Overview

In the lessons in English Language Arts Suggested Path, students use music as a gateway to textual analysis, reading comprehension, persuasive writing, and other ELA skills. In “Dylan as a Poet”, students consider Bob Dylan as part of the “Beat” literary movement of the 1960s, and use poetry analysis to compare Dylan and Allen Ginsberg. In “Divergent Paths in the 1990s: Gangsta Rap and Conscious Hip Hop,” students assume the role of FM radio program directors who must write a press release guiding the path of their station. To inform their decision, they analyze rap videos, song lyrics, and album covers to better understand African American experience in the 1990s. Issues of publicity and censorship also arise in the “Mainstream Metal, Parental Advisories, and Censorship” lesson, where students will take opposing sides to debate the merits of the parental advisory system. The final two lessons examine the relationship between popular music and the construction of gender. In “The Rise of Girl Groups,” students read a selection of Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique and engage in an “structured academic controversy” that debates early 1960s Girl Group’s roles as either harbingers of female empowerment or purveyors of traditional notions of femininity. In “Dressing the Part: MTV and the Disruption of Gender,” students read advertisement and photographs for manifestations of masculinity and femininity, and discuss the roles 1970s Glam Rock and 1980s MTV music videos played in initiating national conversations about gender.