiration. That helplessness led Mr. Key to write the words to one of America's most famous songs.
2     Francis Scott Key was a lawyer in the 1800s. In 1814 the U.S. was once again at war with Great Britain. A U.S. doctor was captured. He was taken prisoner and held captive aboard a British ship. Mr. Key wanted to help free him. He and another man boarded the British ship and asked the soldiers to release their friend. The troops agreed to release the doctor, but said that the men could not leave the ship...yet. The British were getting ready to attack Fort McHenry in Baltimore. They did not want Mr. Key or the other men warning the Americans about the upcoming attack. The men were stuck. The battle began, and Francis Scott Key felt helpless.
3     Mr. Key watched from the ship as Fort McHenry was attacked. He worried about the people living in Baltimore. Would they be okay? Would America be okay? Mr. Key felt helpless. There was nothing he could do to help his country while stuck on a British ship. Then he found an old piece of paper and began to write a poem. In the poem he talked about the bombs bursting in the air.

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