Lesson 2 – What does a National Anthem say about a country?

In this lesson, students enquire about Mozambique through use of National Anthems and consider what the lyrics say about the country, its history and identity.

Key Questions

What does a National Anthem say about a country?

Learning Objectives

  • To understand the purpose of a National Anthem
  • To reflect on how past history shapes our future


Introduce the theme using the National Anthems PowerPoint Unit 1 Lesson 2 - National anthems. Students sing the National Anthem of the UK following the version on the linked video (with lyrics to sing) and describe their experience of it. The teacher can discuss with them whether or not they know the words and how it felt to sing its words. They must also look at the lyrics and decide what it says about the UK as a country.

Main Activity 1

Students then watch a video of Maciene School students singing the National Anthem at the start of a school day. They discuss how the students might feel about it, why it is done and what they would think if they had to do it at school.

Main Activity 2

Students look at the lyrics of the current Mozambican National Anthem  Mozambican National anthem (pre- and post- 2002) and compare them to the lyrics of the previous version. They answer the following questions: What is the difference between the two of them? What do you think happened in the run up to the change in 2002?

Main Activity 3

Students are given five key events in the history of Mozambique. These include:

  • San hunter and gatherers who settled between 1st and 5th centuries
  • Colonialised by Portugal in 1500
  • Became independent in 1974
  • Civil War from 1977 to 1992
  • A cyclone in 200 killed hundred and devastated the infrastructure

Students must consider and discuss briefly which of these events had the greatest effect on the community of Mozambique and must attempt to write their own National Anthem for the country. It should contain 2 verses and a chorus.


Students reflect on the following questions: What are the events that have shaped your life? If you had a National Anthem for your life what would it be like?

Learning Outcomes

  • All students will be able to state one fact about the history of Mozambique
  • Most students will be able to the importance of the start of the School day at the Maciene School
  • Some students will be able to justify which event they think had the greatest impact on Mozambique’s history

Resources and Points to Note


  • Exploration of a petitionary prayer as providing focus of identity for a nation state (pluralism and religious identity)
  • Exploration of relationship between individual, state and conscience in forming / fostering national identity
  • Exploration of relationship between history and identity

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