Pop. culture

| 4 Comments
Why pop culture should be included in my classroom.
Student perspective: 6th grade (female)

    My favorite thing to do is listening to music.  I think schools should include more things that I enjoy because it would make me more interested in school.  It also will motivate me to learn.  Also, being able to connect to what I learn is important because I can understand it better.  Even though I am at school a lot, the things I do at home does not always relate to what I learn in school.  It is important that I learn things that revolves around me in my life.  Traditional education is important, like learning how to read, science, and do math.  But I think if those things were more contemporary, and relates to what is happening today, I think it will be better for me as a student, and a person in the American society.  


Lesson Plan
Retrieved from Lessonplanspage.com

Written by: Dana Boxdorfer
Date written: November 20, 1996

Lesson: Controversies of the Vietnam War

Grade: Fifth Grade (also good for sixth graders)

Concept: Students will learn about how some of society felt toward the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.


Objectives: The students will listen to "Blowin In the Wind" by Bob Dylan and analyze what the song is saying about Vietnam.

Materials Needed:
"Blowin In the Wind" by Bob Dylan
Copy of the song "Blowin in the Wind"  lyrics

Preliminary Procedures:
The teacher will refresh the students' memories about what they have been talking about in the past two social studies classes, (the Vietnam War), by asking them if anyone can tell her/him the reason the U. S. got involved in the Vietnam War.

Procedure:
1) After the teacher refreshes the students' memories about the Vietnam War she/he will teach them about the domestic controversies that were going on due to the Vietnam War. Mainly the fact that some people loudly protested the War through songs.
2) After the discussion is over the teacher will play the song "Blowin in the Wind" by Bob Dylan and ask the students to listen closely to the song and see if they can analyze what he is singing about.
3) The teacher will pass out the sheet that has the words to the song on it and the class will discuss.

Evaluation: Evaluation occurs while the students are discussing the song, when the words are placed in front of them. The teacher may need to guide the students on some of the lines.

Follow - up: The next day the teacher can play another song, "For What it is Worth" by Buffalo Springfield or "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Musical Concepts: Music history. The teacher could discuss the different controversial songs written back in the sixties and seventies and what made them so controversial.


Minnesota state standards that are met by this lesson:

History I.O.2 Students will demonstrate knowledge of economic, social, and cultural developments in contemporary United States.

History IV.C.1  Students will understand that primary sources document first-hand accounts of historical events and secondary sources may be influenced by the author's interpretation of historical events.

History IV.C.3 Students will understand the concepts of historical context and multiple causation.

4 Comments

Mai Yer,

I like the lesson and activity that you discuss in this blog post. In particular, I like the way you sell it to me, as well as potential students actually doing the activity; students are more likely to be motivated / engaged with class material if it connects to some relevant / meaningful piece of their lives (in this case, of course music). However, I foresee some potential problems with this particular lesson and activity that I wanted to pick your brain about.

Mainly, although you and I are familiar with and may enjoy / are fans of extremely influential songwriters and musicians such as Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, and CCR, I would be very worried that students (especially students this young) would have no clue who these people and groups are. Because of this possible lack of identification, I am concerned that such an activity based on applicability and relevancy of the course material would fail as 1.) students would not be able to identify with these groups of a past vs. present popular culture, and 2.) not perceive any relevancy to THEIR current lives and realities, and 3.) not make any meaning out of them.

So, I'm wondering if it would be more appropriate and effective to somehow scaffold up to the "classic" protest music of Dylan, CCR, and so on via more modern music that students are SURE to identify with. After all, I can think of many, many current pop culture songs that include protest themes. Then, once students have perceived relevancy and built meaning with this material, perhaps they will perceive relevancy and be able to build meaning with something more alien to them.

What do you think about this idea? Or, do you think students would be able to jump right into things like Dylan? In all honesty, I'm not sure, which is why I'm asking :)

Overall, nice post.

-Rick Filipkowski

Mai Yer,

I like the lesson and activity that you discuss in this blog post. In particular, I like the way you sell it to me, as well as potential students actually doing the activity; students are more likely to be motivated / engaged with class material if it connects to some relevant / meaningful piece of their lives (in this case, of course music). However, I foresee some potential problems with this particular lesson and activity that I wanted to pick your brain about.

Mainly, although you and I are familiar with and may enjoy / are fans of extremely influential songwriters and musicians such as Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, and CCR, I would be very worried that students (especially students this young) would have no clue who these people and groups are. Because of this possible lack of identification, I am concerned that such an activity based on applicability and relevancy of the course material would fail as 1.) students would not be able to identify with these groups of a past vs. present popular culture, and 2.) not perceive any relevancy to THEIR current lives and realities, and 3.) not make any meaning out of them.

So, I'm wondering if it would be more appropriate and effective to somehow scaffold up to the "classic" protest music of Dylan, CCR, and so on via more modern music that students are SURE to identify with. After all, I can think of many, many current pop culture songs that include protest themes. Then, once students have perceived relevancy and built meaning with this material, perhaps they will perceive relevancy and be able to build meaning with something more alien to them.

What do you think about this idea? Or, do you think students would be able to jump right into things like Dylan? In all honesty, I'm not sure, which is why I'm asking :)

Overall, nice post.

-Rick Filipkowski

Mai Yer,

I like the lesson and activity that you discuss in this blog post. In particular, I like the way you sell it to me, as well as potential students actually doing the activity; students are more likely to be motivated / engaged with class material if it connects to some relevant / meaningful piece of their lives (in this case, of course music). However, I foresee some potential problems with this particular lesson and activity that I wanted to pick your brain about.

Mainly, although you and I are familiar with and may enjoy / are fans of extremely influential songwriters and musicians such as Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, and CCR, I would be very worried that students (especially students this young) would have no clue who these people and groups are. Because of this possible lack of identification, I am concerned that such an activity based on applicability and relevancy of the course material would fail as 1.) students would not be able to identify with these groups of a past vs. present popular culture, and 2.) not perceive any relevancy to THEIR current lives and realities, and 3.) not make any meaning out of them.

So, I'm wondering if it would be more appropriate and effective to somehow scaffold up to the "classic" protest music of Dylan, CCR, and so on via more modern music that students are SURE to identify with. After all, I can think of many, many current pop culture songs that include protest themes. Then, once students have perceived relevancy and built meaning with this material, perhaps they will perceive relevancy and be able to build meaning with something more alien to them.

What do you think about this idea? Or, do you think students would be able to jump right into things like Dylan? In all honesty, I'm not sure, which is why I'm asking :)

Overall, nice post.

-Rick Filipkowski

Mai,

I liked your picks of music because I know the artists and was a college student during the Viet Nam War. Rick's comment that students of today might not know or have any connection in their experience with these artists might be important to consider. They might need some listening experiences or viewing of concerts in DVD or video of these artists as they were at the time in the 1960s. There have been many concerts filmed that you could use, I have Googled a number of 1960s music artists and found videos on line. Maybe developing who these artists were as well as the culture of the 1960s could be a valuable way to approach the Viet Nam War.

Another facet also might be to look at human history and the role that war has played and what factors in the human condition seem to lead to war. You might have your students examine why Dylan's song seems to ask and then reply that the answer seems to be blowin in the wind, that the answer is speaking to us, yet hard to grasp or to live out as humanity.

We are wracked with conflicts globally at this time. Seeing the world now and across human history, including the Viet Nam War, as part of knowing more about humanity and why conflicts arise are key issues in education and the study of human history.

We have to understand ourselves and our global relationships better as we seek to bring greater peace to this world. I agree with you that music will help in this process, and that it raises our conciousness in ways words alone may not.

Also your pick of music is good as it can be insightful to see music from one period of conflict and compare it to music written about conflicts or the state of society today. The past can inform the present, and the present can be the key to the past.

Thanks for highlighting the 1960s, it was an important era in US and global history and we are still dealing with its issues.

Sincerely,

John

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This page contains a single entry by Mai Yer published on November 6, 2009 11:18 AM.

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