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:

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:

Introducing New Wave

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

What did Punk Rock provide that opened the door for New Wave acts? And what are some among the defining attributes of New Wave?

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:

Beat Culture and the Grateful Dead

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High
Subjects: ELA
Activities: Station Activities, Textual Analysis

How did beat writers like Jack Kerouac influence the Grateful Dead’s music?

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:

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:

Deadheads and Reagan’s America in the 1980s

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Document-Based Questions, Maps, Textual Analysis

Who are the Deadheads and how did their lifestyle contrast with the conservative values promoted by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s?

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?

Trace It Back:

Drake

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

lesson:

World War II and the Shrinking of the Ensemble

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

How did wartime restrictions and other factors cause popular music ensembles to shrink in size during the 1940s, helping to set the stage for the small “combos” of Rock and Roll?

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:

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:

“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:

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?

Trace It Back:

Nicki Minaj

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

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 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?

Trace It Back:

Jamila Woods

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

Trace It Back:

Prince

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

lesson:

Birth of the American Teenager

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

How did teenagers become a distinct demographic group in the 1950s?

lesson:

Business with the Grateful Dead

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: CTE, General Music
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Creative Writing, Role Playing, Station Activities, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How did the Grateful Dead’s business practices create a dedicated fan culture and ensure the financial success of the group?

lesson:

The Birth of Hippie Culture in the 1960s

Grades: Elementary
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Document-Based Questions, Personal Reflection, Textual Analysis, Visual Analysis

How did the Grateful Dead reflect new ideas about life and society in the 1960’s?

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:

Supporting Sobriety in a Musical Community

Grades: High
Subjects: CTE, Social Emotional Learning
Activities: Creative Writing, Personal Reflection, Textual Analysis, Visual Design

Who are the Wharf Rats, and how do they exemplify the practices of sobriety, peer support, and community building within a musical fan culture?

lesson:

Italian-American Vocalists Before Rock and Roll

Grades: High
Subjects: Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Gallery Walk, Musical Analysis, Station Activities, Visual Analysis

How did the careers of Italian American vocalists in the first half of the 20th century reflect the experiences of Italian American immigrants and attitudes toward them in the wider American culture?

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 Many Roles of a Music Producer

Grades: High
Subjects: CTE, General Music
Activities: Think-Pair-Share, Visual Analysis

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

lesson:

Counterculture in the 1960s

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High
Subjects: ELA, Social Studies/History
Activities: Document-Based Questions, Structured Academic Controversy, Textual Analysis

How did the counterculture movement of the late 1960s challenge traditional American behaviors and values, and how did the Grateful Dead reflect these changing views of life and society?

lesson:

The Original “Going Viral”

Grades: High, Middle
Subjects: CTE, General Music, Social Emotional Learning, Social Studies/History
Activities: Charts and Graphs, Personal Reflection, Visual Analysis

Could a musical group “go viral” before the internet?

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?

Trace It Back:

Betty Davis

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

Trace It Back:

Lana Del Rey

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle

lesson:

Seventies Soul: The Soundtrack of Turbulent Times

Grades: High
Subjects: General Music, Social Studies/History
Activities: Gallery Walk, Musical Analysis, Textual Analysis, Think-Pair-Share

How did changes in the Soul music of the early 1970s reflect broader shifts in American society during that time?

Trace It Back:

Thundercat

Grades: AP/Honors/101, High, Middle