Fireworks in Celebrations


American Independence Day on the 4th July celebrates the signing of the 'Declaration of Independence' drawn up by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. Celebrated today with street parties and parades, firework displays and outings to the country and beach.



'Independence Day' Philip Gross in 'Let's Celebrate' (poem):

'The Fourth of July' Jean Kenward in 'Let's Celebrate'.

'Red Badge of Courage' by Stephen Crane, Puffin Classics (fiction).


'America the Beautif ul" in 'A Musical Calendar of

Festivals' (song).

'Home,Homeonthe Range' in 'UsborneChildren's Son Book'.

'Balliad of the Boll Weevil' song in 'Birds and Beasts', A & C Black.

'Marching Through Georgia' easy ensemble music by Studio Jnr. Musicpax.


'Somebody's Knocking at your Door' - American play-song 'Bright Ideas: Teacher's Handbook Language Resources' Scholastic.

'Floating Down the River' - as above.


National holiday in France to commemorate the storming of the Bastille prison on the ]4th July 1789. One of the earliest events of the French Revolution. Celebrations include parades, bands, firework displays and street parties and dances. 'La Marseillaise' is the National Anthem of France.



'Tale of Two Cities' Charles Dickens.

'La Marseillaise' in 'A Musical Calendar of Festivals' (song).


'Sur Le Pont' - traditional French folk tune/action dance in 'Bright Ideas: Teacher's Handbook Language Resources' Scholastic.


A two-week long celebration in January or February. Years are named on a 12 year cycle after the twelve animals associated with Buddha. The festivities included special foods, gifts of money in special red envelopes. Homes are cleaned thoroughly then decorated with paper flowers, good luck messages and lanterns. There is aan outdoor Feast of Lanterns and the magnificent Lion Dance. Firecrackers are let off to scare away the lion and other spirits and demons


'Chinese New Year' Ginn Celebrations (story of Buddha and the animals plus details of the festival)

'Chinese New Year' Festivals Book 2.

'The Months of the Year' Paul Hughes.


'Dragon Dance' Max Fatchen 'Let's Celebrate' (poem).

'Lion Dance' Trevor Millum.

'Fu-Dog' by Rumer Godden (fiction) Julia MacRae Books.


'Lantern Song' Festivals Book 2.

'New Year Greeting' in 'A Musical Calendar of Festivals' (song).

'Chinatown Dragon' in 'Harlequin Songbook'.

Chinese Drums and Gongs Lyrichord label LYRI/LIST 7102.

'Chinese Music' - 11 Folk Songs Decca DEC/ECS 212.


'The Chinese Dragon Monster' - 'Bright Ideas: Dance and Movement".

'The Emperor and the Nightingale" - as above.

'Bird in a Cage' in 'Singing and Dancing Games' Scholastic Cassettes.

'Ma Liang and his Magic Brush' in 'Story, Song and Dance' Jean Gilbert.

Dragons in 'Time to Dance' Marion Wore, Belair Pub.


A celebration remembering the plotto blow up King James 1 and the English Houses of Parliament in 1605. Children in Britain and the Commonwealth countries collect 'money for the guy' - a stuffed figureto represent Guy Fawkes - and on the nightof November 5th the guy is burnt on top of a bonfire. Fireworks are let off and parties are held round the bonfire with lots of special food.


Lots of creative/display/language ideas in 'Bonfire Night' chapterof 'Bright Ideas: Display' Scholastic. Fire in 'A World of Display' by J. Makoff & L. Duncan, Belair Pub.


'Remember' by Dove Ward in 'Let's Celebrate' (poem).

'Please to Remember' by Geoffrey Holloway in 'Let's Celebrate'. (poem)

'Mind Your Own Business' Michael Rosen. (poem)

'November 3rd' by Mick Gower in 'Swings and Roundabouts' Lions. (poem)

Poems by Wes Magee in 'Morninq Break'. 'Fireman Sam and the Fireworks' D. Wilmer (fiction).

'Little Grey Rabbits Bonfire' Alison Uttley, Piccolo (fiction).

'Fireworks Galore' H. Townson (fiction).

"The Bonfire Pudding" in 'When My Naughty Little Sister Was Good' by Dorothy Edwards Mammoth (fiction).


'Children Dancing' Rosamund Shreeves, Ward Lock Educational.

'A Box of Fireworks' by Wes Magee in 'A 3rd Poetry Book' OUP (poem - very good for movement).

Fireworks/Bonf ire - 'Bright Ideas: Dance and

Movement' Scholastic Fireworks - 'TimeTo Dance'

Marion Ware, Belair (accompanying Cassette).

Further movement Ideas for Bonfire Night -


Rockets - down low, shoot out, rushing through the sky and fall down to the floor.

Sparklers - shaking, quick, sharp movements using all the body.

Starting then stopping, slowing down.

Catherine Wheel - slow spin, getting quicker, then slowing, sink to the floor.

Bangers - still, sudden explosive movements.


Flames - shooting high, darting in all directionsthen slowing, fading away.

Guy Fawkes - floppy figures, sinks slowly in the flames.

Group work - each group takes a firework, one group takes the bonfire.

Class work - one person is the Guy the rest the flames and fireworks.

Added stimuli - percussion instruments, body percussion, vocal sounds.


'Guy Fawkes" in 'A Musical Calendarof Festivals' (song).

'The Fifth of November' in 'Harlequin Song Book' (son

'Copolur Song' Game Songs.

Handel - Music for the Royal Fireworks.

Berlioz - Roman Carnival.

Falia - Ritual Fire Dance from 'El Amor Bruio'.

Stravinski - Danceof the Firebird from 'The Firebird Suite'.

Hoist - Mars from 'The Planet Suite'.

Eagles - 'Journey of the Sorceror'.


Carnival was originally a final feast before the forty-day fastof Lent. Theword carnival itself comes from the Latin words comem levare meani ng to take away meat and so to cornelevarium. The main events of carnival hiave always taken place on Shrove Tuesday which is often called Mardi Gras meaning Fat Tuesday. Carnival is still celebrated in many differentways around the world. International carnivals include -

The Battle of the Flowers - Venice and Rome, Italy; Jersey, Channel Isles; Nice, France.

Mardi Gras - New Orleans, North America; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; West lndies.

Notting Hill Carnival, - London, England.

The processions include bands (jazz, calypso, samba' reggae), groups of beautifully costumed walkers and huge floats. Spectacular firework displays often form the finale to a carnival.


'Carnival' Jon Mayled - 'Festivals'.

'Carnival' tan Menter.

'Carnival Time' N. & 1 Morris.


'Shrove Tuesday' by Anne Banner in 'Let's Celebrate (poem).

'Mardi-Gras' byjean Kenward in 'Let's Celebrate' (poem).

'Carnival in Rio' by James Kirkup in 'Let's Celebrate' (poem).

'King of the Band' by Amryl Johnson in 'Let's Celebrate' (poem).

"Jouvert Morning' by Dove Calder in 'Let's Celebrate (poem).

'Pancake Day' Shaun Fountain - 'Rhyme Time' (poem).

'Carnival in Trinidad' Nydia Bruce-Solomon - 'Tinderbox Assembly Book'

'Kcimla and Kate' by Jamila Gavin (fiction).

'The Carnival Kite' by Grace Hailworth (fiction).

'Nina at Carnival' Enrol Lloyd (fiction).

'West Indian Folk-Tales' retold by Philip Sherlock OUP

'Anancy Spiderman: 20 Caribbean Folk Stories James Berry, Walker Books.

'A Thief in the Village and Other Stories' James Berry, Puffin.

'Go Play Carnival' short story in 'Cometo Mecca' by Farrukh Dhondy, Lions.

'Carnival of Dreams' Beryl Gilroy (fiction).


'Mango Spice' -44 Caribbean songs,A& C Black.

'Mix A Pancake' in 'Harlequin Songbook'.

'Shrove Tuesday' in 'Harlequin Songbook'.

'Everybody Loves Carnival Night' in 'Tinderbox Songbook'.

'Carnival Night' in 'Tinderbox Songbook'.

'Calypso' in 'Flying Around Songbook'.

'Junkanoo' in 'Flying Around Songbook'.

'Caribbean Carnival (Jamaica Rumba)' easy ensemble music, Studio Junior Musicpcix.

'Jamaica Farewell' - as above.

'Caribbean Adventure' M. Burnett, M.P Christian,

12 tunes from the West Indies with Caribbean rhythms arranged for classroom instruments, International Music Publications.

'Classroom Calypso' Michael Burnell, as above. Voodoo trance music, ritual drums from Haiti, lyrichord (LYRI/LLST 7279).


'Who Stole the Cookie? - traditional West Indian chanting game in 'Bright Ideas: Teachers Handbook - Language Resources' Scholastic.

'Manuel Road' - Jamaican worksong/action dance - as above.

'Dancer in the Ring' - West Indian singing game as above.

Shrove Tuesday/Pancakes - 'Bright Ideas: Dance and Movement' Scholastic.

'Emperors Oblong Pancake' in 'Story, Song and Dance' by Jean Gilbert, Cambridge Educational.