The TeachRock Women’s History Month Lesson Plan Collection

The TeachRock Women’s History Month Collection celebrates the women who helped shape American culture through their contributions as performers and producers of popular music. The ten lesson plans feature rich multimedia resources from TeachRock’s forty core lessons and the PBS Soundbreaking series. Students will engage the work of artists such as Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, Big Mama Thornton, Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Suzanne Vega, Annie Lennox, and Madonna to explore the influence of women in popular music from famous “firsts” to current issues. All free of charge at


The Rise of the “Girl Groups”

Were the Girl Groups of the early 1960s voices of female empowerment or reflections of traditional female roles?

Aretha Franklin: Soul Music and the New Femininity of the 1960s

How did Aretha Franklin represent a new female voice in 1960s popular music?

The Music of the Civil Rights Movement

How did popular music reflect the values of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and help the movement convey its message?

Singer-Songwriters and the Environmental Movement

How did the singer-songwriters of the 1960s and 70s address the concerns of the environmental movement?

A Song of Their Own: Female Singer-Songwriters of the 1970s

What did the success of the female Singer-Songwriters of the early 1970s reveal about the changing roles of women in the United States?

Turning Songs into Records: The Many Roles of Producers in Popular Music

What does a music producer do and in what ways does one hear the sound of a producer’s work in recordings?

At the Heart of Production: Recording the Voice

How have singers responded as advances in studio recording techniques have enabled increased technological “perfection”?

From Illustrated Songs to the Music Video: A History of Sound and Image

How has the relation between sound and image shifted through the history of recorded music, and how did the rise of MTV bring that relationship to a culmination of sorts?

Dressing the Part: MTV and the Disruption of Gender

How did MTV help create a visual space in which artists could, inadvertently or not, challenge established ideas about gender?

Interdisciplinary Lesson: Hound Dog

How does the story of “Hound Dog” demonstrate music culture’s racial mixing as it differed from mainstream American life in the 1950s?