lesson:

The Blues and the Great Migration

Grades: High
Subjects: Social Studies/History, STEAM
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Document-Based Questions, Maps, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How did the Great Migration spread Southern culture, helping to give the Blues a central place in American popular music?

lesson:

Blues, Poetry, and the Harlem Renaissance

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: ELA
Activities: Gallery Walk, Textual Analysis

How does Langston Hughes’ Blues-inspired poetry exemplify the ideals of the Harlem Renaissance?

lesson:

The American Blues in Britain

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music
Activities: Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

In what ways did American Blues affect English musicians in the early 1960s?

lesson:

The Blues: The Sound of Rural Poverty

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Maps, Station Activities, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis, Visual Design

How do the Country Blues reflect the challenges of sharecropping, racial injustice, and rural poverty in early 20th-century African-American life?

lesson:

The Birth of the Electric Guitar

Grades: All Ages, AP/Honors/101, Elementary, High, Middle
Subjects: CTE, Social Studies/History, STEAM
Activities: Musical Analysis, Textual Analysis, Think-Pair-Share

How did the electric guitar transform Blues music from the 1940s forward?

lesson:

The Influence of Rhythm and Blues

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music, Social Studies/History
Activities: Musical Analysis, Textual Analysis

What did R&B bring to early Rock and Roll, and how was early Rock and Roll different?

lesson:

Rhythm and Blues Hit the Airwaves

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: ELA, Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Maps, Performance, Role Playing, Textual Analysis

How did Dewey Phillips and Hunter Hancock help bring Rhythm and Blues music to mixed race audiences?

lesson:

Muddy Waters, the New Kid in Town

Grades: Elementary
Subjects: Advisory, Social Studies/History
Activities: Maps, Personal Reflection

How did Muddy Waters’ music change after he moved to Chicago, and what does that say about the relationship between place and self-expression?

lesson:

Dylan as Poet

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: ELA
Activities: Textual Analysis, Think-Pair-Share

How did Bob Dylan merge poetry with popular music?

lesson:

Bo Diddley: The Grandfather of Hip Hop?

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music, Social Studies/History
Activities: Musical Analysis, Textual Analysis

How were Bo Diddley’s recordings an anomaly in relation to 1950s Pop music, and how is his rhythm-driven sound and self-presentation a precursor to Hip Hop style?

lesson:

The Roots of Country Rock

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music
Activities: Musical Analysis, Textual Analysis

How did Country Music influence Rock and Roll and the musicians who made it?

lesson:

“Hound Dog” and 1950 Race Relations

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music
Activities: Maps, Musical Analysis

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

lesson:

Producing the Sounds of a Changing South

Grades: High
Subjects: General Music, Social Studies/History
Activities: Gallery Walk, Textual Analysis

How did the recordings Sam Phillips produced at Sun Records, including Elvis Presley’s early work, reflect trends of urbanization and integration in the 1950s American South?

lesson:

Almost Emancipated: Reconstruction

Grades: AP/Honors/101
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Document-Based Questions, Textual Analysis

What is the significance of Reconstruction and what does it reveal about the freedom that the post-Civil War constitutional amendments secured for African Americans?

lesson:

The Banjo, Slavery, and the Abolition Debate

Grades: AP/Honors/101
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Document-Based Questions, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

What is the relationship between the banjo and slavery, and how did music making by enslaved people influence the abolition debate during the 18th and early 19th century?

lesson:

The Memphis Sound and Racial Integration

Grades: High
Subjects: ELA, Social Studies/History
Activities: Gallery Walk, Maps, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How has Memphis music culture provided one example of art’s capacity to challenge the racial boundaries that have so often structured American life?

lesson:

How to Study Rock and Roll

Grades: All Ages, AP/Honors/101, Elementary, High, Middle
Subjects: ELA, General Music, Social Studies/History
Activities: Textual Analysis, Timeline, Visual Analysis

How can teachers help students analyze and understand Rock and Roll?

lesson:

The Roots of Heavy Metal

Grades: High
Subjects: ELA, General Music
Activities: Musical Analysis, Role Playing, Station Activities, Textual Analysis, Think-Pair-Share

What are the musical and cultural roots of Heavy Metal?

lesson:

Learning Rhythm through Gospel

Grades: Elementary
Subjects: General Music
Activities: Performance

How can Gospel music help students identify the musical concepts of beat, meter, backbeat, subdivision, and syncopation?

lesson:

The Impact of the Electric Guitar

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: CTE, General Music, STEAM
Activities: Gallery Walk, Interactive Tech Tools, Visual Analysis

How did the electrification, amplification and design of the guitar facilitate its emergence as a dominant instrument of popular music?

lesson:

The History of Music Videos

Grades: High
Subjects: CTE, General Music, Social Studies/History
Activities: Interactive Tech Tools, Visual Analysis

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?

lesson:

The Gospel Origins of “Chain of Fools”

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: ELA, General Music
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Maps, Musical Analysis

Essential Question: How did Aretha Franklin’s foundation in Gospel music influence her recording of “Chain of Fools,” helping to establish a Soul sound and bringing black culture into mainstream America?

lesson:

The Rise of the Electric Guitar

Grades: High
Subjects: General Music, Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Four Corners, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis, Visual Design

What factors led to the rise of the electric guitar as the dominant symbol of Rock and Roll?

lesson:

Rock and Roll and the American Dream

Grades: High
Subjects: ELA, Social Studies/History
Activities: Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

What is the American Dream and how did Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash personify its ideals?

lesson:

The Musical Roots of the Surf Sound (Elementary Version)

Grades: Elementary
Subjects: Art, Social Studies/History
Activities: Musical Analysis, Station Activities, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis, Visual Art

How does the “Surf Sound” in Rock and Roll reflect early surf culture, and what are the roots of this genre of music?

lesson:

Debating Dylan’s Nobel Prize

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High
Subjects: ELA
Activities: Structured Academic Controversy, Textual Analysis

What are the arguments for and against Bob Dylan receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature?

lesson:

Sampling: The Foundation of Hip Hop

Grades: High
Subjects: CTE, General Music
Activities: Maps, Musical Analysis, Visual Analysis

How is the re-use and re-purposing of existing music at the heart of the Hip Hop recording experience?

lesson:

“Twist and Shout” and Post-War Britain

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music
Activities: Musical Analysis, Role Playing, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

What role did cover songs like “Twist and Shout” play early in the Beatles's career, and how did their experiences growing up in post-WWII Liverpool and performing in Hamburg nightclubs help them to develop as a professional musical ensemble?

lesson:

Jimi Hendrix: Introducing Hard Rock

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: ELA, General Music
Activities: Role Playing, Textual Analysis

In what ways did Jimi Hendrix help create a new "Hard Rock" sound while retaining a connection to the Blues and R&B of his past?

lesson:

The Musical Roots of the Surf Sound

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music
Activities: Musical Analysis, Role Playing, Station Activities, Visual Analysis

What is the Surf sound and where did it come from?

lesson:

Dion and the Teen Idols

Grades: High
Subjects: ELA, Social Studies/History
Activities: Role Playing, Visual Analysis

What role did the so-called "teen idols" of the late 1950s play in bringing Rock and Roll into mainstream American culture?

lesson:

Fear of the American Teenager

Grades: High
Subjects: ELA, Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Role Playing, Structured Academic Controversy, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

What made the teenager a source of anxiety during the 1950s?

lesson:

Liverpool: The Birthplace of the Beatles

Grades: High
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Maps, Station Activities, Textual Analysis

How did growing up in post-WWII Liverpool influence the Beatles?

lesson:

Car Culture in Postwar America

Grades: High
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How did car culture intersect with and inspire Rock and Roll?

lesson:

Gospel Music and the Birth of Soul

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music, Social Studies/History
Activities: Musical Analysis, Textual Analysis

How did Gospel influence American popular music?

lesson:

Chuck Berry

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music
Activities: Station Activities, Visual Design

Why is Chuck Berry often considered the most important of the early Rock and Rollers?

lesson:

The Emergence of Folk Rock

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: General Music, Social Studies/History
Activities: Musical Analysis

What is Folk music? To what extent did Folk Rock sustain the spirit of Folk music?

lesson:

Radio Before Rock and Roll

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Interview, Station Activities, Textual Analysis

How did radio influence American life in the years before the birth of Rock and Roll?

lesson:

Latin Music in Postwar New York City

Grades: High
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Maps, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How did the growth of New York City’s Latino population in the 1940s and 50s help to increase the popularity of Latin music and dance in American culture?

lesson:

The Beatles Work Towards Success

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Social Studies/History, STEAM
Activities: Equations and Calculations, Maps, Textual Analysis, Timeline, Visual Analysis

How did The Beatles' rigorous work schedule during the years 1960-63 build their strengths as performers, as musicians, and as a band?

lesson:

The Ethics of Sampling

Grades: High
Subjects: General Music
Activities: Interactive Tech Tools, Structured Academic Controversy, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

What makes a work of art “original,” and how does the use of “sampling” technology in Hip Hop challenge perceptions of “originality”?

lesson:

The Indigenous Roots of Rock and Roll

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Document-Based Questions, Interactive Tech Tools, Role Playing, Station Activities, Textual Analysis

What does Link Wray’s biography say about how Native Americans lived in the first half of the 20th century, and what role did Wray’s upbringing have on his music?

lesson:

Math With The Grateful Dead

Grades: Elementary
Subjects: Math
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Equations and Calculations, Visual Art, Visual Design

How can math be used to better understand the Grateful Dead’s success?