Posted by: waldropcv | June 4, 2010

Materials Review #3

1. Name of Site:

2. Link to Resources:


  • So to find many different songs to play for the class.

4.Identify the teaching topic of the materials—be specific. Identify the population of the students (grade, course):

  • The students learning this lesson would be in the 11th or 12th grade.  They will discover the common themes in poetry and music.  They will compare and contrast the themes and lyrics of poetry and jazz and rap music.  And how the themes reflect the lifestyle and culture of the author and time period.

5. Give a brief description of how the materials would be used:

  • Using YouTube, I would play selected recordings of jazz, hip hop and rap music, and have them write down characteristics of each style of music.  Then in a discussion the characteristics would be compared and contrasted.  Also using YouTube I would find selected poems, after listening, students would discuss the theme and subject of the poetry and compare the different pomes.  Then compare and contrast the music with the poetry.  The lesson plan suggests the poetry of Langston Hughes and the songs of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, Grandmaster Flash, and Run DMC.
  • The students would then be split into larger groups and prepare a ten-fifteen minute presentation on either jazz or rap music.  The lesson plan suggests topics such as: Definition of music, Descriptions of music by individuals in that field, History of music (including era it became popular, pioneers in the field, etc.), Find at least four pictures or images to include in your presentation, Titles of the genre’s popular songs, Examples of at least four pieces of music, giving the theme/message and how it reflects the culture of the time. Use this music as a part of your PowerPoint or oral presentation.
  • As a final project for the lesson, the students using the themes they now recognize as appropriate for these styles, would create their own lyrics for their own jazz or rap song and present them to the class.

6. Explain why you would use this material with your students. How will the material help your students learn the topic?

  • YouTube gives students the quick and easy access to any song they want to study for its themes and/or ideas.  This lesson completes many of the national standards, but most obviously this one: Students understand the relationship between music and history and culture.


  1. I have found YouTube to be such a good resource. Many of the videos are well written with a definitive educational message. I liked how you are trying to create the link between music, history, and culture. Many times students learn better when they can see a connection among subject matter.

  2. So, first of all…let me say that your star wars image made my heart very happy! I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to star wars!

    Thanks for posting this lesson! I love using music in the classroom. I love that you used jazz to study poetry. That’s a really neat idea instead of studying just the typical poems that students are asked to study…it breaks up the boring classroom and throws in some excitment.

    Have you thought about what you would do in the even that youtube is blocked from your school?

    • I’d bring in my own music of course.

  3. I love the idea of using music and songs to showcase poetry to students. This lesson sounds like so much fun. And it sounds like you will have fun teaching it. I think your enthusiasm will rub off on the students. My only concern is that often students see teachers as out of touch when it comes to rap (and other forms of modern) music. How will you present yourself as an expert and thus worthy of them listening to you talk about rap music?

    Justin Weltz

  4. I am offended, sir. I am a King of rap. I have never thought about not appearing as such to my students. I guess they’ll just have to take my word when I school them on some Wu-Tang, 2Pac, Weezy, Kanye (if he still counts by the time I’m teaching) Mos Def, Saul Williams, Danger Mouse, Public Enemy, GZA, N.W.A., Outkast, and of course a little Tribe Called Quest

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