Welcome, teachers, to TeachRock. Our website provides a wide range of teaching and learning resources, including videos, image galleries, print journalism, lesson plans, and more – all designed to bring the History of Rock and Roll into your classroom. Much of what we provide is historical in nature, allowing educators and students to study the music in context. We suggest that teachers review all materials in advance of using them in the classroom so as to be sure that all content is age-appropriate for your classroom.
This "For Teachers" section of the site is designed to help you make the most of all that we provide. New resources will be added on a regular basis, including a professional development video series. New lesson plans will be added every month. We hope that you create an account, share your ideas, dig deep into the material provided, and become a long-term member of our group. What we have to offer comes alive only when teachers give it life.
TeachRock is rooted in a teaching philosophy that believes students learn best when they truly connect with the material to which they're introduced. Obviously, popular music is one such point of connection. This site is devoted to bringing music into the classroom as a gateway to substantive and meaningful exploration of a wide range of topics in Social Studies, English Language Arts, Humanities, Music and other subject areas.
This curriculum is not simply about allowing students to listen to and enjoy music in school, but about empowering them to become more critical listeners and thinkers. We believe one of the most effective ways to do this is by regularly using material in our classrooms for which students have a natural and deep affection, by making our classrooms places students look forward to entering, and by teaching in a way that makes the classroom an engaging, enjoyable and exciting place for students to be. This curriculum is a tool that can help teachers do all those things.
Elements of our teaching philosophy include:
TeachRock is an entirely self-contained, web-based curriculum. It is free to anyone who has access to a computer. It was designed to be easily accessible and as user-friendly as possible. Virtually all of the resources you will need to teach a particular lesson are hosted on the site. You can play our videos for your class without connecting to YouTube, iTunes, QuickTime, or any other program or website. All of the images and student handouts needed to teach a lesson are available directly from the site as well. (Please note that there are a small number of exceptions, calling for teachers to link to additional materials available on the web or supply their own audio recordings and lyrics for particular songs.)
This site is divided into three main sections: Curriculum, Resources, and For Teachers. You can access these at any time from tabs at the top center of every page.
If you place your mouse over the Curriculum tab, you will see that the curriculum is divided into four different "books": Birth of Rock, Teenage Rebellion, Transformation, and Fragmentation. These books are arranged loosely in chronological order. Each book is further divided into ten chapters. You may click on the tab for each book to access its home page, which includes an introduction to the book and a complete menu of the ten chapters it includes.
If you click on the name of a specific chapter, you will arrive at a home page that gives you an overview of the themes of that chapter, and a menu of all the lessons within that chapter. As we launch, every one of the forty chapters will include a lesson. From that point on, new lessons will come every month.
Clicking on the title of a lesson will take you to the individual lesson page. Each lesson page offers a brief introduction to the broad themes and content of the lesson. Under the title of each lesson plan is a menu that allows you to access the Media Resources, Objectives, Activities and Standards for the lesson. You may also scroll down the page to find these sections. Lesson plans were designed to enable teachers to easily use the videos and images in their classrooms; see Technical Matters below for more information about how to do so.
Each lesson plan follows a format that will be familiar to most teachers. All lessons are organized around an Essential Question (found at the top of the lesson page), which drives the lesson, and can be answered by students in multiple ways. All activities and materials in the lesson are designed to help students find meaningful answers to the question posed.
Lesson plans also include a list of Objectives, broken down into knowledge and skills. The skills section includes the Common Core skills highlighted in that lesson, with clear and specific reference to how that skill is implemented within the lesson. (Please note that all lesson plans address multiple Common Core skills; for a complete list of all Common Core skills addressed in a specific lesson, please see the Standards section at the bottom of each lesson page.)
The Activities section outlines the instructional plan for the lesson. Every lesson opens with a short Motivational Activity, designed to pique student interest and draw even reluctant students in to the conversation. In many cases, these activities tie in with students' lived experience – for example, asking them why having access to a car might be important to them, or how living without electricity might affect their lives.
The Procedure section lists the main learning activities in the lesson. Videos and images used in the lesson are hyperlinked and appear in blue, so that teachers may click on them at any time to share them with students. Because our lessons are student-centered, many of them are built around a performance-based activity that also serves as the lesson assessment.
The Resources tab will take you to links for the Handouts used in the lesson. These are all in PDF form, and may be viewed on the screen or printed out and distributed individually to students.
All lessons end with a Summary Activity, designed to bring the lesson "full circle" and ensure that students are able to answer the Essential Question posed. In many cases, summary activities also include an informal assessment, such as an Exit Ticket or a concluding discussion.
In addition, many lessons include a Writing Prompt, which may be used in a variety of ways at the teacher's discretion. Writing prompts can be used as an assignment for a formal essay. Teachers may wish to have students keep an ongoing Rock and Roll journal and contribute to it upon the completion of each lesson.
Some lessons also include additional Homework and Assessment activities, or directions for projects that may be completed over a period of time.
Most lessons include Extension Activities, which allow students to further investigate topics and themes that were not fully explored in the main lesson plan. These may all be used at the discretion of the teacher.
The lesson page also includes a list of the key people discussed in the lesson, which may be found by clicking the Resources tab. Clicking on the name or picture of the individual will take you to the People section of the site, which is discussed further below.
Because the TeachRock curriculum is entirely web-based, each teacher must develop his or her own strategy for making lessons work with the equipment available in his or her classroom. As a general rule, the lessons work best in a classroom equipped with a computer projector, SMART Board or television-sized monitor. For some lessons, particularly those that include listening/viewing stations, additional computers or laptops may be very helpful. If additional computers are not available, teachers may complete these lessons by playing the station materials for the class as a whole.
Playing Videos. To play a particular video from the lesson page, simply click on the title or thumbnail image for that video. The video will then open in a new window. Use the arrows in the lower right-hand corner to enlarge the video to full-screen size. The sound on any video may be muted by clicking on the sound icon on the lower right. When you are finished with a video, click on the X in the upper right-hand corner and return to the main lesson page.
Displaying Images. Every lesson includes an Image Gallery. To enlarge any one of the images, simply click on it. If you click on an enlarged image, you will move to the next image in the gallery, making it easy for teachers to scroll through all the images in a lesson without returning to the main lesson page. For further information about a particular image, click on the name of the image below the Image Gallery.
People. Every lesson page includes a list of the key artists discussed in the lesson. (You can go directly to the People section by clicking on Resources at the top of the lesson page.) Clicking on the name or image of the person will take you to the People section of the site, which includes a biographical library covering the artists addressed in the curriculum. Instructors may find it useful to include these biographical sketches in their lessons. The People section also includes a list of all images, videos and lesson plans in the curriculum in which that particular artist appears.
The second main section of the site is our Resources section, which can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab at the top center of any page. This section includes:
This is the Professional Development section of the site. In the near future, this section will grow to include a variety of resources that will help teachers get the most out of TeachRock. We will offer a series of short Professional Development videos, offering new ideas about how to use the site in your classroom.
We will also launch the new "Remix" section of the site. Because we want teachers to use our materials in new and creative ways, Remix will offer an opportunity for teachers to share lesson plans that re-imagine our resources in creative ways. Stay tuned for further information about how you can contribute to this section, and for opportunities to see what other teachers are doing with TeachRock in their classrooms.
The Professional Development section of the site also includes a free poster about the project created by our partners at Scholastic, Inc. Feel free to download the poster and use it in your classroom. One side of the poster is an illustrated timeline of the history of Rock and Roll, which teachers can use to design their own lesson plans around a particular era, artist or historical event.
You can also create your own TeachRock account, which will enable you to customize the resources on the site for your own teaching purposes. If you have not done so already, we encourage you to sign up for email updates about the project.
Finally, we are always happy to hear from you – so don't hesitate to send us an email with any questions or suggestions, or just to tell us what is happening with TeachRock in your classroom.
Download this Poster and Teaching Guide from our partners at Scholastic. The poster features an illustrated Timeline that covers nearly eight decades of Rock and Roll History. The poster can be used in your classroom in a variety of ways, from being a tool to prompt class discussions to a starting point for research projects.