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        Idaho | Activity 8.6: What’s in a Song? | Here We Have Idaho

        Unit 8: State Symbols

        This Unit will illustrate how the images associated with the state reflect the geography, American Indian heritage, economy, and history of exploration and settlement that have created present day Idaho.

        Lesson Summary

        Read the lyrics to the Idaho state song. Students learn about key elements that the authors chose to include, and then write their own song. 

        Standard: 413.02 Explain the significance of Idaho symbols.

        Time Allotment

        15 minutes


        • Class set of “Here We Have Idaho” lyric handout
        • Notebooks or loose-leaf paper
        • Pens or pencils


        1. Hand out the lyrics to the Idaho state song: “Here We Have Idaho”. Explain that the song was composed by multiple people during the early 20th century. McKinley Helm and Albert J. Tompkins contributed verses. Alice Bessee set the lyrics to a popular song by Sallie Hume Douglas.
        2. Read the song lyrics aloud to the class. As you read, have students circle or underline lyrics about features or the history of Idaho [i.e valleys, gold, pioneers].
        3. Have students make a list of the people and things that they think help make Idaho what it is today. They can include natural and manmade features specifically found in Idaho, as well as leaders in their community.
        4. Break students into small groups. Have each students write a short verse for a new Idaho song based on their lists. Instruct students to combine their work and try make a cohesive song.
        5. If time allows, have the groups present their new songs to the class.



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