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Abby Root
EDMT 380-002
Spring 2005


Project #1
Final Lesson/Unit Plan Outline

Cultural Lyric Writing

The following lessons are part of a short unit on American heritage. Its focus is on the musical influence of other cultures, and exploring the influence cultures have on language and music. These lessons are set up for Language Arts, but can easily be adapted by the Social Studies teacher as well. The lesson uses a video to teach about the historical origins of American "folk music" from African and European influences.

Learner Analysis:
This lesson was developed for a mainstream class of 8th grade students. This Language Arts class of about 25 students has two students who are gifted and talented and one student who has visual impairment.

Alignment Table:

WI Model Academic Standards
Language Arts Standards
A.8.3 Read and discuss literary and nonliterary texts in order to understand human experience.

Students will identify cultural, historical, and social themes found in song lyrics.

Students will evaluate the historical influence of lyrics.

The students will develop a list of themes that influence the song lyrics of modern music.

Analysis of themes identified from "Barbara Allen," "The Star-Spangled Banner," "Money for Nothing," and "


Reflection Paper

Worksheet to accompany discussion on cultural themes.

B.8.1 Create or produce writing to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Students will write song lyrics.


In-class e xercises with word choice and voice. Final Music Lyrics
Information and Technology Literacy      
A.8.4 Use a computer and communications software to access and transmit information.

Students learn browse the Internet, using navigation.


Students will view Internet sites in order to retrieve information about cultural themes in music.

Students will engage in navigation searches to find relevant web sites.

Internet source list and word processed final paper.
B.8.7 Communicate the results of research and inquiry in an appropriate format.

Students will write a word-processed paper reflecting on the cultural theme of their song.

Students will site sources accurately.

Students will also type out their song lyrics, using modern language and relevant aspects of a particular theme.

Students will practice word processing during computer time.

Students will practice the correct procedure for citations.

Song lyrics show modern language and depict a contemporary theme.

Reflection paper incorporates new research

Activity Sequence Summary (assumes 50 minute class periods):

Day One
1. The teacher asks the students questions about music.

2. An instructional video on the emergence of roots music in America from its European and African origins.
3. The teacher will distribute the lyrics to the song "Barbara Allen" that was discussed in the video and have students read aloud.
4. The students will discuss the following questions in small groups:

5. The teacher will play a selection of other songs, while students record themes they identify as they listen. Songs may include, "Star-Spangled Banner," "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straights, or "Where Were You?" by Alan Jackson.
6. Students will be given a worksheet to accompany the analysis of these songs.

Day Three (Allow for connective lesson)
1. Students will have brought three possible song choices to use in their research.
2. The class will need to be working in a computer lab for this lesson.
3. Students will use the Topic Hotlist or other search engines to retrieve the lyrics to at least one of their songs.
4. The teacher will go over the basic requirements of the research paper the students will be required to make.

5. After identifying a theme from the lyrics of the selected song, students will use research links to find information on that theme. The Topic Hotlist will provide web sites that will guide them in finding appropriate information that fits the requirements of the research paper. This class session should be used for work time while the teacher walks around and assists students.

| Draft Lesson Plan | ITV Component | Topic Hotlist | Final Lesson Plan |

| Main | Project #1 | Project #2 |

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Page last updated 17-May-2005