Lesson Plan/U.s. History/9 Grade Level United States Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1415 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Music

Lesson Plan/U.S. History/9

Grade Level

United States History: Celebrating Black History Month through Music

Learning Objective:

Students will appreciate compositions written by African-American composers. At the end of the lesson, they will be able to identify compositions according to style. They will be able to discuss the significance of the compositions to American history.

Materials to be Prepared Ahead of Time:

CD player and CDs

or, selections downloaded to MP3 player or iPod

Suggested titles/artists: "Pickin' Cotton All Day Long"/Creola Scott; "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"/Etta James; "It Don't Mean a Thing (if it Ain't Got That Swing"/Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong; "The Thrill is Gone"/B.B. King; "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag"/James Brown; "God Gave Me Style"/50 Cent

Key Vocabulary Terms Related to the Lesson Concept:

work song spiritual jazz rhythm and blues funk/soul rap/hip-hop

Opening Activity:

Teacher: Today I am going to play a song on CD. Listen carefully to the words. (the class listens to a work song such as "Pickin' Cotton All Day Long" by Creola Scott.)

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The teacher invites students to comment on the song. S/he provides no direction for the conversation but allows students to share their thoughts and observations. After everyone who wants to share has done so, the teacher can ask the following questions (if they have not already been answered in the discussion):

What is the song about?

Who wrote the song?

Why was the song written?

Who would have sung the song? When? Why?

Term Paper on Lesson Plan/U.s. History/9 Grade Level United States Assignment

Teacher: "Pickin' Cotton All Day Long" is a work song. No one knows for sure who wrote it or who was the first to sing it. It is probably hundreds of years old. When African-Americans were slaves, they would sometimes sing while they worked. It helped them keep a rhythm to their work and helped them occupy their minds with something other than their suffering.


The teacher will play additional selections and guide students through discussions of each piece. They may be able to identify specific titles and artists, but it is more important that they identify the genres of the pieces. For each composition, students should discuss, as a class, what the song is about and why it was written.

Check for Understanding and Guided Practice:

Students are tasked with bringing to class a song by an African-American artist or composer. The song must fit within one of the genres listed. Each student should be prepared to lead a discussion about their selected piece. In making the assignment, the teacher should encourage students to explore genres with which they might not be familiar. YouTube.com is a source of free music videos that can be used to fulfill the requirements. Students should be familiar with steps for accessing YouTube content, but the teacher (or a peer) can provide instruction if necessary.

The teacher should remind students that content must be appropriate for the classroom. The teacher should review each student's selection before it is shared with the class. The teacher will invoke standard disciplinary measures if a student violates the rules of decency. The teacher should discuss with the administration guidelines for computer, music and video use in the classroom prior to making the assignment. Some schools have firewalls that block sites such as YouTube. The teacher should determine ahead of time whether this is the case.

Amazon.com is another source for music selections, which cost approximately ninety-nine cents per song. If students have trouble finding a song or if YouTube is blocked in the classroom, the teacher may want to suggest students purchase a song and copy it to a blank disc for class. Alternatively, the teacher could bring additional recordings to class.

Independent Practice:

The teacher will collect songs representing the genres heard and discussed previously in class. The teacher can have students work individually, in pairs, or in teams. The teacher will assign (or allow students to select) one song per student/team. The students must identify the genre and discuss the song's relevance to American history. They should discuss questions that include: Who wrote the song? Why? What is it about? How does the song make you feel? Do you think that's what the composer intended? What was happening in American history at the time the song was written? What… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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